WASHINGTON, DC (January 26, 2021)—In a new commentary marking the journal’s 30th anniversary, the editors of Women’s Health Issues reflect on the research progress and social forces that have shaped women’s health and wellbeing over the past three decades. “History will remember the last 30 years as a time of great progress for women,” they wrote. “However, many old challenges remain, and new ones have emerged.”
Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University.
Amita Vyas, Editor-in-Chief of Women's Health Issues and associate professor of prevention and community health at Milken Institute SPH, and her co-authors highlight several important milestones for women’s health in the United States. These include biomedical research advances such as a human papillomavirus vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, medication abortion, and emergency contraception; landmark studies such as the Turnaway Study and Women’s Health Initiative; creation of new offices, initiatives, and guidelines at federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Veterans Administration; and the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of insurance coverage and elimination of cost-sharing for women’s preventive services.
While many advances have occurred, the authors note that policy changes such as restrictions on abortion have created additional barriers to women’s health. They discuss the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating gender inequities, with Black and Latinx women facing particular harm.
“Over the next 30 years, researchers will develop new interventions, advocates will shape public opinion and policies, public officials will adopt laws and regulations, and courts will uphold them or strike them down,” Vyas and her colleagues write. “Women's Health Issues will remain committed to publishing and disseminating research on the effects and opportunities of changes in medical care, policies, and social forces, and prioritize publications that advance equity.”
“30 Years of Women’s Health Issues” has been published in the January/February 2021 issue of Women’s Health Issues.