Status of Women Canada News Releases

December 1, 1998


VANCOUVER -- The Honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) today announced a $30,000 grant to the Positive Women's Network (PWN), of Vancouver, B.C. The grant will be used to fund a participatory research project to explore how economics, power in intimate relationships and control over health issues affect women's risk for HIV infection and illness progression in the Vancouver area.

"There is a significant gap in our understanding of gender-based factors that put women at greater risk to HIV infection," said Dr. Fry. "This timely project will break new ground by filling the need for Canadian information in this area, and by directly involving women who are affected and infected by HIV in the development of the research."

The project's community research/advisory team will also involve the participation of women's groups, health service providers, caregivers of women with HIV/AIDS and health practitioners. Expected results include expanded knowledge about gender as a determinant of HIV/AIDS and its impact on women in diverse communities; increased community support for harm reduction and health promotion; and increased awareness about gender-based factors influencing women's vulnerability to the disease. A final report will summarize the project's findings, and will be made available to service providers and policy makers in the field.

PWN supports women in the Vancouver area living with HIV/AIDS by providing access to services, outreach and resources to meet a range of needs including parenting and future care for children, violence and abuse, safe and affordable housing, as well as health care. PWN also partners with several Vancouver-based groups to inform and educate positive women's communities at the local, national and international level. It is the only AIDS service organization of its kind in Western Canada.

Status of Women Canada (SWC) is the federal government department working to advance women's equality. SWC's Women's Program, which is funding the PWN, provides financial and technical assistance to organizations to support community-based action on issues related to women's equality. Funding for the Women's Program was provided for in the February 1998 federal budget and is, therefore, built into the existing fiscal framework.

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For more information, please contact:

Cathy McRae
Status of Women Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 995-3788

Artur Wilczynski
Office of the Honourable Hedy Fry
Hull, Quebec
(819) 997-9900

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Last updated: December 1, 1998