From Davos, Switzerland at the 54th World Economic Forum:
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa Delegation was thrilled to join in launching forthcoming research by the McKinsey Health Institute and the World Economic Forum with leaders across the public, private, social, and philanthropic sectors for an action-oriented convening to explore the latest data powering the effort to draw awareness to the women’s health gap.
The report titled “Closing the Women’s Health Gap: A $1 Trillion Opportunity to Improve Lives and Economies,” emphasizes that investments addressing the women’s health gap would add years to life and life to years – while potentially boosting the global economy by $1 trillion annually by 2040.
When discussing the challenges in women’s health, a common rejoinder is that women, on average, live longer than men. But this neglects the fact that women spend 25% more of their lives in debilitating health. Closing the women’s health gap would allow 3.9 billion women to lead healthier, higher-quality lives.
The report identifies four primary areas that need addressing to close the health gap: Science, Data, Care Delivery, and Investment, and to move forward, the report suggests action on five fronts: investing in women-centric research, strengthening the collection of sex-and gender-specific data, increasing access to women-specific care, creating incentives for investment in women’s health innovation, and implementing policies supporting women’s health.
Closing the women’s health gap is a moral imperative, as addressing these gaps would reduce the time women spend in poor health by almost two-thirds, adding an average of seven days of healthy living for each woman annually.
Together, we have a chance to lift millions of women out of poverty, improve future generations’ health, and foster healthy aging. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.