Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence

  A Rural Women's Health Program: The Experience of the South Westman RHA


fFull Report ENG (.pdf) 47KB

More Information

Additional copies of this publication are available.
Please mail a cheque or money order for $10.00 in
Canadian funds to:
Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
56 The Promenade
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 3H9

The research and publication of this study were funded by the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE). The PWHCE is financially supported by the Women's Health Contribution Program, Bureau of Women's Health and Gender Analysis, Health Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the PWHCE or the official policy of Health Canada.

To view or print a PDF file, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you may download at no charge from the Adobe web site. (Acrobat is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.)
L. Donner


The Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE) is funded by the Bureau of Women's Health and Gender Analysis, Health Canada, to compile information, support research and develop policy advice which will enable the health system to become more responsive to women's health needs.

In the fall of 1999, the PWHCE released a research report entitled Invisible Women: Gender and Health Planning in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Models for Progress, by T. Horne, L. Donner, and W. E. Thurston. The report was an analysis of community health needs assessments, and health planning documents developed at the regional or district level, as well as interviews with representatives of health districts (Saskatchewan) and regional health authorities (Manitoba). The documents and the interviews analysed in the study revealed little evidence of gender analysis being used to inform health planning at the regional or district level. Information on health needs was rarely disaggregated by sex, and consultations with women's groups were the exception, rather than the rule.

Although many local health districts and regions provide women's health programs and services, they are often focussed somewhat narrowly on women's reproductive health or women's assumed responsibility for the health and care of their families.

The lack of attention to identifying and planning for women's health needs seems to contradict international, federal, and provincial commitments to gender-based analysis of public policies and programs. While both Saskatchewan Health and Manitoba Health recognize gender as an important determinant of health, this recognition is not reflected well in the regional and district health planning processes. d

As a result of the Invisible Women report, Saskatchewan Health, the Saskatchewan Women's Secretariat, the Manitoba Women's Health Unit, and some regional health authorities and health districts expressed an interest in undertaking further work on gender and health planning. In Manitoba, women have been designated a priority population by Manitoba Health since the early 1990s. Recently, the Minister of Health endorsed a Women's Health Strategy that formally recognizes gender as a determinant of health. It also identified a commitment to work with regional health authorities to promote gender-based analysis and planning, and awareness concerning women's health issues across the life cycle.

In Manitoba Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence is supporting these steps to improve women's health and women's health planning through the Gender and Health Planning Project. One part of the project is this report which records the success of the South Westman Regional Health Authority Women's Health Project.

Back to top of page