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Health Equity

Raising Women’s Voices is committed to working towards health equity.
At the heart of our work is the idea that every person deserves to have affordable, comprehensive, and quality health care, free from discrimination, disparities or inequities.

As advocates, we are committed to reducing disparities in heatlh care and improving access to care for members of our communities who face significant barriers and obstances due to social determinants like gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, language and residence. We believe our health care systems have a duty to actively address and eliminate health disparities in health care. Because health disparities are often linked to social, economic, and environmental disadvantages, the health equity model recognizes that strategies for eliminating health disparities include addressing the underlying obstacles in place that prevent communities of color from having full access to the health care they need. Women of color are particularly at risk of facing significant health disparities:

  • African American women are nearly four times more likely to die during childbirth than are white women. They are also 23 times more likely to contract HIV than white women and have the highest breast cancer mortality rate;
  • Latinas are the group of women most likely to be uninsured (38 percent do not have health insurance). They are five times more likely to contract HIV and twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than are white women.
  • Asian American women have the highest rate of depressive symptoms and Vietnamese women are five times more likely to develop cervical cancer than are white women;
  • American Indian/Alaska Native women are twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with diabetes. They also have the highest rates of intimate partner violence of any other racial or ethnic group.

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act provides an unprecedented opportunity to address health disparities among low-income communities and communities of color who are disproportionately uninsured or under-insured. The ACA includes provisions to increase affordability for health insurance plans, protections against discrimination based on gender or pre-existing conditions, and expands access to preventative care services without additional co-pays. Not only does the ACA work to ensure more people get basic health coverage when they get sick, but the provisions also work to prevent illness and help people stay healthy. 

We will continue to work to raise awareness and address the ways that health disparities affect the ability for all members of our community to have access to the health care they need. Be sure to join us for our monthly Health Equity calls to learn from experts in the field on how our advocates can work towards health equity. E-mail healthequity@raisingwomensvoice.net to receive updates on our health equity calls.