Who We Are
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C, that is widely recognized as a thought leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and improving 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’s mission areas include:
- Advocating for greater public and private funding for research on women’s health and biological differences to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease;
- Encouraging the appropriate inclusion of women and people of color in medical research;
- Promoting the analysis of research data for biological and ethnic differences; and
- Informing women, health care providers, and policymakers about 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 last three decades, 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. We continue to identify gaps in health care that still exist, target those differences, and help close the gaps.
What We Do
SWHR convenes researchers and clinicians to identify research gaps in 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 address its mission:
- SWHR Networks – A series of networks comprised of researchers and clinicians to foster interdisciplinary basic and clinical research on sex and gender differences.
- The Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) – An interdisciplinary scientific membership society launched in 2006 to enhance the knowledge of sex/gender differences.
- The RAISE (Recognizing the Achievements of Women in Sciences and Engineering) Project – A campaign to increase the status of professional women through enhanced recognition of their achievements in science and medicine.
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, and correspondence
- Provide expertise and legislative analysis
- Organize regular congressional briefings
- Collaborate with federal health agencies to promote women’s health and sex differences through meetings, reports, and conferences
- Analyze and suggest improvements to regulations and guidance
- 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 and research publications including the Journal of Women’s Health
- Publish op-eds and articles in major newspapers and online media sites
- Serve as a resource on women’s health research & the study of biological differences