More often than not, women make the majority of health care-related decisions regarding health issues for their families, are the primary caregivers, and spend more than their male counterparts on health. While women, on average, are more likely than men to have health insurance, they also pay more in out-of-pocket health care costs. Women are also at special risk of a number of specific health conditions, such as depression and exposure to intimate partner violence. Low-income women and women of color are especially likely to experience poor health outcomes, with African American women, in particular, showing much higher rates of HIV/AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, and infants with low birth weight. These realities make consideration of woman-specific issues vitally important to policy decisions in the area of health.
IWPR’s research on women’s health and safety informs policy decisions by identifying gender and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes and access to health care services in addition to highlighting opportunities for improvement. IWPR’s reports and resources discuss a range of policy issues including the public health benefits of paid sick days, the relationship between women’s health and socio-economic status, cost-benefit analyses of paid sick days provision, and rates of breastfeeding.