SWHR ® is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR  is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Learn more about our rating on Charity Navigator and GuideStar.

Who We Are

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR  is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.

Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women. Thanks to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies and scientists are considering sex as a variable in their research. Read the full history.

Today, SWHR advocates for greater public and private funding for women’s health research and the study of biological differences that:

  • Affects the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease;
  • Encourages the appropriate inclusion of women and minorities in medical research studies;
  • Promotes the analysis of research data for biological and ethnic differences; and
  • Informs women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues through media outreach, congressional briefings, public education campaigns, conferences and special events.

As a result of SWHR’s efforts, the study of sex differences has reached a wider audience with more women and minorities able to participate in clinical trials than ever before. During the past 25-plus years, SWHR has successfully increased federal funding for biologically-based research, won the passage of notable legislative changes and put women’s health at the forefront of research. In 2016, we continue to identify gaps in health care that still exist, target those differences, and help close the gaps.

Crucial differences exist between women and men.
We are closing the gap through science, advocacy and education.
SWHR: Transforming Science

What We Do


SWHR works with researchers and clinicians to advance the field of sex-based biology, and hosts scientific roundtables to encourage dialogue and research on biological differences between men and women.

SWHR has established a number of programs to advance its mission:


The Society for Women’s Health’s (SWHR®) mission to promote women’s health and sex differences research spans the halls of Congress, the White House, federal health agencies, and across the country via the work of our policy and communications departments.


  • Advocate for increased federal funding for medical research
  • Engage & educate Congressional Members and their staff
  • Prepare Congressional report language, testimony, & correspondence
  • Provide expertise and legislative analysis
  • Organize regular Congressional briefings


  • Collaborate with federal health research agencies to promote women’s health & sex differences through meetings, reports, & conferences
  • Research and respond to regulations and guidance


  • Manage the Women’s Health Research Coalition – a national network of more than 600 activists who engage on medical research & women’s health research issues
  • Urge women and minorities to participate in clinical trials


  • Circulate the Biology of Sex Differences online journal, the only open access journal devoted to the study of sex differences
  • Disseminate research and policy papers in respected academic & research publications including the Journal of Women’s Health
  • Publish op-eds & articles in major newspapers and online media sites
  • Serve as a resource on women’s health research & the study of biological differences

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