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International Women’s Day (IWD) is recognised worldwide on March 8th, 2023. The aim of IWD is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as a call to action for gender equality. The 2023 theme is: #EmbraceEquity.

The pain field has generated a lot of scientific evidence that chronic pain is more prevalent in women than men. Women are at greater risk for common chronic pain conditions, including migraine, osteoarthritis, low back pain, widespread pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and painful diabetic neuropathy. Healthcare utilization is also higher among women. The causes of the higher pain prevalence are multifactorial – including genetic factors, molecular and cellular differences (for example, the effect of sex hormones on neuronal function), circuit-level vulnerability, and psychosocial factors (such as gender stereotypes, socially learned gender roles and associated beliefs and expectations, and cognitive and behavioural factors). An overlooked factor is how researchers measures pain across men and woman. Pain assessment procedures can vary, and this can influence how men and women report their pain. On a wider level, research is needed to examine extent to which sex and gender biases occur in scientific studies and develop strategies on how to reduce them.  Unfortunately, a paucity of literature is available on pain among those identifying as nonbinary, transgender, and/or gender-fluid, which is a priority for future research.

Please see recent articles in the European Journal of Pain on this below:

To find out more about IWD 2023 please visit: