Government Cuts continue: Women's Health Contribution program cut, interdisciplinary research loses.

Received this from my wonderful colleague Dayna Scott, director of the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health:

I regret to inform you that the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, a research center that has been housed at York for the past decade, learned last week that our funding will end March 31, 2013.

The Network was part of the Women’s Health Contribution Program (WHCP), though which Health Canada had funded innovative interdisciplinary health research, built community partnerships and provided important mentorship opportunities for students in women’s health. The program was eliminated by Health Canada in the fallout from the federal budget 2012.

“The effect of this decision by Health Canada is yet another strong sign that the federal government is pulling away from its responsibility to gender equality. The work funded through the WHCP has been crucial to ensuring that Canadian women have had access to the best evidence and policy advice on women’s health issues, through research that recognized that social and environmental determinants of health are key“ said Chi Nguyen, Chair of the Board of the Canadian Women’s Health Network (another organization affected by the cuts to the WHCP).

In recent years at NNEWH we have conducted research on the governance of toxics, with specific attention to the way that sex and gender considerations are incorporated into decision making in the management of the risks from everyday chemical exposures.

We add our voices to the growing body of Canadians who are shocked and outraged by the short-sightedness of the federal government cuts to programs, services and the federal civil service, particularly in the areas of Aboriginal women’s health and the environment. These cuts are in direct contradiction to the pledges regarding gender equality that Canada has made both in international commitments and to Canadians. Women are being hit particularly hard with these cuts, and, because the research being eliminated generated proactive, preventative strategies for health promotion, these cuts will cost everyone in the long term. The end of this work will be most strongly felt by the disadvantaged and the disempowered.

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