Research Findings

New Publications on Women’s Experiences of Social Programs for People with Low Incomes

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CRIAW is proud to launch a new comprehensive research report and a new fact sheet. These publications are part of CRIAW’s publication series on re-thinking economic and social justice: women resisting poverty and exclusion.

The objective of this study was to document the experiences and perspectives of marginalized women who are or have been on social assistance at some time since 1996 regarding the federal and provincial social program policies that affect them, focusing primarily on social assistance and its funding mechanisms, but also including Employment Insurance (EI), child care and tax benefits.  It combines existing quantitative research with new qualitative research based on the perspectives of policy makers, social service providers, low-income First Nations, immigrant, refugee women and women with disabilities from three Canadian cities.

Documents are available on the CRIAW website.

Health Status and Health Needs of Older Immigrant Women

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This preliminary study, through a literature review, focus groups and key informant interviews, examines the impact of social policy on the health status of older immigrant women and the health and social service seeking patterns of older immigrant women. It focuses on a specific community of older immigrant women in Toronto, Ontario and/or a specific health and social service need/issue relevant to this community, as identified in consultation with its Community Health Centre (CHC) partners and their patient communities. It also explores the role of CHC in addressing the health and social service needs of these women; and identify where service needs/pathways and the CHC service delivery system may overlap, with a view to further research and application to service models. The report is now available online.

World Disasters Report 2007 - Focus on Discrimination

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International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2007

".....Disasters do not cause discrimination: they exacerbate it - and discrimination in an emergency setting can be life-threatening. The most marginalized and vulnerable risk not surviving the crisis or, if they do, they are then overlooked in plans to recover and regain their livelihoods.

Discrimination is best addressed in times of stability, but aid agencies and government agencies must also be made aware of the consequences and manifestations of discrimination during the heightened tensions brought about by emergency. Only then will minority groups, older people, persons with disabilities, and women and girls become a key factor in emergency planning, relief programmes and reconstruction efforts. ...." Available online as PDF file or summaries by chapter.

Life expectancy as a measure of population health: Comparing British Columbia with other Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games host jurisdictions

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A study titled 'Life expectancy as a measure of population health: Comparing British Columbia with other Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games host jurisdictions' has been conducted by the Population Health Surveillance team at PHSA, in response to the BC government's ambitious goal for 2010 – that BC will be the healthiest jurisdiction to ever host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Although the results confirm that British Columbians are among the healthiest people in Canada and the world and that the life expectancy of both men and women continues to improve. However, they also reveal areas of possible concern – where BC’s recent progress is starting to recede. BC men are living longer than ever before, but their progress is more than off set by the much slower life expectancy gains being made by BC women.  Read the complete report.

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2007

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This is the tenth annual Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the Federal Family Violence Initiative. This annual report provides the most current data on the nature and extent of family violence in Canada, as well as trends over time, as part of the ongoing initiative to inform policy makers and the public about family violence issues.

Each year the report has a different focus. This year, for the first time, the criminal histories of persons accused of spousal homicide or attempted spousal homicide are examined. Using the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) Survey, a composite file was created to identify police-reported offences committed by spousal homicide offenders over the previous 11-year period (1995 to 2005). In addition, the report also presents an analysis of family violence against children and youth, and family violence against seniors (65 years and over).  Read Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile.

Virtual Special Issue: Gender and Health

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Social Science & Medicine often has published a series of articles in the area of gender and health. The object of this Virtual Special Issue is to show how the field of gender and health has developed as new topics and new ways of thinking about gender and health have emerged, mainly covering the period from the early 1990s to the present.  It is hoped that this showcase selection will be an aid to research and teaching and that it will encourage readers to delve deeper into the Journal where they will find a wealth of research on gender in the offing.  Read the Virtual Special Issue.

Study: Women Shut Out of Employment Insurance

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A new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new study stating that women are getting shut out of the Employment Insurance (EI) program. 

The gap between men’s and women’s coverage is significant:  40% of unemployed men received EI benefits while only 32% of unemployed women did.  Read the complete press release.

Download Women and the Employment Insurance Program

Income redistribution is not enough: income inequality, social welfare programs, and achieving equity in health

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Barbara Starfield,  Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Anne-Emanuelle Birn,  Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health - December 2007

Income inequality is widely assumed to be a major contributor to poorer health at national and subnational levels. According to this assumption, the most appropriate policy strategy to improve equity in health is income redistribution.

This paper considers reasons why tackling income inequality alone could be an inadequate approach to reducing differences in health across social classes and other population subgroups, and makes the case that universal social programs are critical to reducing inequities in health. A health system oriented around a strong primary care base is an example of such a strategy.

Read the abstract.

You Just Blink and It Can Happen: A Study of Women's Homelessness North of 60

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The first-ever pan-territorial study on homelessness sheds a stark light on the bleak realities facing many women and their children living in Canada's North. You Just Blink and It Can Happen: A Study of Women's Homelessness North of 60 concludes that thousands of women and their children live in absolute or "hidden" homelessness.

"A Study of Women's Homelessness North of 60" makes 16 recommendations calling on all levels of government to help resolve what has become one of the North's, and indeed Canada's, most pressing social concerns.

For PDF copies of the three Territorial Reports, follow the links below.

The Little Voices of Nunavut: A Study of women's Homelessness North of 60 in English and in Inuktitut.

Being Homeless is Getting to be Normal: A Study Of Women's Homelessness in the Northwest Territories

A Little Kindness would go a Long Way: A Study of women's Homelessness in the Yukon

Reproductive BioMedicine Online

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Volume 15 number 5, November 2007

An international journal, produced on web and in paper copy, devoted to biomedical research and ethical issues surrounding human conception and the welfare of the human embryo. View the contents of the current issue of Reproductive BioMedicine Online.

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