National Women’s Health Week | Access to Culture

National Women’s Health Week


By Sharon Schweitzer


Every May beginning on Mother’s Day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) leads National Women’s Health Week (NWHW). This year, NWHW takes place May 12 – 18th. This observance aims to highlight women’s health issues and priorities and encourage women of all ages to prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

This year’s theme is dedicated to empowering women to take charge of their health journeys and shining a light on health issues unique to women. We’re celebrating the strength and determination of women who have taken control of their health and fostering an environment where all women feel supported and empowered to speak up about their health needs and concerns. The NWHW 2024 messaging encourages women to engage in healthy practices, access preventive care, and share their health experiences to inspire others. 

National Women’s Health Week is also an opportunity for women and their families to devote more time and energy into learning about and supporting women’s health issues that matter to them. In addition, healthcare organizations, communities, and people come together to host events, share information, and support women in making informed health decisions.

Studies have shown that there’s gender inequality when it comes to healthcare. Research indicates that doctors are more likely to dismiss women’s physical conditions as merely psychological and write off complaints of chronic pain. In addition, women have historically been underrepresented in clinical trials, even in areas that most impact them, including cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders, and cancer. The problem is even more pronounced for women of color.

Acknowledging these discrepancies and working to fix them is a critical step toward achieving gender equality in healthcare and in society.

The more that our society understands the importance of women’s health, the less stigmatized many topics, especially those involving mental and maternal health, can become. If women are able to speak openly about their healthcare concerns, and be taken seriously by medical professionals or employers, they’re more likely to receive the support they deserve.

When women feel empowered to take action on their health without stigma or barriers — such as through preventative care and screening — it can benefit their loved ones and all of society. Celebrating Women’s Health Week is a small step you can take to help de-stigmatize these issues that keep women from thriving.


Photo by islandscene.com

Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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