Posts tagged gender

World Meningitis Day

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World Meningitis Day 24 April 2015

Every year more than 1.2 million people suffer meningitis!

On Friday 24 April 2015, the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) will unite with our 43 member organisations in 28 countries worldwide to celebrate our seventh World Meningitis Day (WMD).

Held each year on 24 April, WMD raises the global profile of meningitis, emphasises the importance of vaccination and provide support to those dealing with the consequences of the disease. …more

 

 

 

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FORUM ON THE FUTURE OF GENDER EQUALITY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION!

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EVENT

FORUM ON THE FUTURE OF GENDER EQUALITY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION!

The European Commission is running an event of two days of interactive discussion with other stakeholders on achieving gender equality in Europe. This dialogue will be translated into defining priority areas for political action to take place over the coming years.

The Gender and Health Workshop will be hosted by –

PEGGY MAGUIRE (Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health)

and

ISABEL YORDI AGUIRRE (Gender Adviser at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe)

. …more (pdf)

 

European Gender Medicine Workshops

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Press Release

Making it Happen—European Institute of Women’s Health hosts expert workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education

As part of the FP7-funded European Gender Medicine (EUGenMed) Project, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) organised a workshop on 4 March 2015, bringing together a multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial group of experts to discuss Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation and Medical Education.

Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) and Hildrun Sundseth, President of the EIWH opened and co-hosted the morning session exploring Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation. Dr. Klingmann explained the need for the event, “There is not enough data on 50% of the population—on women.”

During the morning session, experts presented important issues around sex and gender in medicines regulation. Dr. Kevin Blake of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) explained how Sex and Gender issues are currently addressed in EU Regulatory practice and how in future the new EU Clinical Trials Regulation and Pharmacovigilance initiative will generate more evidence how medicines work in different patient population groups, such as in women.

Prof. Dr. Marco Stramba-Badiale of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, a leading expert in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, provided evidence how in the past women have often been underrepresented in CVD clinical trials and when they were included, the data had not been analysed. He was followed by Dr. Christiane Druml, Vice Rector of the Medical University of Vienna, who presented the University’s Ethical Guidelines for including women in clinical trials.

 

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Sex, gender in medicines regulation and medical education

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engend_headPRESS RELEASE

Expert workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education

The European Institute of Women’s Health hosts expert workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education 4 March 2015, Brussels, Belgium—As part of the FP7-funded European Gender Medicine (EUGenMed) Project, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) organised the final workshop on 4 March 2015 at the European Economic Social Committee, bringing together a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral group of about fifty experts from across the European Union Member States to discuss Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation and Medical Education. The workshop was the final of a series of expert workshops for the project that explored focal areas of work where sex and gender (S&G) play a major role.

Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) and Hildrun Sundseth, President of the EIWH, co-hosted the morning session that explored Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation. Speakers presented the incorporation of sex and gender in EU regulatory practice, including in the new EU Clinical Trials Regulation. Best practice was examined as an example of university efforts to include women in clinical trials. Experts discussed some outstanding issues such as the under representation of women in clinical trials during the development of cardiovascular disease medications and the lack of information of the safety of medication use during pregnancy.

Peggy Maguire, Director General. EIWH welcomed the participants to the afternoon session on sex and gender in medical education , which was co-chaired by Dr. Katrín Fjeldsted of the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and Dr. Petra Verdonk of the VU University Medical Centre. Speakers presented examples of best practice in the integration of sex and gender in curricula from various Member States as well as the challenges of mainstreaming sex and gender in medical education, exploring both changes to curricula as well as online modules. Strategies on moving forward and the opportunities to integrate S&G in medical education were then discussed by leading members of the medical profession, including medical students. Presentations examined how to best fill existing gaps by working cross-nationally. The participants then discussed next steps for action following the event and made recommendations for inclusion in the EUGenMed Roadmap.

ENDS

About the EUGenMed Project:

Research addressing sex and gender (S&G) in biomedical sciences and health care research is emerging as a novel and highly promising field. The interaction of S&G related mechanisms leads to different manifestation of frequent diseases in women and men. Research in this area will lead to novel, better-targeted and more efficient treatment strategies. The EUGenMed Project produce an innovative roadmap for implementation of S&G in biomedicine and health research. To achieve these objectives we will develop EUGenMed into an open European Gender Health Network that includes all stakeholders and decision makers.

For more information:
• European Institute of Women’s Health website: http://eurohealth.ie
• European Gender Medicines Project website: http://eugenmed.eu

Eugenmed Project sponsors

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Gender Medicine Meeting: expert workshop sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education

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engend_headPress release:

Gender Medicine Meeting

European Institute of Women’s Health hosts expert workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation and medical education

As part of the FP7-funded European Gender Medicine (EUGenMed) Project, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) organised a workshop on 4 March 2015, bringing together a multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial group of approximately fifty experts to discuss Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation and Medical Education.

Peggy Maguire, Director General of the EIWH, opened the afternoon session and welcomed the expert participants. Dr. Katrin Fjeldsted of the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and Dr. Petra Verdonk of the VU University Medical Centre co-hosted the afternoon session, which explored the integration of sex and gender in medical education.

EIWH Board Member Prof. Karen Ritchie of INSERM, chaired a panel of speakers who outlined examples of best practice for integrating sex and gender in medical education.
Dr. Petra Verdonk of the VU University Medical Centre presented the challenges of sex and gender mainstreaming in medical education based on her experience of integrating sex and gender issues in eight medical curricula in the Netherlands.

Prof. Dr. Margarethe Hochleitner of the Medical University Innsbruck detailed the successful integration of sex and gender in different curricula at the Medical University, Innsbruck and gave examples of best practice.

Speakers from Charite—Universitatsmedizin presented their current efforts to integrate sex and gender in medical education. Dr. Ute Seeland of the Institute of Gender Medicine at Charite—Universitatsmedizin spoke on the extension of sex and gender knowledge in medical education through their online eGender educational programme. The next presentation was by Sabine Ludwig of Charite—Universitatsmedizin, who explored how Charite Berlin integrated sex and gender throughout their new modular medical curriculum.
The second panel explored how to move forward and the opportunities to integrate sex and gender in medical education.

Prof. Dr. Hanneke de Haes of AMC-UvA explained how communication was successfully integrated into medical education and discussed how this practice could be applied to the integration of sex and gender in medical education.

 

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Expert Workshops: Sex and Gender in Medicine Regulation, Medical Education

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EVENT

Expert Workshops on Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation and Medical Education 4th March 2015, 0900-1730.

Room TRE7701, 7th floor, Trèves Building, 74 Rue de Trèves. European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels

Research addressing Sex and Gender (S&G) in biomedical science and health research is a novel and highly promising field. The interaction of S&G related mechanisms leads to different manifestation of diseases in women and men, such as infarction, heart failure, diabetes, rheumatic disease.

The European Gender Medicine Project (EUGenMed) will produce an innovative roadmap for the implementation of S&G in biomedical, public health and clinical research and create a European Gender Health Network.

Part 1: Sex and Gender in Medicines Regulation:

Translating the evidence from S&G research into regulatory practice will lead to more targeted, effective opportunities for prevention, treatment and care. This workshop will examine how S&G consideration are integrated into Medicines Regulation and information.

Co-Chairs
Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, Chairwoman, European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP)
Ms. Hildrun Sundseth, President, European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH)

09.00-09.10 Welcome
Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, EFGCP, and Hildrun Sundseth, EIWH

09.10-09.20 Opening Address
Ms. Ingrid Kössler, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

09.20-09.40 Sex and Gender in EU Regulatory Practice
Dr. Kevin Blake, European Medicines Agency (EMA), UK

09.40-09.55 The case of CVD and Women
Prof. Dr. Marco Stramba-Badiale, Director, Department of Geriatrics & Cardiovascular
Medicine, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy

09.55-10.10 Ethics Committee Guidelines:Example from the Medical University of Vienna
Dr. Christiane Druml, Vice-Rector, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

10.10-10.30 Discussion

10.30 -11.00 COFFEE BREAK

11.00-11.20 Moving Forward: The New Clinical Trials Regulation
Ms. Maja Grzymkowska, Medicinal Products–Quality, Safety and Efficacy Unit, DG SANTE

11.20-11:40 Safe Use of Medicines during Pregnancy and Lactation
Dr. Lode Dewulf, Chief Patient Affairs Officer, UCB, Belgium

11.55-13.00 Towards a European S&G Roadmap

Co-Chairs Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, EFGCP, Ms. Hildrun Sundseth, EIWH
Eugenmed: The Research Evidence for Integrating Sex and Gender into Clinical Studies:   Prof. Dr. Ineke Klinge, Univ. of Maastricht, Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Board Member EIWH, Nederlands.

Research Perspective: Ute Seeland: Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany

Patient Perspective: Ms. Sophie Peresson, International Diabetes Federation
Health Professional Perspective: Dr. Katrín Fjeldsted, CPME (TBC)

13:00- 14:00 LUNCH

Part 2: Sex and Gender in Medical Education

 

The failure to acknowledge the impact of sex and gender differences will affect the quality of health care provision, precisely what good medical education seeks to prevent. There must be a commitment to mainstream an evidence-based gender perspective throughout medical curriculum,including in graduate, medical, nursing, rehabilitation, pharmacy, continuing medical education and continuing nursing education programmes. This workshop will examine how S&G consideration can be best integrated into medical education.

Co-Chairs
Dr. Katrín Fjeldsted, President, Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), Iceland
Dr. Petra Verdonk, VU University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

14.00-14.15 Welcome and Introduction
Ms. Peggy Maguire, Director General, European Institute of Women’s Health, Ireland

14.15-15.00 Panel Discussion A: Examples on How to Best Integrate Sex and Gender in Medical Education
Chair: Ms. Sinead Hewson, Managing Partner of The Dendrite Group and EIWH Board Member, the Netherlands
Dr. Petra Verdonk, VU University Medical Centre:

Making a gender difference. Challenges of sex and gender mainstreaming in medical education.
Prof. Dr. Margarethe Hochleitner, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria: Integrating sex and gender in different curricula at the Medical University Innsbruck
Dr. Ute Seeland, Institute of Gender Medicine, Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Germany: Extension of S&G knowledge in medical education–the concept of eGender
Ms. Sabine Ludwig, Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Germany: Curricular integration of sex and gender aspects into the new modular medical curriculum at Charité Berlin

15.00-15.20 COFFEE BREAK

15.20-16.40 Panel Discussion B: Moving Forward—What are the Opportunities to Integrate Sex and Gender in Medical Education?
Chair: Prof. Karen Ritchie, Imperial College London, Director INSERM, Neuropsychiatrie Hôpital La Colombière and EIWH Board Member, France
Prof. Dr. Hanneke de Haes, Department of Medical Psychology, AMC-UvA, Netherlands: How communication was successfully integrated into Medical Education—can we use the same strategy for integrating sex and gender?
Ms. Kristina Mickeviciute, European Medical Students Association, Lithuania: How can we address the sex and gender gaps in medical students’ knowledge?
Dr. Katrín Fjeldsted, CPME: How can we address the sex and gender gaps in medical professional knowledge through continuing medical education?
Prof. Dr. Harm Peters, Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE), Germany: Standard setting and quality assurance
Dr. Janusz Janczukowicz, AMEE—International Association For Medical Education, UK: How can we integrate and coordinate sex and gender into medical education cross-nationally across Europe?

16.40-17.30 Towards a European S&G Roadmap: Recommendations

Prof. Dr. Ineke Klinge Univ of Maastricht

Dr. Petra Verdonk, VU University Medical Centre

Dr. Katrín Fjeldsted, CPME

Ms. Peggy Maguire, EIWH

 

eugenmed_funders_logoEuropean Gender Medicine Network (EUGenMed)
Grant agreement number 602050
A project funded by the European Commission
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation

Sweden pledges support for gender equality work

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Sweden pledges 26 million SEK, approx 2,752,500 EUR to to support gender equality work in 41government agencies. It’s unclear if this includes the integration of gender analysis into research.  …. more

 

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Interaction between sex and gender and inequality.

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Interaction between sex and gender and inequalities in health care

Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) and President of European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) described the interaction between sex and gender, inequalities in health care, violence against women and sexual reproductive health.

She recommended:

  • investment in gender-sensitive research, prevention and care;
  • inclusion of reproductive rights, sexual health and violence against women in health planning and programmes;
  • reporting of discrimination in health care; and
  • increased health literacy for women.

More…

 

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Societies health is women’s health

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Joint Press release

Societies health depends on women’s health

The health of women has a direct bearing on the health of the future generation, their families, and communities, and ultimately, the health of societies

On International Day of Action for Womens Health, European public health, health promotion and disease prevention, health professionals and women issues ngo’s are calling for the recently elected European Parliament (EP), its Committees and political parties to stand strong, protect and promote women’s health, gender equality and social justice for all.

Progress on women and girls’ health and commitment to gender equality form the underlying conditions for good public health outcomes in Europe and beyond. Advancement of women’s health and rights go beyond reproductive and sexual health (SRH) and are not only a priority of only the EP Committee on Gender Equality but are a shared political responsibility of other EP Committees that are equally crucial for women’s health and well-being, e.g.the Committees for Public Health and Environment, Employment and Social Affairs, Justice and Economic Issues etc. The new European Commission and President must ensure women’s health and gender equality top their political agenda.

In Europe today, women are disproportionately more affected by the economic crisis and austerity measures often lead to crippling poverty. Many women are victims of gender-based violence and daily discrimination in different areas affecting their health. Across the EU, millions of women do not have access to SRH including adequate and affordable antenatal care, prevention is widely unavailable or too costly. Those on lower incomes such the Roma and other marginalised groups bear brunt of poor health and the social consequences of this. Socio-economic, educational, cultural and ethnicity differences also impact on patterns of behaviour and access to resources.

It is well established that the incidence and prevalence of certain diseases are higher among women. For example, osteoporosis, auto-immune diseases and eating disorders are more frequent among the female than male population. Other diseases and disabilities affect men and women differently. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is major killer in older women. Obesity, smoking and sedentary lifestyles put women at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes, the risk of which is also increasing due to women’s longer life-expectancy (2). Women in Europe are drinking more alcohol today, are becoming more frequent binge drinkers, and alcohol-related health issues start sooner in women than men (3). It should be noted, however, that although women live longer, they usually spend those ‘gained’ years with some form of disability and lower quality of life. Women outlive men by an average of 6 years, however the difference in healthy life expectancy is only 18 months.. Research, medical practice and healthcare systems must better respond to gender-differences and address women’s health across their life-course, as recommended by the World Health Organization (4). It is also important to link efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health – “the continuum of care”.

Changing the socio-economic conditions for women would help tackle poverty, social exclusion, health inequalities, increase gender equality and social justice for all, including young people and older adults, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS, minority and migrant groups. Strong leadership is needed that is committed to a holistic, inclusive, and human rights-based approach to women and girls’ health in Europe and beyond; an approach which recognises diverse issues such as the feminisation of poverty and violence, governments’ accountability in prioritising health markets and health sector reform. Such an approach also needs to understand how international trade agreements can affect a women’s access to health and other resources.

“Inequalities experienced in earlier life in access to education, employment and healthcare as well as those based on gender and cultural background can have a critical bearing on the health status of people throughout their lives. The combination of poverty with other vulnerabilities such as childhood or old age, disability or minority background further increases health risks and vice-versa, ill health can lead to poverty and/or social exclusion.” European Parliament 2011 Report on Reducing Health Inequalities in the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (5).

…more

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EUGenMed kick-off conference on 7 April in Brussels

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EUGenMed kick-off conference, 7 Apr, Brussels

Keynote speech: Patricia Reilly, Member, Cabinet of the Commissioner Máire GEOGHEGAN-QUINN

Patricia joined the Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in February 2010, and is responsible for the health and consumer protection and bioeconomy policy areas, as well as communication and Joint Research Centre coordination.

Thank you very much for the invitation to this conference. It is of particular interest for the Commission as research addressing sex and gender in biomedical sciences and health research is a novel and highly promising field.

The interaction of sex and gender related mechanisms leads to different manifestation of diseases; infarction, heart failure, diabetes and rheumatic disease express themselves differently in women and in men.

Research in this area will lead to better targeted and therefore more efficient treatment strategies than the previous ‘one-size fits all’ approach thereby creating opportunities for prevention and increasing healthy life expectancy.

And, it is my pleasure to be here and speak about gender in research. But first, let me turn to gender mainstreaming and update you on the recent activities of the Commission in relation to the field of medical research.

I’ll preface this by saying that I think there is still a lot to do to reach the gender mainstreaming goals in research – but we’re making some real progress.

Gender mainstreaming and EU Prizes for Women Innovators

For example, according to the “She Figures” report published by the European Commission, women represent only 33% of European researchers, 20% of full professors and 15.5% of heads of institutions in the Higher Education sector.

Similarly, on average, women make up 30% of the entrepreneurs in the EU, and they often face greater difficulties than men in starting up businesses and in accessing financial support and training.

Therefore, the Commission has taken some actions to address these inequities. As one outcome of these, at the European Commission Innovation Convention on 10 March in Brussels, President Barroso awarded the EU Prizes for Women Innovators to three outstanding winners from the life science and health sector who have shown that women can successfully bridge the gap between science and business.

The first prize winner is Saskia Biskup (Germany), co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CeGaT GmbH, a leading biotech company for diagnostic gene panels, a major step forward in diagnosing patients with rare diseases.

The second prize winner is Laura van ‘t Veer (The Netherlands), co-founder and Chief Research Officer at Agendia NV and a leading personalised health company creating diagnostic tests that foretells the risk of recurrence for breast cancer patients.

The third prize winner is Ana Maiques (Spain), co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Starlab, a leading research and innovation company focused on the space and neuroscience industries based in Barcelona.

They have forged remarkable careers in innovation and brought their ideas to market by becoming entrepreneurs. I hope that their achievements will inspire many other women students, researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators to follow in their footsteps.

Given the great success of the first contest in 2011 and the current edition, it shows the need for such a prize. Despite some advances in recent years, women in research and entrepreneurship remain a minority. This is a waste of talent that we cannot afford.

We have to foster gender equality and also raise the profile of successful women innovators. Therefore, we are exploring the option of continuing the contest until the day when we won’t need a specific prize for women scientists and innovators because the opportunities, rewards and recognition will be gender neutral in all areas of research and business.

But having said this, there is already an example in health research, which shows that things are moving already. May be you know that the Commission has recently set up independent expert advisory groups for providing high level external advice to the Commission in all fields of research.

And this time the composition of the new health research advisory group has even more women than men (18 women and 13 men). This is only possible because women are now, step by step, reaching high level positions in research and society.

Gender dimension in biomedical research

Now, I would like to come to the second point of my intervention, which is the gender dimension in research:

This is also very high on the Commissions’ agenda and I am happy for the opportunity to update you on the current developments in our new framework programme for research Horizon 2020.

I should also mention that for us, gender issues are implicit in medical research, and in most of our FP7 projects, wherever applicable, this has been taken into account.

Under Horizon 2020, research needs to respond to different societal challenges, one being ‘health, demographic change and wellbeing challenge’, which is probably of most interest to this audience and the EUGenMED project. I should add, though, that health research is also supported in many other parts of our programme, like the ERC grants, fellowships and more.

Within the new programme, applicants are requested to give much more attention to sex and gender differences in health research. Therefore it is now mandatory for applicants to address these issues as part of the scientific description in each proposal.

The EUGenMed project

And, this is where the EUGenMed project comes in, as it aims to produce an innovative road map for implementing sex and gender differences in biomedicine and health research. The EUGenMed results are expected to inform political input as well as to help tailoring sex and gender aspects in health research and for medical practise.

Even though gender equality is a key priority for Commissioner Máire Geoghegan–Quinn and gender issues in research are now substantially reinforced, we count on EUGenMed’s results to help improve the situation further.

Overview – how the gender dimension is addressed in Horizon 2020 research

I will give you an overview of what has been recently introduced in the new programme:

As compared to FP7 gender aspects appear in three ways, in terms of

  1. Gender balance in decision-making,
  2. Balanced participation of female and male scientists in research teams and
  3. Enforcing the gender dimension in research and innovation content.

Enforcing the gender dimension in research and innovation content

Enforcing the gender dimension – what do we mean by this? If we really want to achieve excellence, we cannot afford to ignore the gender dimension that has been proven to be an important aspect in biomedical research.
It has to be clear that sex and gender analysis will improve the quality of research and the societal relevance of the produced knowledge, technology and innovation.

Now under Horizon 2020, the gender dimension is explicitly integrated from the beginning – a significant departure from FP7, where so far only 28% of finalised health research projects have indicated a gender dimension.

In the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2014-2015 more than 100 topics are flagged as “gendered” topics, this means that gender issues are explicitly mentioned in the topic. The work programme for the societal challenge of “health, demographic change and well-being” has 17 “gendered” topics.

And this is just the minimum – it does not prevent the applicants from including gender issues in proposals to non-flagged topics. In the application forms applicants are requested to describe how sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in the project’s content, scientific concept and approach.

“Gendered Innovations” report

During the last two years an expert group has built resources on the gender dimension and this led to the publication in 2013 of a report entitled “Gendered Innovations” which included several case studies for gender in health & medicine – you can find more on the related website.

It is a pleasure for me to see that Professor Ineke Klinge, the rapporteur of the “Gendered Innovations” report, Professor Vera Regitz – Zagrosek from the Charité Institute for Gender Medicine and Peggy Maguire and Hildrun Sundseth from the European Institute of Women’s Health are taking part in this work as it continues. It is good to see research groups teaming up with health organisations, such as the EIWH. The expected results of the EUGenMed project will be a much-needed follow-up.

We believe that scientists themselves, women and men, can contribute to change the practices. A key aim of Horizon 2020 is to engage more experts with gender know-how in project teams, the advisory groups and proposal evaluation panels.

So I very much encourage you all to register in the experts’ database accessible via the European Commission Participant Portal to ensure that we can rely on high quality gender expertise for our proposal evaluations.

Importance of and encouragement for networking for the gender dimension in research

I also would like to underline the importance of networking, and the key role that professional associations, platforms of scientists, patients and health NGOs and other networks can play in this context.

As many of you may be aware of, the Commission is funding two important initiatives aimed at supporting networking: the COSTAction – GenderSTE, and an interactive portal, GENPORT, both run by gender experts.

The first organises awareness-raising events across Europe; the second one offers to the scientific community a wealth of resources on gender in Research and Innovation, ranging from publications, experts’ database to training resources, among others.

In H2020 the programme reporting as well as the monitoring of the integration of the gender dimension will also be improved. The gender dimension will be part of the general reporting of project participants and the Commission will monitor it through a specific Performance Indicator on an annual basis as from 2016.

However, Horizon 2020 is just a small part in the total budget spent for Research and Innovation in Europe. Member States provide the main research budget.

The first European Research Area Progress Report published last September revealed great disparities among Member States – very little attention is given by Member States to the integration of the gender dimension in national research programmes.

It is crucial that EU Member States make sure that their national Research and Innovation programmes also take account of the gender dimension and I hope that Horizon 2020 will inspire them. We are pleased to see that significant moves occurred recently in Ireland and in the Nordic Countries.

A full consideration of the gender dimension in research content is now a requirement for the grant schemes of the Irish Research Council. Applicants are required to submit a written statement to the Council indicating that the gender dimension has been taken into account and explaining the implications for the research proposals.

An enhanced gender policy was put in place by NordForsk, the network for Nordic research cooperation. All applications for grants must now describe the gender dimension in the proposed research and the gender composition of the consortium.

Furthermore, in Italy some members of the national parliament proposed in 2013 a law which aims at including systematically gender issues in medicine.

Finally I am convinced that gendered innovations stimulate creativity, offering new perspectives, posing new questions, opening new areas to research, offering more effective prevention and medical treatment to enhance the quality of life of both men and women.

I wish the EUGenMed project a great success and I count on all of you to make it happen that the recommendations from EUGenMed will help to further improve the current situation in medical research and provide powerful input to European health and research policy and, last but not least, put Europe on the cutting edge of innovation to the benefit of our economy and society at large.

Thank you very much for your attention!

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