The Department of Health and Social Care said more than 50,000 women, organisations, clinicians and carers have responded to the consultation.
However, early analysis shows women from the Midlands and East of England, those from Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds, and over-50s are under-represented in sharing their experiences. This representation is necessary to ensure the strategy works for all women.
To enable as many women as possible to have their say and capture a variety of views on access to services, experiences and health outcomes, the call for evidence will be now extended by two weeks and close on June 13.
Mika Simmons, co-chair of the Ginsburg Women’s Health Board, filmmaker and host of The Happy Vagina, said: ‘If we are to prevent women suffering and finally close the gender health gap then it is vital that women from all backgrounds and walks of life share their experiences and engage with the consultation.
‘Every woman is likely to have experienced misunderstanding or loss as a result of misdiagnosis or dismissal of their concerns, as I have, and we owe it to future generations to do all we can to ensure it never happens again.
‘This consultation presents an opportunity to have our voices heard, and I encourage everyone, from any gender, who has been impacted by a female health condition, to take the time to share their experiences.’
As well as health issues specific to women, the strategy will look at the different ways in which women experience health issues that affect both women and men. Women with health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions and osteoarthritis are also being urged to share how their condition has affected them.
Women are being encouraged to share their experiences as well as their priorities for a Women’s Health Strategy, designed to increase the health and well-being outcomes of women in England.
The call for evidence has been designed to be user friendly, quick to fill in and easily accessible from people’s mobiles. People who live with and care for women, organisations with experience of providing services for women and those with an expertise in women’s health are also encouraged to share their views.
Minister for women’s health Nadine Dorries said: ‘For generations, women have been living in a health and care system primarily designed by men, for men.
‘The number of responses to date has been incredible and I thank everyone who has shared their experiences – these interim findings clearly highlight the need for decisive action.
‘I urge every woman, if they have not yet, to come forward and respond to the call for evidence. It is only by hearing the experiences and priorities of women from all walks of life that we can truly develop a strategy that works for all women.’
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