Welcome to our new ICOH Scientific Committee on Women, Health and Work (SCWHW) website!


conferencia It is my great pleasure to address our ICOH community, to announce the launching of our SC  ICOH Scientific Committee on Women, Health and Work (SCWHW) website. This was a  dream we had since 2009, aiming to assure permanent and better communications between  and within all our SC members and the ICOH members as a whole.

We hope to have fresh and  permanent news about your advances in research, education and training, successful  experiences, the on-going struggles for reaching gender equity and equal opportunities for  women and men in the world of work. For this reason we call for your contributions!

Please explore the webpage, and although some parts are still under construction, we hope  they will be a perfect virtual space to share and communicate between us.

Julietta Rodriguez Guzman


ICOH SC Women, Health and Work



These have been three years of strong and inspiring work for our SC, as you can see in our Mid-term and final reports. We had the chance to explore many topics and reach several regions to see how women’s health and well-being at work evolve. Women’s participation in the world of work is constantly increasing all around the world. Women assume important roles and increasingly are coming in work sectors that use to be exclusive destined for men. Also, gender parity seems to be improving. These are part of the good picture. However, employment and work inequities persist, despite the fact that women’s work and importance is widely recognized.

Data from The Global Gender Gap Report -that assesses the 134 countries on how well they are dividing their recourses and opportunities among their male and female populations-, examines the gap between women and men in four fundamental categories: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; political empowerment; and health and survival. The 2014 Report states that there are many positive gains in the overall index scores, indicating that the world in general has made progress towards equality between women and men, although there are countries that continue to lose ground. This version shows that the economic participation gap has increasingly closed from 56% to 60% between 2006 and 2014. As well, the educational attainment gap closure increased from 92% in 2006 to 94% in 2014. However, the situation is worrisome for health and survival, since it shows a small deterioration from 97% in 2006 to 96% in 2014. And although the global political empowerment gap closed at 14% in 2006, and increased to 21% in 2014, still is very low. The Nordic countries have held the highest positions in all editions of the Report.

The comparison between the countries can be seen as controversial and raises questions. The Index does not feature women’s empowerment in each country; its aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen variables has declined. Even though there are questions about the index, the fact that it includes the ‘health and survival’ category as one of its fundamental categories is important for all of us working in this area. Professor Kaisa Kauppenin, former Chair of our SC, explained that this category could be further elaborated to be more precise, in the same way that the other categories. The health and survival category has only two variables: The first is the gap between women’s and men’s healthy life expectancy, and the second is the sex ratio at birth, which in fact is fundamental in regards to women’s and men’s health, but other variables of workers’ health could be more detailed. We wish is that the ICOH SCWHW members could strongly participate in this global discussion on women’s health and well-being and bring a work-related perspective into it.   We will appreciate your input and comments in this important global issue!


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Prof. Julietta Rodríguez Guzmán, MD SOH MScAChair  Dr. Claudia de Hoyos, SOHSecretary