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Caroline Criado Perez

The feminist activist and writer, who got death threats for campaigning to keep the image of Jane Austen on the £10 note, shares what drives her

I want the world to change and collecting data on women will save our lives. My book, Invisible Women, is about what we don’t know, what we assume, what we don’t even question and what needs to be done about it. I want leaders and policymakers to realise what’s going on.

It’s dangerous that we default to thinking of humanity as male; it’s not just about who I picture when I think of a politician, it’s infecting science. Scientists are as subjective as hell, which is shocking. Three facts about the gender gap in medicine triggered me: women present heart attack symptoms differently to men, so are often misdiagnosed; medicinal research is carried out on male animals and, for some drugs, such as sleeping medication Ambien, women are just told to cut their dose in half, which puts their lives at risk; they’re getting up in the morning and crashing their cars.

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