Founded in 1996, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes gender equity in public health, research and social policies across Europe.
In striving to achieve the highest standard of health for all, our society’s health policies must recognise that women and men, due to their biological differences, their access to resources and their gender roles, have different needs and are faced with different obstacles and opportunities.
This requires a sex and gender sensitive approach. The EIWH uses evidence based arguments to influence the policy environment. Over the years, we have worked closely with the European Commission, member States and the World Health Organisation to place gender mainstreaming on the health and research agenda.
EIWH Organisation Status
The European Institute of Womens Health (EIWH) is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital is a “not for profit” organisation, registered as a charity in Ireland charity no. CHY.12184.
Objectives of the EIWH
The EIWH’s objective is to promotes an equitable, gender-sensitive approach in health policy, research, treatment and care.
The EIWH aims to reduce inequalities in health for all but particularly due to gender, age and socio-economic status by highlighting that sex and gender are important determinants of health and our understanding how vulnerability to, onset and progression of specific diseases vary in men and women must be improved. EIWH work includes area include such as including Sex & Gender considerations in biomedical and public health research and applying the knowledge of this research to more targeted prevention and treatment options, including such neglected areas as pregnant women and medicines taking and older people and polypharmacy.
As women make up over half of the population and take medicines across their lifespan, first mostly due to their reproductive function and in later years due to their greater longevity -often burdened by chronic diseases – we are keen to contribute the perspective of women as medicine takers, patients and carers.
Our interests include preventive measures such as vaccination, birth control, etc. to all other relevant medicines for women as patients but also as carers for their children and other family members. To achieve the organsiations objectives, the EIWH will continue to:
- Promote health throughout the lifespan in women and their families
- Ensure quality and equity in health policy, research, treatment and care for all
- Draw policymaker s attention to obstacles that women in minority and socio-economically disadvantaged groups face in obtaining a desirable health status.
- Empower individuals to play an active part in their own health management.
- Promote gender-specific bio-medical and socio-economic research that addresses sex and gender-based differences so ensuring access to quality treatment and care for women across their life span.
Our key target groups include, but are not limited to:
The European Commission: DG Sante; DG Research, DG Justice; DG Connect; DG Employment,Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Parliament, European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Council
Presidencies, EU Member States, Public Health NGOs, Researchers, health professionals and academic organisations, European national health systems, Patients and healthy people: especially marginalised and vulnerable groups.
Our Key Priorities include:
- Prevention of chronic diseases
- Promotion of Health and Wellbeing and combatting , smoking drinking and obesity in Women
- Active and healthy ageing across the lifespan and increasing healthy life years
- Access to high quality treatment and care across the lifespan
- Safety of medicines in pregnancy
- Sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education
- Vaccination across the lifespan
- Healthy pregnancies
- Mental Health across the lifespan , particularly depression
- Sex and gender sensitive Health Systems
- EIWH communications and Membership expansion.
- Continued partnership with ECDC on Antibiotics Awareness raising and European Immunisation Week.
The EIWH main objective is to promote the advancement of education and public awareness of womens’ and family health issues throughout Europe by conducting research and carrying out surveys, establishing and delivering training programmes,seminars and conferences on all aspects of health care.
The EIWH is governed by a Board of Directors nominated by members. The EIWH has an Expert Advisory Group appointed by the Board which guides EIWH policies and activities.
EIWH Board of Directors
The Secretariat, headed by the Director General, Peg Maguire, manages all day to day operations of the organsiation and represents the EIWH at various international meetings including presentations at conferences. It also manages relationships with EU and international organisations and agencies.
The Institute is also supported by a network of volunteers who provide a range of highly skilled individuals who give their time to the important work of the institute. This invaluable resource to the institute supports our efforts in demonstrating practical examples of how to utilise the expertise and experience that only time can give.
The EIWH has a membership base of individuals and organisations that contribute to our ongoing work.
The rules governing the operation and role of the EIWH Board is outlined in the Articles and Memorandum of Association of the organisation.
Membership of the EIWH is open to individuals and organisations with an interest in women’s and family health. The EIWH has a membership base of individuals and organisations that contribute to the ongoing work of the EIWH. They include experts for a wide range of health related activities form across the EU.
The members contribute to the development of the work programme of the organisation on an annual basis and agree the content. The members on joining the EIWH indicate what areas of work in the health field they have an interest contributing. The membership have their own space on the EIWH website for the exchange of information and to manage their input to the various interest groups.
Members receive updates and press releases on a regular basis as well as notices of consultations taking place and position papers being developed.
The funding for carrying out EIWH activities are based on European Commission project funding. Other core funding is obtained from industry with no conditions attached to such funding.