Nearly half of U.S. women believe society values men’s health more than women’s health, according to a new survey commissioned by Ogilvy PR and conducted by TNS Global to understand Americans’ perspectives on women’s independence, specifically related to health.
At a time when women comprise nearly half of the workforce ( http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm), are the majority at universities and are increasingly out earning their husbands (http://http://pewsocialtrends.org/), this new finding suggests that when it comes to personal well-being, women are still taking a back-seat to men.
My grandmother used to say that victory has little value if you don’t take the time to celebrate, and I wonder if in this case it is appropriate to say that victory has little value if you are not around or able to celebrate it.
The survey found that almost seven in 10 women (67%) say they put their family’s health needs ahead of their own. When money is tight, one in four women (26%) pay for others’ drug prescriptions instead of their own. More than one-third of employed women (35%) use most of their sick days for someone else and nearly one-quarter (24%) of all employed women feel like they are at a disadvantage because they are typically the one who uses sick days when a family member gets sick. This is especially true for moms with kids living in the household (40%).
And with the majority of women agreeing that their families rely on them to be in charge of health-related decisions (62%), it is not surprising that more than half of all women fear that if they become sick, their family will have difficulty managing everyday activities (56%).
The data suggest that a woman’s traditional role as caregiver from a health perspective has changed little despite all the progress that has been made inside and outside of the home. Many women may want to preserve this role — as a mom of three who believes strongly in the mantra that you are happier if you give more than you take in life, I am proud of my dual role as a working mother. However, I do believe that women need to use some of their newfound independence – most women feel more independent today than they did five years ago (64%) – to ensure that they carve out time and resources to take care of their own health.
Some other findings from the survey:
Women and Healthcare
· The majority of U.S. women (55%) are concerned that the most recent healthcare reform will slow the advancement of women’s health.
· Many women think that until they are better represented in government (50%), become leaders in the pharmaceutical industry (47%), or start to enter the medical field as doctors or surgeons (44%), women’s health will not be a priority.
· About three in 10 women feel that doctors don’t take their emotional health seriously
Moms* versus Dads*
· Moms are more likely than dads to take off from work to care for a sick child (62% vs. 47%)
· More moms than dads believe their families would find it difficult to manage everyday activities if they became sick (84% vs. 63%)
· More moms than dads are relied on to be in charge of their family’s healthcare related decisions (90% vs. 64%)
· More moms than dads feel like they are at a disadvantage because they are typically the ones who use sick days when a family member gets sick (40% vs. 23%)
So this Independence Day, in addition to enjoying the family barbecues, fireworks and red, white, blue, take a moment to think about your personal well-being and whether you are truly taking care of yourself optimally. Because it’s clear that a lot of people depend on us!
Care to join me at the gym tonight?
*For this study, moms and dads are defined as parents with children <18 living in the household.
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