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This Mother’s Day, May 8, 2011, marked the beginning of The 12th Annual National Women’s Health Week, an observance coordinated by the Office on Women’s Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Between May 8-14, advocacy organizations, health care providers, government agencies, community groups, businesses and individuals across the country are uniting to raise awareness about issues that relate to women’s health and well-being. There are events of all kinds taking place: from online symposiums to health fairs that focus on promoting certain products or services, from special deals on foods or fitness activities that benefit women to conferences and workshops that offer education and discussion on issues relating to health access, justice, empowerment, etc.
If you are interested in finding out what events are happening in an area near you, visit www.womenshealth.gov/whw/events for more information.
This year, all of these Women’s Health Week events are centered upon the theme “It's Your Time”, a statement reflecting the movement motivating women to make their health a priority. The week will promote simple steps every woman should take to improve her well-being: regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, avoiding risky behaviors, paying attention to mental health concerns, and attending regular health check-ups to get preventative screenings. In the current political climate, where women’s health and organizations supporting it have repeatedly been made secondary concerns, a week that empowers individuals to give precedence to their own health is tremendously important. As women's rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other lifestyle diseases rise in almost every state (NWLC Report Card, 2010), and with funding being cut at both the federal and state level to programs working to prevent these problems, anything we can do to promote wellness and increase access to services through alternative means is invaluable. It is what this week is all about.