Disparities & Access

Many of the health challenges faced by women are a result of insufficient access to basic prevention information, health services and insurance coverage. In the pharmaceutical and health industries, the gender dimensions of diseases and treatments are often overlooked in setting research priorities and developing new products. The availability and quality of health care may vary according to race, income, ability, geographic location or immigration status. In the U.S., finding affordable health insurance is particularly challenging for women, who often pay higher premiums than men. Many insurance companies fail to cover or provide adequate maternity care or essential reproductive health services. Additionally, women experience more part-time and interrupted jobs and careers due to caregiving and family responsibilities and require portable health plans that provide stable coverage.

FAST FACT: Childbirth Deaths Exceed 2 Million Worldwide

December 2, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

A study released this fall reported some chilling trends:

  • More than 2 million babies and mothers die worldwide each year from childbirth complications, outnumbering child deaths from malaria and HIV/AIDS
  • About 42 percent of the world's 536,000 maternal deaths occur during childbirth

The research was led by the Save the Children Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and Johns Hopkins University.

This post is part of a forum

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NCRW Member Centers Launch Innovative Campaigns for Women's Health

November 16, 2009 posted by admin

As the healthcare reform debate heats up following the House passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (HR 3962), several of NCRW Member Centers have launched innovative campaigns to ensure that women's health needs and voices are not left out of any legislative action.  Check out these campaigns from the Women's Media Center, the National Women's Law Center, and the American Association for University Women:





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Leith Mullings: Race and Stratified Reproduction

An excerpt from "ART: Where are we Now?," a panel discussion at the 2009 Scholar & Feminist Conference, "The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life," held on February 28, 2009 at Barnard College.
Video URL: 
See video
Member Organization: 

2010 - Seven Who Rewrite the Rules

Member Organization: 


Monday, January 4, 2010

Profiles of seven outstanding leaders dedicated to improving women's lives: Michael Dowd, Patricia Gruber, Ilene Lang, Ana Langer, Tonya Lewis Lee, Sarwat Malik and Maria Do Socorro Melo Brandao.


Michael G. Dowd, Defender of Women with Charges

Michael G. Dowd

The Democrats’ Dilemma: Their Own Trojan Horse Kicks Free

Posted November 13, 2009 by admin

Originally posted By Gloria Feldt* on November 12, 2009 as a WMC Exclusive

Democratic leaders have said that the turn-around on abortion contained in the House health-reform bill will not appear in the final version. The author, a Women’s Media Center board member and former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, explains here why voters who value women’s health cannot sit back and accept such assurances.

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The House Affordable Health Care Act Passes At a Steep Price for Women’s Reproductive Health

November 12, 2009 posted by admin

Last Saturday, the House passed the historic Affordable Health Care Act (HR 3962), but it came at a steep price for women's reproductive rights, as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was tacked on -- greatly restricting health insurance options for women.

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Reinvesting in Women and Families: Developing an Economy for the Future (Summit October 2010)

Economic Security Summit
October 8, 2010

Sponsored By:


Women of Color Policy Network

The Women of Color Policy Network of the Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color was established in 2000 to incorporate the needs, narratives and insights of women of color in the formulation of social, economic and welfare policy.

The Women of Color Policy Network conducts research and collects data on policies impacting women of color in the areas of employment, poverty, welfare, incarceration and health; uses the data and information to help educate community-based groups to hold policy-makers more accountable; works with policy-makers to help provide them with data to improve their decision-making; and mentors future generations of young women of color to enter the public policy and advocacy arena.


295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012-9604
Ph. (212) 998-7511
Fx. (212) 998-3890


Principal Staff

C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D., Executive Director and Research Assistant Professor, Wagner, NYU
Ph. (212) 998-7511
E-mail: nicole.mason@nyu.edu

Carly Highsmith, Assistant Research Scientist-Programs
Ph. (212) 998-7561
E-mail: cah389@nyu.edu

Diana Salas, Research Fellow
Ph. (212) 998-7530
E-mail: diana.salas@nyu.edu


Featured Events

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Our Work

The Network conducts  original research  and collects data  on women and communities of color. Research generated at the Network is  used to help create informed public policies  at the local,state, and national levels. We also analyze  public policies  to determine the impact they will have  on individuals, families, and communities. Our research and  policy priority areas include economic securityhealth disparitiesleadership and human rights.The goal of our research  and policy analysis is to increase access and relieve  disparities for women and communities of color.

In addition  to research and policy analysis, throughout the year, the Network hosts convenings,symposiums, lectures, and other events with many of the  nation's leading scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders. Our aim is to deepen public understanding  of complex public policy issues through dialogue and a thorough examination of all sides of the issues.
Lead the Way: Building the Pipeline of Women of Color Leaders in the Non-Profit Sector

Lead the Way is a unique capacity building and leadership initiative for women of color mid-level managers and emerging Executive Directors working in non-profit and community-based organizations.


Reports & Resources

Women of Color Policy Network. 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its impact on Women of Color, their families and communities.

Mason, C. Nicole, and Diana Salas. 2009. Making Ends Meet: Women and Poverty in New York City.


Center News

Intimate Partner Violence: High Cost to Households and Communities, 2009

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