CIHR awards $20,000 to support research on gender-based violence in Guyana

Research on gender-based violence in Guyana by York University Professor Ruth Rodney will continue with the support of a $20,000 award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The award will fund a two-day workshop to bring together service providers, community leaders, survivors, policy-makers and other interested stakeholders from across Guyana to discuss research findings arising from the Women's Health & Life Experiences Survey (WHLES).

WHLES is the first national prevalence survey on violence against women and girls in Guyana. It used a mixed-methods design to capture the experiences of women in the country, and it comprised quantitative and qualitative research teams.

Ruth Rodney

Ruth Rodney

Rodney, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, is the team leader for the qualitative research component.

"On this particular phase of our research, I am a co-applicant working collaboratively with the others mentioned in the grant title to ensure we have a productive and concise workshop that will inform future research focusing on implementation of the WHLES survey results," said Rodney.

The $20,000 CIHR grant awarded to the project is titled "Dissemination, consultation and education: engaging multi-sectoral knowledge users to improve health care services and supports to address violence against women in Guyana." The project is being led by a team at the Centre for Addition & Mental Health (CAMH).

Along with Rodney, the team includes Jürgen Rehm (PI) and Sireesha Bobbili of CAMH;  Isiuwa Iyahen of UN Women – Caribbean office; and community partners Juanita Burrowes, Sabiena Glen and Anika Lambert.

Compared to other Caribbean countries, Guyana ranks highest in gender-based violence (GBV), specifically violence against women. Although national legislation has been enacted, GBV continues to be a human rights and public health issue due to implementation problems.

This grant involves three components, with an overall goal to inform multi-sectoral solutions for addressing GBV in Guyana. The components include: dissemination of research findings from the UN Women’s Health & Life Experiences Survey; stakeholder consultations to provide recommendations for a multi-sectoral approach to address GBV; and development of an implementation research proposal to improve access to health-care services and other supports for violence against women.

"This grant is incredibly important in our ongoing work to ensure the gap between research, policy and implementation is lessened," said Rodney. "There is nothing worse than having a report with great information that sits on a shelf. This grant will help to address that by creating the space to work with service providers in developing implementation strategies that are tailored to their work environments."

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