The Health of the 51%: Women


Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer

December 2015 saw the publication of the Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, 2014: The Health of the 51%: Women. I have written to the Chief MO, Prof Dame Sally Davies, a transcript of the letter being given below.

You will understand the impetus behind the report from the fact that the first two chapters address “Gender Based Violence Against Women” and “Female Genital Mutilation”.

Chapter 12 is titled, “A human rights approach to women’s health”. The author sees fit to remind us that in 1995 Hillary Clinton declared that “Human rights are women’s rights
and women’s rights are human rights”. Under a heading “reproductive rights are human rights” there are (at least) three rights proclaimed for women which are explicitly denied to men in the UK:

The right to decide the number and spacing of children

The right to be free from practices that harm women and girls (for which read ‘men and boys’)

The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress

In the first of these, the right is ceded to the mother (e.g., abortion).

The second is violated by the tolerance of MGM.

The third is violated by the denial of men’s right to DNA testing of children

And so to my letter…..


to:        Prof Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer (3/4/2016)

Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, 2014: The Health of the 51%: Women

I have a question regarding the above report, or rather its title: what is the “51%” in the title supposed to convey?

It appears to be a piece of crass insensitivity.

My point, of course, is that, at birth, it is male babies which comprise 51.3% of all those born. The reason why the percentage of males in the whole population is only 49% is because of the far higher male death rate. You must surely be aware of this?

Every year in the UK there are around 37,000 more deaths of males under 85 than females (see the ONS Death Registration Summary Tables, 2013). The excess male deaths occur in every age range from tiny babies to just short of 85 years. Moreover, this excess is not just a few percent more male deaths but generally several tens of percent – see histogram.

Two-thirds of these excess deaths are due to coronary heart diseases and cancers. That would be your bailiwick, wouldn’t it, Dame Davies?

So it is rather surprising that a female-specific health report is considered to be justified at all – unless the present report is to be part of a pair and we can expect a male-specific health report soon?

In any case, the “51%” in the title of the current report is unforgiveable. It appears merely to advertise the failure of health protection for the male half of the population.

excess male deaths 2013

12 thoughts on “The Health of the 51%: Women

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