Category: Engender (page 1 of 16)

Equal number by gender of parliamentary candidates.

Equal number of male and female parliamentary candidates.

NICOLA Sturgeon is underlining  support for a legislated candidate quotas of 50 per cent women for all political parties by 2020. The Scottish First Minister is speaking at a conference next month organised by the Women 50:50 campaign that was recently awarded funding by the Joseph Rowntree Trust to host the event in Edinburgh. A key aspiration of Women 50:50 is introducing quotas to ensure political parties produce an equal number of male and female parliamentary candidates.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“I am a proud supporter of this campaign and… determined that the Scottish Parliament, local governments and political parties better represent the communities they serve.

It is unacceptable that 52 per cent of the population is not represented nearly enough.”


uk: No evidence of “safe” level of alcohol for pregnant women.

Pregnant women should not touch a drop of alcohol, because there is no evidence of a “safe” threshold, doctors have said.   Experts in paediatrics and pregnancy writing in the BMJ, said women planning a family were being given too much “conflicting advice” which could put their child at risk.  Mary Mather, a retired paediatrician, and Kate Wiles, a doctoral research fellow in obstetric medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said the “only ethical advice that can be given is complete abstinence from alcohol in pregnancy”.

Babies can suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome, mental retardation, development and behavioural abnormalities, and low birth weight, if they are exposed to alcohol in the womb.  Women drinking, the authors said, were facing a “contradictory, confusing barrage of mixed messages” about how to approach pregnancy.. ….more

ie: HRB Internship Programme 2015

HRB Internship Programme 2015

The HRB is building capacity in health research and encouraging and supporting our early stage researchers in the development of their careers.

The HRB runs an Internship Programme, offering researchers at the early stage of their careers opportunities for first-hand experience of working in a state agency  with experienced professionals and a range of stakeholders.

The HRB Internship Programme is targeted at those with a degree in a health-related area who have recently secured or will soon secure a higher degree (MSc, PhD) and interested in pursuing an academic research career in health analytics, research coordination or research management, health policy and management, public administration or in the private sector. ….  For more detail click here


Research Training Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals 2016

Research Training Fellowships – Healthcare Professionals


All grant applications are made through the HRB Grants E-Management System (GEMS).

See Call Guidance Notes below for details.

Host Institutions approve and submit each application on behalf of applicants. Please make this a time consideration when preparing your grant application.


The Health Research Board (HRB) Strategic Business Plan 2016-2020 will set out our mission with two complementary aspects: to improve people’s health and to improve healthcare delivery. In line with its strategic objectives, the HRB now invites applications for its 2016 Research Training Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals.

The objective of this PhD fellowship programme is to provide three years’ full-time funding to health and social care professionals, who are individuals of outstanding potential, early in their research careers, who can maximise the opportunity of being supported through a customised research training programme in an environment reflecting their individual talents and training needs.

For practicising clinicians, the  fellowship may be held on a part-time basis for a maximum of six years.  It is anticipated that successful applicants will become independent research leaders within six to 10 years of completing a HRB Research Training Fellowship for Healthcare Professionals.

Who should apply?

Health and social care professionals in Ireland who wish to undertake training in patient-oriented, health service and population health research in a recognised research institution leading to a PhD by research. Health and social care professionals are defined as medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and all professional groups recognised under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.

What does the award include?

Three years’ full-time or up to six years’ part-time funding towards salary and related costs, student fees, running costs, dissemination and knowledge exchange costs, training costs and a travel grant to gain research experience abroad.

Deadline for applications

Applications must be submitted on the new HRB GEMS system. The deadline for the submission of applications is on Thursday 5 November at 13.00.

Please refer to

Guidance Note and the HRB website for further details on the GEMS system.

Further information is available in the Guidance Notes


Frequently Asked Questions.

Any questions contact: Siobhan Hendrick,


Tel: +353 (0) 1-2345217

Can participatory democracy rescue the EU project

Participatory democracy to the rescue of the EU project

The European Citizens’ Initiative, the European Parliament as co-legislator in the majority of EU policies, an enhanced role for national parliaments: the Lisbon Treaty has brought about many positive changes to bridge the gap between the EU and its citizens. However, the existing Treaties provide untapped opportunities which could be grasped to improve policies and strengthen the EU both internally and externally. Whether exploring deeper policy action or improving implementation, there is a wealth of policy areas and technical instruments which could be tapped. This should be the current priority for the European Union and its institutional set-up, says the Euro pean Economic and Social Committee.

As a representative of European organised civil society, the EESC was asked by the European Parliament to examine how the functioning of the EU could be improved by building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty and to reflect on possible developments and adjustments to the EU’s current institutional set-up. In its opinion adopted at the EESC plenary session on 16 September, the Committee stressed that democracy and accountability are fundamental to European citizenship and that this dimension of the Lisbon Treaty must be fully and systematically implemented. Moreover, in future it will be necessary (i) to extend the competences of the European Parliament, for instance through an increased role in European economic governance and the European Semester, and (ii) to put in place a more balanced share of responsibilities and inter-institutional cooperation between the institutions with a view to consolidate the community method.

The economic crisis, as well as current migration challenges and their impact on freedom of movement within the EU, have revealed internal divisions within the Union and Europeans’ increasing mistrust. “It is high time to improve the principles of horizontal subsidiarity and proportionality and to break the glass ceiling between the general public and the EU institutions. We must ensure civil society involvement in democratic processes and European policy making. We must work together for the future of this Union,” said Luca Jahier, President of the EESC’s Various Interests Group and rapporteur for the opinion.

Economic, social and territorial cohesion

The first step towards capitalising on the existing provisions of the Lisbon Treaty would be to achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion (Article 3, TEU) and to make better use of the five horizontal clauses of the TFEU (Articles 8 to 12). In future, these clauses should be used to promote greater inter-connectivity between European policies and more accountability …. more

For more information, please contact:

Caroline Alibert-Deprez
EESC Press Unit
Tel: +32 2 546 9406 / Mob: +32 475 75 3202
Related documents and events:

 (en) LisbonTreaty

Plenary session 16-17 September 2015

Women managers work for free nearly 2 hours every day

Women managers effectively work for 2 hours every day for free.

Women in equivalent full-time jobs earn 22% less than men.  This is equal to 1h 40m a day or 57 days each year. These are findings from the annual survey of 72,000 UK managers published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

For men and women of all ages in all professional roles the gender pay gap now stands at £8,524, with men earning on average f £39,136 and women only £30,612. In 2014, or a  pay gap of £9,069, or 23%.

The survey reveals the pay gap becomes wider as women grow older. Women aged 26-35 are paid 6% less than their male colleagues, rising to 20% for women aged 36-45. The gap increases to 35% for women aged 46-60, just like working  for 681 hours for free compared to male colleagues.

For women and men in their 60s the pay gap expands to 38% – so much for the success of equality initiatives and the lack of political drive to ensure a more equal society.

Tribute to pioneer in public health and patient safety!

EIWH pays tribute to pioneer in public health and patient safety.

17 August 2015 – Last week, Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, the FDA regulator and worldwide pioneer in medicines safety and the protection of patients, died at the age of 101. As a young scientific officer, freshly employed by the FDA, she stubbornly questioned the evidence of the safety data submitted for the market authorization of Thalidomide.  The drug became notorious for causing birth defects when taken by pregnant women against morning sickness.

Frances Kelsey’s persistence to refuse authorization in light of fierce pressure from the manufacturer of Thalidomide, spared American women from experiencing the series of tragic birth defects and death the drug had caused in Europe where the medicine was available.

She also changed regulatory history: following the Thalidomide disaster, the US government revised the regulation of pharmaceutical products. Medicines approval is now based on the criteria of quality; safety and efficacy, which is still the gold standard, used today by the FDA and here in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and national medicines agencies.

From the scientific, societal and women’s health perspective this was an enormous achievement for a young female scientist in the 1960s and we can only hope for another pioneer like Frances who will take us to the next rigorous step of patient protection.

Even today we are faced with a situation where approval data is not always robust for women and older people since, for safety reasons, they are still all too often excluded from clinical trials, yet these population groups are the heaviest medicine takers. In addition, it is estimated that currently around 80% of pregnant women take medicines during pregnancy often due to already existing chronic conditions.

As more and more women postpone pregnancy until later years, this will become a societal concern that needs urgently addressing”,

said Peggy Maguire, EIWH Director General.

A step forward will be provided by the new EU Clinical Trial Regulation, which came into effect in May 2016.  This new legislation will require population group analysis according to gender and age. The number of men and women included in the trial will have to be made more transparent, while strict protective measures to include pregnant and lactating women in clinical trials will be required.

Our recent EUGenMed Roadmap conference, which examined sex and gender in pharmaceutical regulation, recommended that Europe improve rigorous sex- and age-specific pharmacovigilance reporting for existing products.  In order to address the current knowledge gap, a regulatory framework should be developed for safe use of medicines during pregnancy, which should include post-marketing data collection and common rules for pregnancy exposure registries,“

concluded Hildrun Sundseth, EIWH President.

For more information:

eu: Sex and gender in bio medicine and health research


Roadmap for implementation of sex and gender into biomedicine and health research in Europe

The overall objective of EUGenMed is to improve the health of European citizens, women and men, by improving biomedical and health research through a sex and gender (S&G) sensitive approach. For this purpose we will develop a Roadmap to implement sex and gender into European biomedicine and health research. The Roadmap is the main output of the EUGenMed Project.

Definition – the Roadmap

The Roadmap includes all steps of the EUGenMed project, all materials that were discussed and generated during the project in a true spirit of openness, transparency and inclusiveness and a number of suggested implementation steps that shall take place after finishing the project. The core element of the Roadmap is a comprehensive document that summarizes the findings of four workshops in a precise and coherent manner with a number of appendixes in different formats (flyers, ppt sets), as well as recommendations for implementation of sex and gender aspects in bio medicine and health research for different target audiences.

The Roadmap was developed in four workshops, in specific areas that were chosen in a complementary manner to cover important fields in bio medicine and health research: clinical medicine and pharmacology, public health and prevention, basic research, medicines regulation and medical education.

The workshop (WS) themes were developed in such a way as to support each other. However, WS documents will be written so that they can be used and understood on their own. They will be made available to the target groups/stakeholders soon after the conference. The entire Roadmap with supporting materials will be published at the EUGenMed website

health research in Europe

Overview on the EUGenMed steps leading to the elements of roadmap:

Assembly of Stakeholders and Target audiences, communication structure, networks

Stakeholders in Gender Medicine or target audiences for our measures have been assembled by systematic searches and a large number of them has been involved in the kick-off conference and the four workshops: medical doctors and (bio) medical societies, researchers, teachers and students in academia, industry, pharmaceutical companies, science funding organizations, regulatory bodies, health policy makers, patient organisations, representatives of civil society and lay people.

Developing a road map strategy at the kick-off conference:

At the kick-off meeting we agreed a strategy with definition of focal areas of work, materials to be generated and target audiences. We defined our main working fields: clinical medicine and pharmacology, public health and prevention, basic biomedical research, medicines regulations and medical education and organized workshops in these fields.

Generation of Road map materials in four workshops (see appendix)

The generation of roadmap materials, timelines and measures for implementation of sex and gender aspects in biomedicine and health research for different target audiences took place in four workshops. We choose cardiovascular diseases (CVD) as a topic for an overarching case study and it was therefore covered in all four workshops. As a result, publications will include differences in clinical CVD and in its treatment (WS 1), in its risk factors (WS 2), its pathophysiological bases (WS 3), in medicines regulations and in medical school teaching (WS 4). The WS outputs, available from our home page in form of reports, slide sets and policy briefs, will be presented and discussed at the final conference (see appendix) and will be published as papers.

Goals of the final conference

The final EUGenMed conference will present the Roadmap and its different steps to the stakeholders, present the workshop findings and recommendations and discuss how we can all work together and with wider stakeholder groups to realize the EUGenMed goals after the project has finished.

Engagement of stakeholders

We will engage stakeholders in the process of further communication and dissemination of results to reach our objectives agreed at the Kick-off conference. All stakeholders will be encouraged to take the recommendations forward in their field of action.

Structures for sustainability

The project outline of EUGenMed asked for creating structures that will allow for sustainability of the project after the end of funding. We shall set up a working group that has the potential to generate new funding opportunities and continue to realize the recommendations of the roadmap. In the initial project we envisaged a European Gender Medicine Network, as the successor of EUGenMed. We will propose a structure to continue the EUGenMed work and involve an even wider groups of stakeholders.

Future steps towards implementation

Continuation of group meetings and meetings with wider stakeholders in structures to be defined and ensure further publications, updated information and dissemination of papers, policy briefs, fact sheets. Providing free access to materials for dissemination and communication of gender aspects to others, including slide sets via homepage.

Inclusion of gender knowledge into medical teaching in as many institutions as possible by providing learning materials/modules for this purpose. Cooperation with industry to include research for sex differences into their research and development. Discussion with funding agencies to include sex and gender into their research calls. Discussion with European agencies and institutions to include sex and gender into their guidelines and programs.

Appendix: Main workshop results


WS 1: Sex and gender in clinical medicine and pharmacology

The EUGenMed WS 1.1 workshop group assembled 20 experts that have made significant contributions to the field of clinical gender medicine. They were identified in our kick-off conference and selected based on their previous contributions in the field and in order to cover a broad spectrum of topics of work and nationalities. The group acknowledged in intense discussions that in many diseases well-described differences in etiologies and clinical presentation exist between women and men. However, this knowledge is dispersed and incompletely translated into clinical practice and research programs. The highest density of evidence based knowledge is available for cardiovascular diseases(CVD). The EUGenMed WS 1.1 groups therefore decided to focus first on CVD and to summarize the gender related findings from the other disciplines under a different aspect.


We briefly summarized our major findings related to CVD: Ischemic heart disease in the presence of non obstructed epicardial coronary arteries is more common in women than in men. Diagnostic algorithms for coronary artery disease (CAD) that perform well in men are less suitable for low and median risk middle aged women. Tako tsubo syndrome and spontaneous coronary artery dissection endanger predominantly women and may be related to hormonal changes. Remodelling in myocardial hypertrophy and HF differs in women and men, with more concentric hypertrophy and less fibrosis in women. Women have unique biological life events, menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding which may alter their risk of CVD and response to therapies.

Sex differences in pharmacology is a major issue. Sex differences in pharmacokinetics determine bio availability of CV drugs. Sex differences in pharmacodynamics may be based, among other factors, on sex specific ion channel expression and regulation. Even so a number of differences are well known they are incompletely integrated into drug development and testing.
The group contributed to five policy briefs that are coordinated by the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH). We suggested inclusion of some the facts listed above for CVD in a more general manner, e.g. stroke occurs more frequently and with a different pathophysiology in women, diabetes is a more severe risk factor for CVD in women than in men, that asthma and lung cancer have different risk factors and manifestations in women and men.
In conclusion, we provided evidence that a more stringent consideration of S&G differences in CVD will lead to better understanding of pathophysiology and more personalized therapeutic approaches. We provide data suggesting that gender specific mechanisms play a role in many other diseases than CVD and just need more gender sensitive analysis.

Workshop outcomes and further steps towards implementation


The participants recognized the necessity to communicate their knowledge to a broader scientific community, to present findings at congresses, to publish summaries, to present knowledge to medical societies and be included in their guidelines and to include knowledge to medical students and health care professionals in a structured manner. As a consequence, they decided to publish 2 papers and to contribute to the eGender learningprogramme that is built for medical students and HC professionals. Sessions were submitted and accepted for the ESC congress London 2015. Furthermore, cardiovascular disease was integrated into the IGM congress September 2015 in Berlin. Next steps may be submission of sessions to OSSD congress 2016 and ESC 2016.

  • Publication: Gender in CVD, V. Regitz-Zagrosek et al, submitted
  • Publication: Transdisciplinary criteria for the inclusion of sex and gender into diagnostic algorithms, Oertelt Prigione et al, in preparation
  • Contributions to ESC meeting 2015 London; 3 sessions with gender topics in clinical field
  • Planning sessions at congress of the International Society for Gender Medicine in Berlin, Sept 2015 ( )
  • Submitting sessions with cardiovascular gender topics for OSSD 2016, DGK 2016, ESC 2016
  • Contributions to 5 policy briefs on CVD, Stroke, Diabetes, Asthma and Lung Cancer

WS 2: Sex and gender in public health and prevention


In accordance with the general structure of the project, WS 2 was also designed to include the largest possible number of stakeholders in the field. This appears most significant for the field of public health, which includes practitioners from diverse backgrounds, and fields of activity. Hence, a significant additional effort was made to identify and invite experts beyond the participants of the kick-off conference. The WS included 22 participants covering all stakeholder areas (researchers, policy-makers, politicians, advocacy groups, funding bodies, WHO and European Commission representatives, media and communication actors).

The workshop was then structured into two main blocks, one on knowledge, where available but frequently unstructured information was to be assembled and one on implementation, where diverse experiences and expectations were summarized and analyzed to produce a systematic catalogue of practical steps for the use in different public health domains. Furthermore, the process of generating this knowledge and ‘doing gender medicine’ was also analyzed, paying particular attention to the ways in which sex and gender are redefined in this process.


Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are a major global health concern and the leading cause of premature death (more than 40% of them occurring before the age of 70 years) and disease burden, both worldwide and in Europe.

Modifiable risk factors, such as tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol use contribute to the majority of NCDs. Adopting an integrative approach to health and a broad understanding of risk factors, we chose to not only focus on these modifiable risk factors, but also on mental health due to its strong relations with NCDs, on obesity insofar as it is both a condition and a risk factor, and on work which is both a protective and a risk factor. Addressing highly prevalent and relevant NCD risk factors is a significant public health and primary prevention topic, relevant for a large range of conditions. Gender-sensitive interventions are likely to contribute to an increased efficiency of interventions.
For women and men, most NCD risk factors show distinct associations with NCDs, such as with CVD, and population attributable risks differ considerably for men and women. Furthermore, from a life course perspective, first manifestations of cardiovascular diseases differ in men and women, with men being more likely to develop coronary heart disease as a first event, while women are more likely to have cerebrovascular disease or heart failure as their first event, which may be explained partly by a different lifetime pattern of risk factors.

Risk factors have to be conceptualised as influenced by factors intersecting with sex and gender, relating them to culturally driven gender norms, socio-economic position, behavioural factors, genetic make-up, levels of susceptibility, exposure time to risk factors, differences in knowledge and risk perceptions, access to health care and health care seeking patterns, health systems responses (control and management).
Major publications, even when displaying detailed sex-specific data, do not address sex and gender aspects, and there is a paucity of sex- and gender-specific recommendations for prevention. Likewise, although a number of gender sensitive Public Health Policies have been developed and implemented in the last two decades (WHO, 2012; UN General Assembly, 1997), research on impact and efficiency of such approaches and on risk factor control and management is very scarce and there is a lack of critical discussion on methodology of gender sensitised interventions.

The workshop brought together the best evidence concerning sex and gender aspects of NCD risk factors, identified examples of effective interventions, pointed out current research gaps and formulated steps for implementation in public health practice that will be discussed with stakeholders.

Workshop outcomes and further steps towards implementation

Within the WSs the need for differentiated approaches to implementation was emphasized and all stakeholders agreed upon the need for a concerted systemic and multi level approach.

Significant current hurdles are represented by an insufficient coordination between research, politics and organizations hampering concerted actions on well-defined priorities within the field of sex and gender research and practice. Based on written and oral feedback from all involved stakeholders, structured steps for the implementation at different process levels are being assembled in order to initiate, advance or finalize the implementation of gender sensitive policy and practice in public health.

  • Publication: Sex and gender aspects of risk factors for non-communicable diseases across Europe, V. Elisabeth Zemp-Stutz, Ineke Klinge et al, in preparation
  • Publication: Doing gender medicine: Reflections on sex and gender in medicine and public health, Lucie Dalibert, in preparation
  • Publication: Implementation steps towards gender-sensitive policy and practice, Sabine Oertelt Prigione, in preparation
  • Planning sessions at congress of the International Society for Gender Medicine in Berlin, Sept 2015 (
  • Submitting abstracts to Gender Summit 2015, EUPHA 2016 and EASST 2016.


WS 3: Sex differences in basic research



The EUGenMed WS 1.3 workshop group assembled 20 experts that have made significant contributions to the field of sex differences in basic research and were identified in our kick-off conference, with the aim to assure of broad coverage of different topics and views from different European nations. The group acknowledged in intense discussions that in a large number of animal models and most cell culture systems, significant differences exist between male and female cells and animals.
However, this knowledge is dispersed and incompletely translated into research programs and methodological difficulties hamper the progress. The group decided to develop concepts at 3 levels: improvement of knowledge, in methodology, and networking.


With the consideration of sex differences in cells, tissues and organs basic research has reached an exciting new dimension. The individual clinical care of patients can only be as good as the knowledge brought up by basic research approaches which deal consciously with sex differences at genetic and molecular levels. Both the differences between the sexes and the alterations that arise with age are of great importance for a society with increasing life expectancy. On the other hand, determinants affecting the unborn child are of particular importance for basic researchers. An enormous number of questions regarding sex differences remain unanswered. Two main research questions are central: The first is about the contributions of sex chromosomes and sex hormones on sex differences in cellular function and the second deals with periods of susceptibility for cardiovascular risk factors.

Basic research feeds directly into drug development. CV drug development is getting more and more difficult and costly. We need new approaches to replace the “one size fits all” model by targeted, sex specific approaches that will lead to an improved and S&G sensitive understanding.

  • The WS discussed possible underlying mechanisms like the interaction between sex chromosomes and sex hormones with respect to sex differences in gene regulation depending on genetic variants and epigenetic processes. Examples for translational approaches were mentioned like the development of anti-arrhythmic drugs based on proteomic results concerning sex differences of ion channel expression leading to arrhythmias. Furthermore participants made reference to the progress in developing modified estrogen receptor drugs (SERMs) and the sex specific effects of PDE 5 inhibitors.
  • The discussants agreed that methodology is a major issue. They discussed the use of primary cells and cell lines of both sexes for in vitro experiments, use of animals of both sexes in disease models, transgene- or knock-out animal models genetically unique to sex, use the four core genotype (FCG) mice to provide insights into the action of sex chromosomes and perform micro array sequencing, RNA sequencing and
    GWAS with respect to both sexes.
  • The group discussed basic research aspects that could play a role in CVD, stroke, diabetes and lung cancer and contributed them as open needs for further research to the policy briefs.

Workshop outcomes and further steps towards implementation

  1. The participants recognized the necessity to communicate their knowledge to a broader scientific community, to present findings at congresses, to publish summaries and to enter knowledge into guidelines. The vision is to act together with the International Society of Gender Medicine (IGM), the Canadian Heart Research Centre (CHRC) and the American Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD). S&G
    should be integrated in basic research projects, as in RADOX. The group decided to publish a review paper S&G specific data and methods in basic research. In the preparatory phase, sessions were submitted to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress and 1 session with gender specific basic research topics will be held at ESC in London. Furthermore, sex differences in basic research were integrated into the IGM
    congress September 2015 in Berlin. Next steps may be submission of sessions to OSSD congress 2016 and the basic research congresses of ESC 2016 and AHA (BCVS).
  2. Publication: Gender in Basic research, V Regitz-Zagrosek et al in preparation
  3. Contributions to ESC meeting 2015 London; a sessions with basic research gender topics
  4. Planning sessions at congress of the International Society for Gender Medicine in Berlin, Sept 2015 ( ): epigenetic mechanisms in sex differences, sex differences in cells,
  5. Submitting sessions with basic research topics for OSSD 2016, IGM 2017
  6. Contributions to 5 policy briefs on CVD, Stroke, Diabetes, Asthma and lung cancer
WS 4a: Medical Education
  1. The EUGenMed workshop 4a and 4b brought together over 40 experts from a broad range of stakeholders:
  2. Representatives from the regulatory body, the European Medicines Agency; national Ethics committees; European Good Clinical Practice organisation; Commission officials; healthcare professionals in various disciplines from the European and national level; patient organisations, academics and researchers in education and communication; and the pharmaceutical industry.
  1. The Workshop 4a acknowledged that over the last 10 years the importance of sex and gender in medical research and treatment of medical conditions has been increasingly recognised. However, the need for integration of this knowledge into medical education curriculum still remains a challenge. Acknowledging the impact of sex and gender differences, increases the quality of health care provision. A patient-centred evidence-based sex and gender perspective is required throughout medical curricula including graduate programmes, medical programmes, nursing, rehabilitation, and pharmacy, continuing medical education and continuing nursing education across Europe.
  1. Cardiovascular disease (CVD): Traditionally regarded as a male disease, CVD is the number one killer of women worldwide. The risk of CVD in women is still often underestimated in the medical community and in women themselves. Incorporating information generated from the growing discipline of sex and gender based medicine in educational and training programmes improves access to high quality health care and
    thereby will improve patient outcomes.
  1. The regulation of medical education in Europe is the responsibility of individual Member States not the European Union (EU). The European Commission has passed legislation relevant to the medical community, such as the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and is participating in a number of efforts to synchronize the education systems across Europe. However, detailed regulation as well as the assessment
    and evaluation of curricula remains the remit of individual Member States which has its own set of standards and regulations for medical education.
  1. There is no direct mandate to coordinate medical education at an EU-level. However, most Member States collaborate in the Bologna Process and are bound by EU Directive 2005/36/EC to provide some form of regulation. The inclusion of vocabulary such as “socio-economic realities” and the “social surrounding of the human beings” in EU Directive 2005/36/EC highlights an existing awareness to combine the clinical component of medical education with social and cultural questions. Sex and gender and diversity awareness must be included in the dialogue.
  1. There are different approaches to integrate sex and gender into medical education: single courses (sometimes electives) or integrated (mainstreaming throughout the curriculum) or both. Sex, gender and diversity must be included in final objectives of programmes, as part of accreditation, in quality criteria and considered by visitation committees. Consequently a multilevel approach is needed and experts must work with each other.
  1. In the final Roadmap conference we will discuss with key stakeholders how best to integrate sex and gender into medical and health professional curricula. Recommendations from the workshop on medical education will be presented for discussion and agreement at the final EUGenMed conference.
Suggested next Steps
  1. Develop a policy paper on sex and gender in medical education. Generate accessible and inclusive publications.
  2. Set up a European stakeholder group on sex and gender in medical education.
  3. Educate teachers on the importance of integrating sex and gender into medical education.  Encourage interactive education.
  4. Work with students to integrate sex and gender in medical education, improving medical education. Adjust curricula to improve content, focusing on well-being.
  5. Improve communication of the importance of sex and gender in medical education, expanding to a wide audience. Develop a clear definition of “medical education.”
  6. Promote the diffusion of best practice of integrating sex and gender into medical education using evidence to improve patient outcomes.
  7. Hold a symposium on sex and gender in medical education
WS 4 b: Medicines Regulation

This Workshop discussed how to translate the scientific evidence from sex and gender research into regulatory practice. Information collected from experts in the different EUGenMed workshops suggests that translating the evidence from Sex and Gender research into regulatory practice will lead to more effective, safe and targeted medicines for all.

The Workshop identified gaps in robust analysis and available information how medicines work in women. There is a lack of data from the current medicines approval process on 50% of the population – women.  Ever since the Thalidomide tragedy in the late 1950, there has been a reluctance to include women in clinical trials. The male body has been the norm. According to Health Canada


The general assumption prevailed that women did not differ from men except where their reproductive organs were concerned and data obtained from clinical research involving men could simply be extrapolated to women.”

Medicines are safer and more effective for everyone when clinical research includes diverse population groups of all ages. Even today, women are underrepresented in many clinical trials and if included, robust analysis is often lacking, a prime example is CVD.

It is also known that women metabolize medicines differently; a recent concrete example is the sleeping pill Ambien. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halved the dose for women, after the drug had been on the market for 20 years.

The new EU Clinical Trials Regulation No 536/2015 is a major step forward as it has amended the legal conditions under which clinical trials will have to be conducted in the future. As of its implementation date May 2016, the population groups for whom the medicines are intended must be included in the trial and, if certain groups have been excluded this must be justified.

Workshop outcomes and further steps towards implementation:


In the final Roadmap conference we will discuss with EMA representatives and other key stakeholders how to improve sex and gender analysis when the Agency implements the new Clinical Trials Regulation and will make this information publicly available on the EU Portal and Clinical Trial database.

Suggested next steps
  • National Ethics committees to develop guidelines that require the inclusion of women in clinical research, utilising insights from the good practice example from the Medical University of Vienna.
  • IMI-2 initiative to bring together researchers, pharmaceutical industry, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other key stakeholders to develop a robust methodology for subgroup analysis according to gender and age, addressing existing barriers to recruitment and retention of women and older people in clinical trials.
  • EMA together with key stakeholders to draft guidelines for the analysis of sex and gender differences in clinical trials (examples Health Canada, FDA guidelines).
  • EMA to follow FDA Snapshot initiative to make sex and age-specific data available and transparent
  • For already existing medicines improve rigorous sex- and age-specific pharmacovigilance reporting.
  • Request collection of post-marketing data for medicines use in pregnant women and develop common rules for pregnancy exposure registries.


eu: Eugenmed – Agenda for meeting 30th June 2015


EUGenMed Final conference

“Presentation of the Roadmap”

Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 8.15-16.30 at: The Permanent Representation of the 

Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, Rue Jacques de Lalaing 8-14,

 1040 Brussels, Belgium.

Through the establishment of a European Gender Health Network and several thematic  workshops,the European Gender Medicine Project (EUGenMed) developeda roadmap for the implementation of sex and gender in biomedicine and health research.

We produced diverse instruments (position papers, policy briefs, review papers, implementation, recommendations, slides etc.) to aid the incorporation of sex and gender within the areas of medical research, health care and policy. Now, at our final conference, we will present these products and collectively define the road for future implementation.


8.15-9.45 Registration and coffee, informal discussions with project leaders

9.45-10.00 Welcome by the official host The Permanent Representation of the 

Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union.

10.00-10.15 Welcome and representation of EUGenMed Project Partners

  • Charité: Vera Regitz-Zagrosek,
  • UM: Ineke Klinge,
  • EIWH: Peggy Maguire,

10.15-10.30 Overview on the EUGenMed Project goals – The roadmap  Vera Regitz-Zagrosek

10.30-11.45  Results from WS clinical medicine and pharmacology (1.1) and basic

research (1.3)

Chairs: Vera Regitz-Zagrosek/Angela Maas

  • Sex and gender issues in clinical cardiology Angela Maas, The Netherlands
  • Drug therapy Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, Sweden
  • Basic research Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Germany 
  • Discussion with all stakeholders

11.45-12.45 Results from WS on public health and prevention (1.2)

Chairs: Ineke Klinge

  • Facts in public health Lucie Dalibert, The Netherlands
  • Implementation into public health practice and policy Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Germany
  • Discussion with stakeholders

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-14.30 Results from WS 1.4 –part a: medical education

Chair and introduction: Peggy Maguire

  • Medical education EIWH/ Petra Verdonk, The Netherlands
  • eGender learning at Charité Ute Seeland, Germany 
  • Discussion with stakeholders

14.30-15.15  Results from WS 1.4 – part b: Medicines regulation

Chairs and brief introduction: Hildrun Sundseth

  • Medicines regulation and gender aspects,the view of EMA: Thorsten Vetter, UK
  • Discussion with stakeholders

15.15-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-16.30 Round table: “Sustainability of a Gender sensitive roadmap for future health in  Europe”

Podium: Thorsten Vetter, Marek Glezerman, Katrín Fjeldsted, Ingrid Klingmann,

Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Ineke Klinge, Hildrun Sundseth

Eugenmed Project sponsors

European Gender Medicine Project Final Conference


European Gender Medicine Project hosts final conference in Brussels 30 June 2015,

In a one day final conference hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, the European Gender Medicine Project (EUGenMed) partners met with over eighty experts and stakeholders to discuss the future of Gender Medicine (GM) in the European Union (EU).  The aim of the EUGenMed Project is to improve the health of European citizens – both women and men – by improving biomedical and health research through a sex and gender (S&G) sensitive approach.

The final conference marked the end of the project activities to assemble the scientific evidence in a series of workshops under the DG Research and Innovation-funded Framework Seven Programme project held in 2014 and 2015.

At the final conference, the EUGenMed partners introduced the roadmap for implementation of S&G aspects into biomedicine and health research in Europe, which was developed in collaboration with a diverse group of experts over the last two years.

The Project presented its vision for the inclusion of S&G in biomedical and health research, medicines regulation and medical teaching by defining concrete steps for the translation of this vision into practice.

“We developed the Roadmap and project vision by working our way across the health care continuum—from the prevention of diseases to the early detection of symptoms, their  investigation, to the development of possible solutions and, finally, to their implementation in medicines regulation and medical practice.  Together with our stakeholders and experts, we have produced a portfolio of products, such as policy briefings, expert papers, guideline materials to best-practice reviews, slides and implementation grids, tailored for the various audiences in the health arena in order to aid the incorporation of sex and gender within the areas of medical research, health policy and care”
stated Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Project Coordinator and Director of Institute for Gender in Medicine (GiM) at Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin.”

The results from the four thematic Project workshops were explored by the conference delegates in an interactive discussion.


Over the last two years, the EUGenMed partners have worked closely with medical doctors, medical societies, academia, researchers, teachers and medical students, pharmaceutical companies, science funding organisations, regulatory bodies, health policy makers, patient organisations, representatives of civil society and lay people to assess the current state of sex and gender in biomedicine and health research and divise an effective plan to improve integration,”
explained Ineke Klinge, Associate Professor of Gender Medicine at Maastricht University and Visiting Professor at GiM at Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin

Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Angela Maas and Karin Schenck-Gustafsson outlined the findings from the workshops discussing the incorporation of sex and gender in clinical studies, basic research
and drug therapy.

The results of the second workshop on public health and prevention were presented by Ineke Klinge, Lucie Dalibert, and Sabine Oertelt-Prigione.  Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) and President of European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), then reviewed the results from the workshop on medical education along with Petra Verdonk while Ute Seeland, explained a Charite developed elearning model.

Lastly, Hildrun Sundseth, EIWH President, summarised the findings from the workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation with Thorsten Vetter presenting the views of the European
Medicines Agency.

The conference ended with a roundtable discussion on the sustainability of a gender sensitive roadmap for improving health for all in Europe.  Project partners and experts stressed the need to effectively disseminate the results in order to ensure the incorporation of sex and gender into future biomedical science and health research.

Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health and President of European Public Health Alliance, said,
Sex and gender strategies must be incorporated to the next generation of medical interventions and therapies.  Project findings will be disseminated in a targeted and customised fashion to key stakeholders at local, national and European level.  The introduction of sex and gender into research and medical practice and medical and health professional education and training will lead to significant innovations and has the potential to improve European citizens’ health.”


“We plan to set up a working group that has the potential to generate new funding opportunities and continues to realise the recommendations of the Roadmap. In the initial project, we envisaged a European Gender Medicine Network as the successor of EUGenMed,”     
announced Vera Regitz-Zagrosek.
We cannot afford to squander the opportunities created by this Project, so we must continue the EUGenMed work and momentum by involving an even wider group of stakeholders in the future,”
added Hildrun Sundseth, President of the European Institute of Women’s Health.
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