Society for Women's Health Research

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SOCIETY FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH RESEARCH, formerly the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research, was established in 1990 out of its founders' belief that biases in biomedical research put women's health at risk. Led by Florence P. Haseltine and Phyllis Greenberger, the society gained political influence through its involvement in federal funding of research. A 1989 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) found that almost no progress had been made by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in implementing its 1986 policy to include women as subjects in clinical research. On 18 June 1990, congressional hearings were held to address the issue, and the society led the charge to inform the public of the GAO's findings. As a result, the Women's Health Equity Act of 1990 was introduced by the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues in July 1990. The society was also involved with the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, which explicitly required the inclusion of women in federally funded clinical research. The society has also established a Clinical Trials Alliance and created an educational campaign called "Some Things Only a Woman Can Do" to inform women of the importance of participating in clinical trials.


Alexander, Linda Lewis. New Dimensions in Women's Health. Boston: Jones and Bartlett, 1994; 2d ed., 2001.

Mastroianni, Anna C., et al. Women and Health Research: Ethical and Legal Issues of Including Women in Clinical Studies. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 1994.

Shira M.Diner

See alsoMedical Research ; Women's Health .

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Society for Women's Health Research