Keren Briah aims to significantly improve women’s health in Israel.
Similar to the World Health Organization, we define health as not merely the absence of disease, but as physical, mental and social well-being. Furthermore, we believe that one’s ability to understand and manage their health can have a significant impact on their wellbeing.
Women suffer from unique biases regarding healthcare, which affect the quality and outcome of medical treatment:
One such bias is the tendency of healthcare professionals and researchers to ignore the physiological differences between men and women. “Women’s health” solely focuses on women’s reproductive organs, while in most other medical fields the male body is used as the default. As a result, women are often prescribed drugs that were never tested on women and heart disease among women is less likely to be detected because women’s symptoms differ from men’s.
Other kinds of bias arise from the fact that medical treatment - like all interactions between human beings – takes place within a greater social context. The way in which women are perceived, and the way their bodies are perceived, influence the quality and outcome of treatment. For example, studies show that doctors tend to react less seriously to complaints regarding pain when the patient is a woman, compared to the same complaints by a male patient, because women are often perceived as “complainers”. When it comes to intimate examination and treatment (which women tend to undergo more often than men), this complexity is all the more relevant, as issues such as body image, power relations, and past trauma are present but often ignored. For too many women, these treatments are difficult and even traumatic.
We believe that in face of these challenges – women’s voices must be heard regarding their health. Our vision is to allow every woman to understand, choose, and manage her health.
Understand - By promoting knowledge and discourse between women in regard to their bodies.
Choose - By ensuring women have options regarding their health, with regard to issues such as fertility, family planning, etc.
Manage her health- By voicing women’s needs and ensuring these needs are met by the health system.
Keren Briah will act on three different levels: raising awareness, research and advocacy. We see the medical system as potential partners, and strive to create dialog between women and medical professionals. We plan to invest resources to this end by initiating, supporting and promoting social projects, thus creating a community striving for change.