International Women’s Day 2021

08 March 2021

Today is International Women’s Day, a global event to recognise the achievements of women and to raise awareness about gender equality. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘#ChooseToChallenge’ and is all about challenging gender bias and inequalities in today’s world.

We at IDF Europe decided to highlight some of the challenges that women living with diabetes face. Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects pregnant women. It can put them at an increased risk of experiencing complications during the pregnancy and at delivery. Gestational diabetes also increases the likelihood that the woman and her children will develop Type 2 diabetes in the future. Read more about gestational diabetes here.

According to the European Society of Cardiology, women living with diabetes are almost twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease compared to women without diabetes. The condition can also lead to worse health outcomes for women than for men. This is possibly due to women living with diabetes not receiving the same treatment as men do, and not being screened as much for cardiac-related complications. Read more about why women, especially women living with Type 2 diabetes, are more at risk of heart disease here. Statistics also tend to show that women living with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing other diabetes-related complications such as diabetic retinopathy and kidney disease.

Women also tend to suffer more from the mental and psychological impact of living with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that women experience depression around twice as much as men, and for women living with diabetes, this statistic is even greater. This may be partly due to hormonal changes associated with menstrual cycles, menopause, and pregnancy that can make it difficult to manage blood glucose levels, but also specific stress factors such as the greater risk of miscarriages or babies born with birth defects in women living with diabetes. Women are also more likely to suffer from worse economic, environmental, and social situations, which negatively impact their physical and mental health.

Therefore, on International Women’s Day, we are asking policymakers and governments to do more to protect women’s health in our society.

Click the image below to download the infographic we have developed for International Women’s Day:

  International Womens Day FINAL  

As part of International Women’s Day, we spoke to Rafailia, a 2020 Youth Leadership Lab participant living with Type 1 diabetes. She is 22 years old and living in Cyprus. She shared with us the challenges she faces as a young woman living with diabetes and her tips on overcoming them:

  International Womens Day Rafailia FINAL