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2009.11.04 - Canada: CIHR Centre for Intercultural Research on Prevention of Gender Violence



[CIHR News Release]

CIHR Centre for Intercultural Research on Prevention of Gender Violence

For immediate release –


Vancouver (November 4, 2009) The CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) is investing $2 million in the CIHR Centre for Intercultural Research on Prevention of Gender Violence at the University of Ottawa Institute of Population Health. The Centre will focus on migrating minorities through a novel approach that links Aboriginal and immigrant groups in cities with their home communities.

Gender-based violence has significant effects on the health of women, men, girls and boys in Canada and around the world. Migrating minorities, who are the focus of the centre’s work, are at an increased risk of gender-based violence,” says Dr. Joy Johnson, IGH Scientific Director.

The Centre will generate proposals for intervention research with partner communities of origin and with urban groups: the Nakota Sioux in Alexis and Edmonton; the Mohawk in Akwesasne and Ottawa /Toronto, Inuit living in Ottawa and in the north, and a subgroup of the Ottawa Latin American immigrant community. Each partner will name its own researcher to train and work with the Centre, increasing their research capacity and contributing to leadership of the Centre.

We will focus on the positive roles of parenting and cultures of origin to prevent gender violence,” says Dr. Neil Andersson, executive director of CIET, a research NGO affiliated with the University of Ottawa and principal investigator at the new Centre. “Although the pressures of moving to a city can cut people off from their culture of origin, we believe those cultures can still be protective – we have to work out how to make them more protective in relation to gender violence.”

Gender violence includes any type of sexual coercion, non-sexual physical violence and related forms of abuse based on gender in addition to the physical trauma caused by rape or child sexual abuse. Survivors of gender violence face significant risks, including HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases. Survivors may also take on high-risk behaviours, leading to their re-victimization.

In both communities of origin and urban counterparts, the Centre will also build skills to use the research products to improve programs and policies that affect the health of women, men, girls and boys. Although the four partners have quite different cultures, they will share a community of practice with policy-makers and other stakeholders, developing an enabling environment for future implementation of their own interventions.

The new Centre builds on CIET research and training in Canada and abroad. The team has trained Aboriginal health researchers in Canada for 15 years, recently through Anisnabe Kekendazone, a CIHR-funded Network for Aboriginal Health Research and the Inuit Institute for Research and Planning. In Latin America and Africa, CIET has trained indigenous and non-indigenous health researchers for 25 years. The Centre's international dimension is prominent with CIET's ongoing research on GBV in Mexico, Pakistan, Nigeria and Southern Africa.


Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) is one of 13 institutes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). IGH's mission is to foster research excellence regarding the influence of gender and sex on the health of women and men throughout life, and to apply these research findings to identify and address pressing health challenges.


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.


Dr Neil Andersson is the executive director of CIET and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He has three decades of experience designing, implementing and managing evidence-based health planning initiatives. A medical epidemiologist, for the last 15 years he has supported training of researchers in more than 200 Canadian First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

Co-investigators represent 11 institutions across Canada, and are listed below:

Dr. Georges Sioui, University of Ottawa

Dr. Denise Spitzer, University of Ottawa

Dr. Robert Flynn, University of Ottawa

Dr. Paul Kurdyak, University of Toronto

Dr. Ghayda Hassan, University of Quebec in Montreal

Dr. Carol Amaratunga, Justice Institute of British Colombia

Dr. Germán Zuluaga, Centre for Intercultural Medical Research in Colombia

Maggie Terrence, Akwesasne Mohawk First Nation

Gladys Kyme, Alexis Sioux First Nation

Deborah Tagornak, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

Chief Austin Bear, National native Addiction Partnership Foundation

Hamdi Mohammed, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organisation

Dr. Bev Shea, CIET

Dr. Nancy Gibson, CIET

Carrielynn Lund, CIET

Dr. George Haas, CIET

Steve Mitchell, CIET

Jorge Laucirica, CIET

Sandra Ramezani
 Communications Officer
 Institute of Gender and Health
 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
 University of British Columbia, Room 305, TEF 3 building – 6190 Agronomy Road
 Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
 Telephone: 604-827-3445
For more information on this Centre click here.