The National Women’s Health Network is compelled to speak out about ongoing events as a long-time consumer health watchdog with a mission to serve as a trusted health information source for women in all their diversities. Because of our commitment to science and health justice, we are dismayed and angered over recent events, including the inability of top FDA and CDC officials to make decisions free from interference.
Furthermore, as we have previously stated earlier this year, we firmly believe that health justice requires racial justice. These are such unprecedented times and our work is multifaceted and the issues of today impact women in all their diversities From the government’s abandonment of its duty to provide support for people who’ve lost their jobs and health insurance as a result of the COVID pandemic, the chaotic and unsafe start to the new school year, the continued use of unjustified force against Black and other people of color by police, the crushing burden of work and care-giving faced by so many parents, the intentional slow-down of mail delivery, and Donald Trump’s support for civilian armed response to protests against injustice. Make no mistake all of these ongoing issues impact facets of our work and we will continue to speak out and advocate for those impacted.
We understand that the health needs of women in all their diversities will not be met without social justice, reproductive justice, and attention to the social determinants of health. Unemployment insurance is a health issue. Flexible schedules for working parents is a health issue. Reliable access to timely mail delivery is a health issue. Stable housing is a health issue. Education is a health issue. Community oversight of local police is a health issue. The right to protest against injustice is a health issue.
The NWHN’s founders used protests and civil disobedience to challenge patriarchal and racist policies in health care. We stand on their shoulders, and in solidarity with those working on the multiple issues that are necessary for all of us to live healthy lives.
Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.