Professor Dame Lesley Regan | Chair, Wellbeing of Women (WoW)

Professor Dame Lesley Regan

Dame Lesley Regan is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Imperial College London at St Mary’s Hospital Campus where she continues her clinical practice in Reproductive Medicine.

As Past President RCOG, she led the “Better for Women” report, published in December 2019, which shone a spotlight on taboo topics such as poor access to contraception, abortion, period problems, menopause and domestic violence and abuse. The key recommendation of this hard hitting report was the urgent need for an NHS-led Women’s Health Strategy. In 2020, Lesley was awarded a DBE for her services to Women’s health in the late Queen’s New Years Honours list. In June 2022 she was appointed Women’s health Ambassador for England to help implementation of the DHSC’s Women’s Health Strategy.

What one action would you like to see organisations, or the government take to drive gender equity?

If I had to pick one action to achieve gender equity it would be to ensure that governments globally prioritise literacy and education. We know that the best health outcomes can only be achieved by those who have completed secondary school education. Empowering girls and women with education and accurate information, enabling them to make informed choices about their bodies and health across their life course is key.

We need to ensure that they receive the necessary tools to help them make the best decisions to maintain good health and avoid preventable problems, starting during their school years and continuing to the later stages of their lives. Most importantly, everyone in society benefits when we get it right for girls and women, because they will positively influence their families, friends and wider communities..