Female Populations


Around the globe, many women and girls face barriers to fully participating in society. These include gender-based and intimate-partner violence, sexual assault, unmet health needs, and discrimination. RAND research has examined the needs of women refugees and migrants, gender disparities in health care, the effects of homelessness on women, and the impact of stress and activity levels in girls.

  • Two Honor Flight Kentucky Veterans at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., June 11, 2022, photo by Sgt. Jesse Elbouab/U.S. Army


    Improving Support for Veteran Women

    There are two million U.S. veterans who are women, and that number is growing. Their military experiences and post-service needs often differ from those of men. How can policies and programs better support women veterans as they transition to civilian life?

    Sep 15, 2022

  • A woman picks up free groceries at La Colaborativa, a nonprofit organization providing food and housing assistance in Chelsea, Massachusetts, June 2, 2021, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters


    The Marriage Plot

    For more than a quarter century, the U.S. government has been sending an unmistakable message to poor, single mothers: Get married. If America genuinely wants to address poverty and achieve gender equality, this has to change.

    Apr 4, 2022

Explore Female Populations

  • A doctor in a lab coat and wearing a stethoscope holds a pictograph of a woman in her hands, photo by Drouk/Getty Images


    Underfunding of Research in Women's Health Issues Is the Biggest Missed Opportunity in Health Care

    For far too long, the medical sciences have treated men and women as interchangeable subjects, favoring men's health for funding and the male body for study. This approach creates a problem, not just for women but for everyone. Not only does it miss a large and critical slice of the population, it leaves an unknown amount of science unexplored.

    Feb 11, 2022

  • A woman reaches for a bottle of alcohol in a store, photo by Kanawa_Studio/Getty Images

    News Release

    Alcohol Consumption Among Men Declined During Pandemic; Men and Women Report More Alcohol-Related Problems

    Alcohol consumption during the coronavirus pandemic declined among men, while it remained steady among women. Researchers found that alcohol-related problems increased during the pandemic, by 49% for women and 69% for men, but the reasons for the problems remain unclear.

    Jan 24, 2022

  • Woman using a laptop while her children hug her, photo by FG Trade/Getty Images


    Married Moms Aren't Striking Workers, but They Are Saying the Same Thing

    If we are in the middle of a labor shortage, recruiting people back into the labor force is key to sustaining a recovery. The historic work choices of married mothers reveal a lot about what might lure people back into the workforce.

    Nov 1, 2021

  • Woman working on a laptop with baby using a tablet in the foreground and older child at a table in the background, photo by recep-bg/Getty Images


    How the Coronavirus Changed the Childcare Debate

    Policymakers have long had evidence that childcare enables mothers to work. What the COVID-19 pandemic taught everyone is how the lack of childcare can be a disastrous constraint.

    Jul 26, 2021

  • Senior couple embracing and smiling, photo by andreswd/Getty Images


    A Black Brother Needs Love, Too

    Elected and appointed to important roles, Black women may have the clout needed to play a significant role in shaping policy. How will they use it? Will they make more and stronger calls to protect Black women? Or will they use their influence to extend these calls to protect Black men and highlight the similar yet unique barriers Black men face?

    Jun 17, 2021

  • Young Black woman testing her blood sugar, photo by PixelsEffect/Getty Images


    Mothers Need a Continuous System of Care Even After Babies Are Born

    In the United States, babies are born into a system of well-child care—a series of planned health care visits designed to protect their health from day one through age six. But no such system exists for their mothers. How do we create a system of health care for mothers that mirrors well-child care?

    May 10, 2021

  • Food blogger Katy McAvoy reaches to hang up daughter Paige's jacket after her return from school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 2, 2021, photo by Emily Elconin/Reuters


    Should Mothers Work? We've Been Asking the Wrong Question

    As schools and day cares closed due to the pandemic, millions of women were driven from the labor market. What is it worth to the United States to have mothers in the workforce?

    May 10, 2021

  • An elderly black woman doing gardening at an outdoor table, surrounded by green plants. Photo by SolStock / Getty Images


    The Impact of Funding Brain Health Research Focused on Women

    An examination of the impact of increased funding for research on Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias in women showed that small investments in women's health research can yield large gains, including benefits above investing in general research.

    Apr 22, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Association of Genetic Variants With Migraine Subclassified by Clinical Symptoms in Adult Females

    An analysis of migraine diagnostic symptoms among women experiencing migraine from the WGHS recruitment sample to assess whether there were clusters of specific symptoms that might also have a genetic basis.

    Feb 19, 2021

  • Mother working on a laptop while holding her baby, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images


    Helping Mothers Return to Work Is a Gender Equality Issue

    Employers and policymakers play a crucial role in ensuring that women are not unnecessarily disadvantaged when they have children. Policies such as access to family leave, job protection, and childcare options can play a large role.

    Jan 21, 2021

  • Lauren Hoffmann had to return to work when her son Micah was a few weeks old, due to lack of paid family leave, in San Antonio, Texas, February 6, 2019, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters


    Supporting Working Parents Could Accelerate Recovery

    Since the COVID-19 recession started last February, almost 3 million women have left the labor force. With vaccines rolling out, will they go back to work? There are several policies that could help.

    Jan 15, 2021

  • The Harry S. Truman Building, headquarters of the U.S. Department of State, in Washington, D.C., photo by AgnosticPreachersKid / CC BY-SA 3.0


    Women and Statecraft History

    RAND policy researcher and historian Stephanie Young remembers her key mentors and the impact they had, whether by asking important questions, encouraging academic pursuits, and modeling female excellence.

    Dec 16, 2020

  • Pakistan's mountain range known for historical nuclear tests seen from London Road, photo by commoner28th/Getty Images


    Women and Statecraft History

    RAND associate policy researcher and historian Michelle Grisé discusses her training as a historian and how she uses it to inform current policy debates and decisionmaking.

    Dec 16, 2020

  • Woman works at home while her children play video games, photo by filadendron/Getty Images


    COVID-19 Gave Managers a Look at Our Home Lives. Will They Now Penalize Women?

    The pandemic gave managers a window into the struggles of working women. What will they do with this information? Will they accommodate women by making exceptions to their established norms? Or will they do the harder work of remaking their culture so women are no longer the exception?

    Dec 14, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Intimate Partner Violence and Witness Intervention: What Are the Deciding Factors?

    This report examines the factors that encourage witnesses of intimate partner violence to intervene (including reporting the violence to the relevant authorities). It draws on qualitative research in Denmark, Germany, France and Portugal.

    Nov 25, 2020

  • Christina Bojorquez and Kimberly Decoursey pitch a tent in their encampment next to a freeway in Los Angeles, California, October 14, 2019, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters


    Unaccompanied Women Become an Official Homeless Subpopulation in LA County

    Unaccompanied homeless women are more likely than other subgroups to be chronically homeless, to have mental illness, and to have work limitations. Los Angeles County is now recognizing these women as a subgroup in the official homeless count. An assessment will also be conducted to identify this group's unique needs.

    Nov 23, 2020

  • Syrian refugees living in Jordan work under Jasmine, a project which hires and trains Syrian refugee women to create handicrafts, in Amman, Jordan, July 11, 2016, photo by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters


    Five Strategies to Address Employment Hurdles Faced by Young Syrian Women Refugees

    Young Syrian women refugees face enormous challenges in finding meaningful work in host countries, with many relying on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs. How can employment obstacles be addressed for young Syrian women refugees in a post–COVID-19 environment?

    Oct 30, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    'Vaccine Nationalism,' a Pandemic Election, Women in the Workforce: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why 'vaccine nationalism' could be costly, how Americans feel about voting during a pandemic, why women are leaving the workforce, and more.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Illustration of a diverse group of women, photo by Ada Yokota/Getty Images


    Sitting It Out? Or Pushed Out? Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

    Added to long-standing challenges such as securing child care and combating pay disparities, the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women workers measurably harder than men. The consequences highlight just how much policy has failed to keep up with women's progress.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • Close up of a pregnant woman in a hospital gown laying down, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Association of Pregnancy and Insurance Status With Treatment Access for Opioid Use Disorder

    In this cross-sectional study with random assignment of clinicians and simulated-patient callers, many women, especially pregnant women, faced barriers to accessing treatment. Given the high out-of-pocket costs and lack of acceptance of insurance among many clinicians, access to affordable opioid use disorder treatment is a significant concern.

    Sep 3, 2020