In an orgy of axe swinging and program bludgeoning last week, the federal government set their sights on taking a clean shot at the health and well-being of Canadian women. With all of the vitriol and paternalistic reining in recently, one can’t help but wonder if the government has lumped people with two X chromosomes in with the other “radical” enemies of the state, like Dr. David Suzuki or people who like whales. The latest casualties? 6 federally funded women’s health programs, which fall under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Contribution Program.
The following programs from Halifax to Vancouver will be forced to close their doors by March 31, 2013 or accept funding elsewhere:
- Le Réseau québécois d’action pour la santé des femmes (RQASF)
- The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN)
- The Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (ACEWH)
- The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH)
- The Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE)
- The National Network on Environments and Women’s Health (NNEWH)
What does this mean? Limitation, cessation or compromise of access and research in the following areas of women’s health:
- women’s health implications of the federal government’s regulation of toxic chemicals (NNEWH);
- hyper-sexualization of girls (RQASF);
- inter-generational legacy of residential schools on Aboriginal women and their families (PWHCE);
- need for trauma-informed counselling for women with addictions (BCCEWH);
- working guide for conducting sex and gender-based analysis in health research (ACEWH);
- a critical analysis of funding for the HPV vaccine (CWHN).
Shame on the Feds, who have simply succeeded in creating further burden on our exhausted health care system, and once again shown that the status of women across the country is truly second class.