Research Findings

A Synthesis of the WHO Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network Final Report

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Unequal, Unfair, Ineffective and Inefficient Gender Inequity in Health: Why it exists and how we can change it

This document is a summary version of a report that was prepared for an international audience by the Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network established as part of the World Health Organization Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. This summary is intended to identify areas for discussion and application within public health in Canada.  Read more.

More than Bricks & Mortar A Rights-Based Strategy to Prevent Girl Homelessness in Canada

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This strategy incorporates the knowledge of women and girls with whom we have talked and whose writings we have read. It is based on the individual and collective experiences of girls and young women; it is a response to violations of their rights that they described; and it articulates what they told us they need in order to experience freedom, dignity and safety in their lives. Girls and women who have experienced poverty and homelessness led the direction, content and work of the project and this report is the culmination of that work.

The report concludes that prevention of and responses to girl homelessness must begin with the goal of achieving girls' basic human rights and, especially, freedom from male violence. Ultimately, we hope that other community groups will embrace rights-based strategies for ending girl homelessness, resulting in girls' human rights becoming a reality in Canada and around the world.

Justice for Girls is a non-profit organization that promotes freedom from violence, social justice and equality for teenage girls who live in poverty.  Read More than Bricks & Mortar.

The X-files in immunity: sex-based differences predispose immune responses

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In an article in the latest edition of the journal Nature Reviews Immunology, Dr. Eleanor Fish states that despite accumulating evidence in support of sex-based differences of the immune systems most research studies of immune responses do not stratify by sex.  Download the article.

In Their Shoes: What Girls Think About Physical Activity”

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As teens juggle the transition to high school and all the pressures that come with it, being physically active sometimes takes a back seat to other priorities. This is especially true for girls. However, physical activity is an important part of health and wellbeing, and girls should remain active as they grow up.  Read the complete article.

Steady work and mental health – is there a connection?

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Research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)’s Dr. Carles Muntaner in the WHO report highlights the profound impact of employment conditions on health.

Dr. Muntaner and his research team found that poor mental health outcomes are associated with precarious employment (e.g. temporary contracts or part-time work with low wages and no benefits). When compared with those with full-time work with benefits, workers who report employment insecurity experience significant adverse effects on their physical and mental health.  Read the news release.


Making Sense of Health Rankings

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Ever wonder why Canada’s health system ranks 11th out of 24 countries in one study and 23rd out of 30 in another? Ranking reports are popular because they condense a complicated array of statistics into a single number that is easy to understand. But since there is no universally accepted standard for ranking health and health care, different methodologies can produce widely varying results. More...  

Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health

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Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature death. We watch in wonder as life expectancy and good health continue to increase in parts of the world and in alarm as they fail to improve in others. A girl born today can expect to live for more than 80 years if she is born in some countries – but less than 45 years if she is born in others. Within countries there are dramatic differences in health that are closely linked with degrees of social disadvantage. Differences of this magnitude, within and between countries, simply should never happen.  Read the article Inequities are killing people on a "grand scale" reports WHO's Commission.

Study: Teen sexual behaviour and condom use

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A Statistics Canada survey found that the proportion of girls aged 15 to 19 who reported having sex at least once, fell from 51 percent to 43 percent between 1996/97 and 2005.  For boys the same age, the percentage who reported having sex remained unchanged at 43 percent.  While the study did not examine the reasons why this decline was evident for girls but not boys, some experts in the field of human sexuality are suggesting that the decline may be due, in part, to the lessening likelihood of teen girls having older sexual partners. The study also notes an overall decline in the proportion of teens having sex prior to age 15.   Read more.

Engaging Men and Boys in Changing Gender-Based Inequity in Health: Evidence from Programme Interventions

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This review assesses the effectiveness of programmes seeking to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and equity in health. The review analysed data from 58 evaluation studies of interventions with men and boys. Interventions were rated on their gender approach, using the following categories: gender-neutral - programmes that distinguish little between the needs of men and women, neither reinforcing nor questioning gender roles; gender-sensitive - programmes that recognise the specific needs and realities of men based on the social construction of gender roles; or gender-transformative - approaches that seek to transform gender roles and promote more gender-equitable relationships between men and women.

Download the publication.

What about Women? Gender Analysis of Discussion Paper on New Brunswick's Tax System

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The study, What About Women? Gender Analysis of Discussion Paper on New Brunswick's Tax System, believed to be the first gender analysis of a major prospective tax policy document in Canada, has been submitted to the Legislative Committee's Select Committee on Tax Review.

The study says women in New Brunswick live in a very different social, economic, and political world than men.   Read What About Women?

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