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Robin Morgan, Feminist Leader, Takes on Parkinson’s Disease

April 2, 2013

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK CITY— Robin Morgan, whose 1968 Miss America Pageant protest and phrase, “the personal is political” sparked the contemporary women’s movement, is taking on sexism in medical research and treatment.  Morgan--activist, best-selling author, and former Ms. Magazine editor--has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and immediately began applying her intellect and organizing skills to Parkinson’s research and gender bias.

“It’s the personal is political yet again,” said Morgan. “Women are 51 percent of the population, but the vast majority of patients recruited for research trials are white men. That’s bad for gender, race, and science. And trials rarely analyze data separately by gender, though research on other conditions shows women and men reacting very differently to treatments, drugs, and surgical techniques. We must do better. Our lives depend on it.”

On Saturday, April 6, on Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, Morgan will discuss — for the first time publicly — her Parkinson’s diagnosis, and examine the disturbing fact that, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, women are under-represented in the research studies. The show will be available by podcast from the Women’s Media Center site, 11 a.m. ET.  Morgan’s guests will be Dr. Allison Willis, a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s, discussing the  paucity of women in the field; Lori Katz, a woman with early onset Parkinson’s who founded one of the first women’s PD support groups; and Rhona Johnson, a caregiver, on the need for a new campaign to gain government support for the caregiver population, which is overwhelmingly female.

Gloria Steinem  commented, “My friend Robin is now shining the light of her intensity and intelligence on bias in the medical establishment—and also teaching us all how to turn a personal challenge into a call for action.”

About Robin Morgan

An award-winning author, feminist activist, political analyst, and journalist, and a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Prize (Poetry) with a host of other honors, Robin Morgan has published more than 20 books, including poetry, fiction, and the now-classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Powerful, Sisterhood Is Global, and Sisterhood Is Forever. Her work has been translated into 13 languages. Recent books include: Saturday’s Child: A Memoir; her best-selling The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism, and Fighting Words: A Tool Kit for Combating the Religious Right. She has founded or co-founded numerous feminist organizations, including The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and The Women’s Media Center

About The Women’s Media Center

The Women's Media Center works to make women and girls visible and powerful in the media through strategic programs that transform the media landscape, which include media training, media monitoring and activism, media reports, media programs, and special initiatives.  The Women’s Media Center also produces original media content on our CBS radio show, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, and publishes Women’s Media Center Features providing progressive women’s perspectives on headline stories and timely events.  The organization was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, Women’s Media Center Media Relations Manager, or 202-587-1636.