Back to discussions


Societal Disadvantages of Women with Diabetes

Oct 24, 2017

In continuation of our previous discussion on Women and Diabetes: The challenges of pregnant women living with diabetes, we would like to bring your attention to other challenges that women with diabetes experience.

Women with the diabetes are burdened by diabetes in many ways:

  • Women are more likely to poorer and will have less resources to help them manage a life with diabetes.
  • Women with diabetes may face discrimination and have to survive in a hostile social environment. 
  • Women also have multiple roles with families and are often the primary care providers, so even when they do not have diabetes they are likely to have to take on responsibilities for family memberswho are affected by diabetes, children, partners or older relatives.


In light of World Diabetes Day we would like to bring attention to this topic, as it would be interesting to explore in this discussion how we might be able to tackle the social disadvantages experienced by women in the context of diabetes. It would be valuable to hear of any innovative models for supporting women or how discrimination and stigma in this population is being addressed. 

I hope that you will join in our discussions on this important topic. We can only promote the well-being of women affected by diabetes, if we work together and share our views and experiences. In this discussion I really hope that we can construct some creative and innovative strategies to help us meet the ever increasing needs of women living with diabetes.

Information about the discussion leader

This discussion will be moderated by Professor Angus Forbes from the United Kingdom, FEND Chair of Diabetes Nursing at King’s College London, specialist diabetes nurse at King’s College Hospital, Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation for 2016-17.


Bajaj S, Jawad F, Islam N, et al. South Asian women with diabetes: Psychosocial challenges and management: Consensus statement. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;17(4):548-562. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.113720.

Goedecke, J., Mtintsilana, A., Dlamini, S. and Kengne, A. (2017). Type 2 diabetes mellitus in African women. (2017). International Diabetes Federation - WDD 2017. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].

Park H, Kim MT. Impact of Social Role Strain, Depression, Social Support and Age on Diabetes Self-efficacy in Korean Women With Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing. 2012;27(1):76-83. doi:10.1097/JCN.0b013e318214d9d9.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2017). Moving forward on women, gender equality and diabetes. [online] Available at:

Liu, N., Brown, A., Folias, A., Younge, M., Guzman, S., Close, K. and Wood, R. (2017). Stigma in People With Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Clinical Diabetes, 35(1), pp.27-34.

Beckles GLA, Thompson-Reid PE, editors. Diabetes and Women’s Health Across the Life Stages: A Public Health Perspective.  Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation, 2001.