Improving Women’s Health
The Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada, Inc. (WHRFC) has been active since the early 1980s and is dedicated to the improvement of women’s health in its broadest terms: social, psychological, and physical well being.
Education — encourage government, public, and health professionals interactions to raise awareness of health issues faced by Canadian women, the lack of financial support from traditional sources, and the need for additional research.
Advocacy — for inclusion of women in research and attention to the analysis of studies by gender.
Research sponsorship — funding post graduate research dedicated to the improvement of women’s health.
Women’s health issues are complex and are affected by intersecting forces of gender inequality, racism and classism. Some main factors influencing women’s health are:
- Lack of research – women’s specific health issues
- Poverty – research has shown a relationship between income level and health; Canadian women earn about 70% of what Canadian men do for the same work
- Traditional roles of women – as health care moves out of institutions, there is an increased burden on women as caregivers
- Domestic violence – Canadian women are four times more likely than men to be victims of intimate partner violence, and one in four women will face sexual assault at least once in her lifetime
- Marginalized women – Aboriginal, immigrant, lesbian, senior women, disabled women and teen girls face additional, unique challenges and barriers
- Lack of women in policy-making and governing bodies – Cuba, Afghanistan, China and Russia all have more women in government than Canada
Did you know that the following are the main causes of death in Canadian women?
- Heart attack and stroke – women are more likely than men to die within the first year after a heart attack
- Cancer – lung cancer is decreasing in men but increasing in women; skin cancer is one of the leading causes of death in young women
- Chronic lung disease
Women with disabilities suffer additional challenges, including stigma. The main causes of disability in Canada include:
- Autoimmune disease – multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and migraines
- Mental illness
WHRFC Board of Directors
- I fan Kuo, BSc, MSc, PharmD – President
- Lynn Scruby, RN, BN, MS, PhD – Past-President
- F. Carleen MacKay, BA, CMA, FCMA – Treasurer
- Donna Chow, PhD – Secretary
- Melissa Muir, MMFT
- Silvia Alessi-Severini, BSc, PhD
- Pamela Mann, FCSI
- Sheri Fandrey, BSP, PhD