The healthcare profession has been promising to increase the number of women included in clinical trials for decades. To be blunt, this has not happened. Women are still woefully underrepresented in virtually all clinical trials. Even the majority of lab mice are male.
Not only do researchers fail to include enough women in clinical trials, they often don’t look for differences between how men and women respond to treatments.
The results of this neglect are tragic:
- Women are twice as likely as men to die from heart attacks.
- When a nonsmoker dies of lung cancer, it’s twice as likely to be a woman as a man.
- Women suffer more than men from Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disease.
Despite this, the research into these conditions, and many more, generally fails to examine women as a separate population from men. It’s even less likely to look at disparities affecting women of color – why, for instance, Black women are nearly three times more likely to die in pregnancy than white women are.
It’s been 30 years since Congress ordered the National Institutes of Health to make sure women were included equally in clinical trials. Despite some progress, research on women still lags, and there’s growing evidence that women and girls are paying the price.
“Because of these gaps, we know far too little about how to manage and treat conditions like endometriosis, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. These gaps are even greater for communities that have historically been excluded from research – including women of color and women with disabilities,” said first lady Jill Biden in announcing a new White House initiative on women’s health research on 13 November.
To read the entire scathing report, please follow the link below. And note that the publication is based in the UK.
One: Vice President Harris Launches Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, Totaling Over $900 Million in Commitments
The Biden-Harris Administration has launched a powerful initiative to ensure women are prepared for, and are able to take a significant role in the business world of the future. Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) seeks to enhance the economic empowerment of women across the globe by expanding access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financial resources in the industries critical to our future and the future of our planet.
Vice-President Kamala Harris announced the initiative as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing women’s economic empowerment at home and around the world. The launch was timed to coincide with, and support the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.”
WISE has already attracted over $900 million in commitments from a wide range of sources, including governments, private sector companies, foundations, and civil society. The funds will be used to bolster women’s economic participation in sectors such as clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation.
WISE builds on the Vice President’s work earlier this year in Ghana, when she announced $1 billion in investments to advance the economic empowerment of women globally, including a focus on closing the digital gender divide. In the past eight months, the Vice President’s leadership has galvanized more than $2.4 billion in investments to advance the economic status of women around the world.
WISE has three key principles:
Promoting well-paying, quality jobs for women in energy, land, and water use and management by ensuring women have the skills and training; access to decent jobs in the formal economy; labor and social protections; and other support needed to compete and safely work
Supporting women-owned, -led, and -managed businesses in energy, land, and water use and management through increased access to banking and financial services, networks, markets, trade and investment opportunities, and technical assistance.
Eliminating barriers to women’s economic participation in energy, land, and water use and management by advancing girls’ access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education; and addressing barriers that limit equal access to and control over assets.
There is much more information available at the website:
Two: Northeastern Conference for Women Business Owners
The key for the success of women entrepreneurs is to build networks and help open doors for others. So says the Northeastern Conference for Women Business Owners.
While start-up capital is the necessary beginning of any business venture, there is another facet that is often overlooked. “Social capital is incredibly important as well,” said Betty Francisco, CEO of the Boston Impact Initiative, while addressing the annual Women Who Empower Summit, which is held in the autumn at Northeastern University in Boston.
”Women entrepreneurs need to find people who will open doors for them and use that access to create a pathway for other female founders” Francisco added. “Ask, ‘who should I meet with?’” Francisco said.
Gina-Maria Garcia, who graduated from Northeastern with a degree in journalism, can attest to that. Garcia said she felt lost after the death of her mentor who helped her launch BUYa, an ethically sourced human hair extension company.
She said the support she received from Betsy Ludwig, executive director of Women’s Entrepreneurship at Northeastern, was invaluable. “…I shared with her the problems I was having. [Ludwig] said, ‘I’ve been in your shoes in a different way.’ Sharing her experience as an entrepreneur made me feel less alone,” Garcia said.
Ludwig said that about 20 Innovator Award winners were among the more than 200 people who attended the summit held on the eighth floor of the EXP research complex Nov. 16.
In 2023, 28 women received innovator award grants that totaled a record $500,000 in funding.
For further information, see the link below:
Three: Ms. Foundation Releases Pocket Change 2.0 and Issues CTA for Care-Based Philanthropy
Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women released Living with Pocket Change: What It Means to Do More With Less (Pocket Change 2.0). The term “Pocket Change” is reflective of the miniscule amount of philanthropic funding supporting women in general, and women and girls of color in particular.
This lack of funding is a travesty since organizations led by women and nonbinary leaders of color stand at the forefront of the most urgent struggles of our times to construct a just society where all can thrive. Supporting, investing in, and demonstrating genuine care for these leaders is not a mere choice; it is an imperative.
Pocket Change 2.0 is a continuation of the Ms Foundation’s study, Pocket Change: How Women and Girls of Color Do More with Less. Pocket Change 1.0 revealed that the total philanthropic giving to women and girls of color is just 0.5% of the total $66.9 billion given by foundations annually). The study examines the impact and real-life experiences of chronic philanthropic underinvestment and disinvestment in the leadership of women and nonbinary people of color, as well as underfunding of the organizations they lead, and highlights their needs, experiences, and the profound toll it takes.
Pocket Change 2.0 is a research study comprised of 15 one-on-one interviews with current Ms. Foundation grantee partners to examine the impact and real-life experiences of chronic philanthropic underinvestment and disinvestment in the leadership of women and nonbinary people of color. The report provides ways to fundamentally reposition philanthropy so that organizations on the front lines are fully able to access the resources they need, including a call to action for the philanthropic sector to integrate an ethic of care alongside trust-based philanthropic practices.
To read the full study:
About the Ms Foundation For Women:
Four: Levitt Foundation Announces Spend Down of $150 Million in Assets to Build Movement for Free Concerts Across America
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder at the intersection of music, public space, and community building, today announced it will spend down its $150M in assets over the next two decades and will close its doors in 2041. This shift will significantly increase the Foundation’s ability to support thousands of free outdoor concerts in communities across America, fueling the movement for centering arts investments in public spaces as a key driver for positive change, building social capital and economic vitality in communities.
In deciding to spend down, the Levitt Foundation is a rarity amongst arts funders. Traditionally, foundations are established to last in perpetuity, and in the U.S., foundations are legally obligated to spend only a minimum of 5% of their assets for charitable purposes each year. More recently, a small yet growing movement in philanthropy has taken root to spend down assets at an accelerated pace, realizing that resources are most impactful when used to support the needs of communities today. Founded in 1966 as a way for philanthropists Mortimer and Mimi Levitt to support the arts, culture, and education in New York City, the Levitt Foundation has evolved over the decades into a national creative placemaking funder. Board President Liz Levitt Hirsch, a passionate champion of music and social justice, has been instrumental in this evolution—supporting the Foundation’s mission to harness the power of free outdoor concerts to create social and economic impact in towns and cities across the U.S.
Born in Brooklyn in 1907 to immigrant parents of humble means, as a boy Mortimer Levitt would often visit the dazzling Luna Park on Coney Island where his father worked as a street vendor. Unable to afford admission to the park’s rides and shows, Mortimer would stand outside the gates of ticketed events and musical performances. These early childhood experiences inspired his later support of free outdoor music and belief in making the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of one’s ability to pay.
After building a successful business, Mortimer and his wife, Mimi, the couple created the Levitt Foundation in 1966 to support the arts, culture, and education and became noted New York City philanthropists. As summer residents of Westport, Conn., they were approached by the local community in the early 1970s to support a project transforming the town dump into an outdoor amphitheater to present free concerts for the community, and it was there that the first Levitt Pavilion opened in 1974.
To read more about the spend down process.
Five: The Billionaires Income Tax Could Be Introduced Very Soon
Americans For Tax Fairness is dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone by ensuring that corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. As part of this effort, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to introduce the Billionaires Income Tax (BIT), which would ensure that billionaires start paying taxes on their wealth gains each year, just like workers pay on their paychecks.
Since 2018, when the Trump-GOP tax scam went into effect, America’s 748 billionaires have seen their wealth skyrocket by an astounding $2.2 trillion―or 77%. Combined, America’s wealthiest households are now worth $5 trillion, but they don’t pay anywhere close to their fair share of taxes.
In that same period the national debt ballooned, and supporters and beneficiaries of that last tax cut are advocating for a reduction in Social Security and Medicaire benefits.
According to Americans for Tax Fairness research, 26 top billionaires paid an average income tax rate of just 4.8% over 6 recent years when their biggest source of income―the growth in their wealth―is included.
Meanwhile, we know that a number of billionaires—including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg—have gamed the system to pay $0 in federal income taxes in recent years, even when their income from their wealth was skyrocketing. That’s not just a lower tax rate than nurses, firefighters, and teachers—that’s a lower dollar amount in those years.
Please visit the website for information on how to contact your members of congress to support Sen Wyden’s proposal.