First Lady Jill Biden is to lead a new initiative to improve the government’s approach to American women’s health. The White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research will investigate the funding of studies into women’s health and determine if underfunding is helping to produce dangerous outcomes.
In a statement, President Biden said the initiative will “drive innovation in women’s health and close research gaps,” as well as achieve “scientific breakthroughs and strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and treat diseases.”
The First Lady said she first approached the issue with the President months ago, and he immediately “took action.” Jill Biden is experienced in the health field and established a program in Delaware in the 1990s to teach young girls about breast health care. Biden will work with former California First Lady Maria Shriver, who has long advocated change in the nation’s research into women’s health.
Shriver, who established the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, said two-thirds of sufferers are women, and lack of research means there is no understanding of why. Furthermore, women are more likely to suffer from multiple sclerosis and auto-immune disease, Shriver says.
The First Lady and Ms. Shriver joined President Biden as he signed off on the new initiative, and Shriver told reporters, “The bottom line is that we can’t treat or prevent them from becoming sick if we have not invested in funding the necessary research. That changes today.”
Female Senators in Washington, DC, raised the issue recently and said there needs to be vastly more research on the differences in health outcomes for men and women. The President has asked the new group to report back with “concrete recommendations” that will improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s health issues.
Since the 1950s, statistics confirm that women live around five years longer than men on average. The causes range from stress to risky behavior among males, and a higher tendency to use drugs and alcohol or engage in violence.