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What is LBT Women's Health Week, and how can you get involved?
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+ LBT Women's Health Week

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Dear all,

Next week, 9th - 13th March, is LBT Women's Health Week.

This is one of our favourite times of the year, as it's a real opportunity to bring the LGBT+, voluntary and health sectors together to think about the needs and experiences of the women in the LGBTQ+ communities and how to support them.
It's also a great chance to showcase the skills and knowledge of the women and non-binary people in our communities, meet, learn, share, inspire, be inspired, and plant the seeds of connections and ideas which will continue to grow after the week ends.

You can read more below about why the week exists and how to get involved.
First of all, we'd like to invite you to join us for the official  launch of the week, next Monday evening in North London. Click here for more info and to register.

Kind regards,
The National LGB&T Partnership
"Giving a Voice to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People"
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Why do we have LBT Women's Health Week?

The aim of LBT Women’s Health Week, organised by The National LGB&T Partnership, is to raise awareness about the health inequalities which affect women in LGBTQ+ communities, to make it easier for service providers to empower service users and for communities to support LGBTQ+ women.
 
The National LGB&T Partnership run LBT Women’s Health Week because: 

  1. 8.1% lesbian, 5.9% bisexual and 12.1% queer cis women and 15.4% trans women experienced inappropriate questions or curiosity because of their sexual orientation when accessing healthcare in the last year. (reference)
  2. 50.5% cis LGBQ women and 53.5% trans women found accessing MH services ‘Not easy’ or ‘Not at all easy’ in the last year. (reference)
  3. Lesbian and bisexual women are up to 10 times less likely to have had a cervical screening test in the past three years than heterosexual women. (reference
This poor care either results in or exacerbates the fact that: 
  1. 27% of lesbians and 42% of bisexual women report a long-term mental health condition (GP Patient Survey 2019)
  2. 28% of bisexual women and 14% of lesbians said they’d deliberately harmed themselves in the last year, compared to around six per cent of adults in general. (reference)
  3. The teen pregnancy rate is higher for lesbian and bisexual women than for heterosexuals, with adolescent bisexual women being twice as likely as heterosexual adolescent women to become pregnant. (reference)
  4. 19.2% of lesbian women and 30.5% of bisexual women in one study reported an eating disorder. (reference)
  5. Prevalence of all cancers is higher in lesbians (4.4%) and bisexual women (4.2%) than heterosexual women (3.6%). (reference)

What does LBT Women's Health Week consist of?

As well as sharing damning stats about LGBTQ+ women's health inequalities, LBT Women’s Health Week is also an opportunity to celebrate, highlight and learn from the work of groups and services which provide dedicated support to LGBTQ+ women. This year we're also putting a particular focus on recognising and celebrating the LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people working to improve the health of our communities.
 
Harri Weeks explains the importance of the week:
“LBT Women’s Health Week is currently the only national campaign which explicitly focuses on the needs of LGBTQ+ women. It has grown quickly over the last four years, and now gives us an invaluable opportunity to engage with communities, senior leaders across health, social care and various areas of government, and practitioners, to support them all to take action which will help improve the health and wellbeing of all the women in our communities.”
 
Emma Meehan, Assistant Director of Public Affairs at LGBT Foundation, continues: “Central to LBT Women’s Health Week is visibility of LGBTQ+ women and their needs and experiences in all aspects of service design and delivery. There are three additional areas we advocate work in: Monitoring – so we can understand and present data on our needs, Services – making sure these are appropriate and inclusive, and Leadership – supporting LGBTQ+ women into positions of influence and recognising the work they do.”  
 
The main focus of LBT Women’s Health Week 2020 continues to be visibility. The National LGB&T Partnership are organising, leading and supporting a number of events and activities across the country, including information sharing, networking and health service provision.
 
We are also providing you with facts and information to help explain why LGBTQ Women’s Health needs to be made a priority, and how to make changes.
 
Sarah Humphreys, Chair of ELOP notes:
“The health inequalities faced by LGBTQ+ women, and the existing good practice to address these, are rarely discussed in either the health system or the LGBT+ Sector. LBT Women’s Health Week has, since 2017, been shining a light on these for a week in March, to support people and organisations at all levels to kick-start work across the rest of the year to reduce health inequalities and improve LGBTQ+ women’s health and wellbeing.”
 
The week will see the launch of additional new resources, and the release of new data analysis by NHSE of The GP Patient Survey, in one of our webinars.

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Find out more about LGBTQ+ women's health

On our Facts and Figures page you can find a wealth of evidence on the health inequalities faced by LGBTQ+ women.

Many of these facts have been converted into infographics, which will be available on our website from the end of this week, and will be being shared on our social media, using the hashtag #LBTWomensHealth20 throughout the week.

We’ve already contributed to a number of articles on LBT women’s health in the run-up to the week. You can find out about these, and read more as they are published, on our Press page.
 

Put on an event or activity

You can read more about how to get involved with the week, including ideas for events and activities outlined in our slidedeck on our Get Involved page.

If you’re holding an event or activity, let us know so that we can add it to our Calendar, and please use our feedback and monitoring forms for any in-person events. If you’re talking about your events and activities, or they’re predominantly online, please don’t forget to use the hashtag #LBTWomensHealth20
 

Come to one of our events, watch a webinar, join our Twitter Q&A

On our Calendar page you can find out about all the activities and events we and our partners are putting on during the week (well, nearly all, we know some further organisations are doing things internally for staff). We’ll keep updating this as we hear about more, so please contact us if you’d like your event to be added.

While the panel isn’t completely finalised as yet, we’ll be having another Twitter Q&A this year. You can join us from 11.30-1.30 on Thursday 12th, using the hashtag #LBTWomensHealth20 and pose your questions and join in the discussion.
 

News or event title

Details about the upcoming event or tidbit of news. It's engaging, enlightening and chock-full of goodness!

News or event title

Details about the upcoming event or tidbit of news. It's engaging, enlightening and chock-full of goodness!

News or event title

Details about the upcoming event or tidbit of news. It's engaging, enlightening and chock-full of goodness!

Who's included?

We are committed to gender equality and ensuring women’s experiences and needs are recognised and addressed. Our work for women is based on unity and solidarity amongst all LGBTQ+ people and opposes any arguments that aim to divide us.

The approach that LBT Women's Health Week takes to the category of 'woman' is expansive and inclusive. It includes all women, including, of course, trans and intersex women. It is also open to trans, non-binary and/or gender fluid people and intersex people who identify as women some or all of the time and/or feel a connection to and desire to be part of a community that centres women.

We have a policy of zero-tolerance for transphobia and will not enter into debates that undermine trans and/or non-binary people’s rights.

There is one event during the week which is specifically for LGBTQ+ women and non binary people.
There is a growing call from non-binary people to not automatically be grouped in with women - the needs of women and of non-binary people are not always the same (nor are the needs of all women the same, and we aim to centre an awareness of this in the work we do). However, where experiences, needs and identities overlap, we wish to be inclusive of people who may not currently or consistently identify as women.

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