Happening On Campus

University Of Nottingham Gender Health Gap Campaign

India Marriott

On Monday the 18th March 2022, the University of Nottingham Gender Health Gap Campaign launched its report to the public. Impact‘s India Marriott reports on the campaign.

Women are 50% less likely to receive painkillers after surgery than men

The campaign was launched last year by Daisy Forster, after suffering from chronic headaches and migraines for the majority of her life and struggling to find appropriate healthcare for it. The campaign aims to raise awareness for the Gender Health and Pain Gap and to attempt to make UoN a more supportive and inclusive place for women* with health conditions.

In the UK, black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women

The launch began with discussions of recent statistics regarding the health gap, with Daisy stating that women are “50% less likely to receive painkillers after surgery than men”, and are 25% less likely to receive painkillers overall”. Furthermore, “58% of endometriosis patients visited the GP more than 10 times in regards to their symptoms before receiving a diagnosis, and the time it takes to get a diagnosis averages at 7-8 years”. The health gap refers not only to these obvious disparities, but more widely to the treatment of women within everyday life as a result of illness, and the lack of research when it comes to illnesses that affect women and how illnesses affect women specifically.

In terms of intersectionality, the campaign explained that “in the UK, black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women” and “women living in deprived areas are also 3 times more likely to die in childbirth than those in affluent areas.”

“There are many social and economic factors for this but there is also lack of research on issues that affect ethnic minorities more and how they might be affected differently.”

In terms of the survey itself, there was sixty nine person response:

  • 48 staff members
  • 18 students
  • 59 respondents were white
  • The remaining 10 were ethnic minorities
  • 2 respondents identified as non-binary

Within the report it was found the main areas of concern were stress, the need to compensate for illness, loss of work/life balance, accessibility of support, EC’s and support plans, amongst other things.

One respondent stated “I feel that I can never give as much as I’d like to at work or at home. I’d love to progress my career, but feel it’s not possible whilst I have poor health, that I would be letting a team down if I took on more responsibilities. I often feel that managers (but not my current one) don’t fully understand how hard I have to work to offer the same productivity as others”

“I worry so much, all the time, as my health is unpredictable, what if I commit to a meeting but then feel too ill to attend, or can attend but am too ill to perform well. I feel that I use up all my energy at work and leave my young children wanting. I really really really enjoy working and I am good at my job, I so don’t want to give it up but I worry that I may have to if I continue to struggle in finding the balance.”

Sully Chaudhury, the SU Liberation Officer, attended the launch of the report and told Impact, “Within my role as Liberation Officer, I have been describing experiences like these to the University. What I didn’t realise until this report was that experiences like these are more common and intersectional than I thought and also affect staff too.”

“I will be taking the recommendations from this report directly to the University Executives, to see a strategic plan be developed to address this going forward. The unique relationship we have with University of Nottingham Health Service makes this achievable and should be a priority.”

The survey is now live, and will be presented to the SU, the University and UNHS, with the hopes of raising awareness, encouraging discussions and funding further research into the matter in order to close this gap that is so evident within healthcare.

For more information regarding the campaign, and to read the report in full, check out their Instagram here.

India Marriott 

Featured image courtesy of Daisy Forster. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image. 

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