‘Móet dit onderwerp weer opnieuw op de agenda?’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 18, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



The Alliance Gender & Health started in 2012 to generate public awareness of the differences between the sexes in health, health management, and need for health care. This alliance between women’s movement organization WOMEN Inc, experts, research programmer ZonMw, and supported by the section for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences has been very successful. The public in general and many practitioners have been informed and alerted to the problematic ‘one size fits all’ approach of current health care and a substantial research programme is on the brink of being implemented. The author interviewed two influential players – former ZonMw chair Pauline Meurs and current ZonMw director Henk Smid – to gauge their insights about the process, the strategies, the obstacles, and the future of the project. Both point to the unique qualities of this joint venture: the academic rigor brought to the project by experts, the ability of WOMEN Inc to engage the public, and the commitment of ZonMw and the ministry to provide means. They also point to the fact that the context has changed considerably in comparison to twenty years ago: a substantial knowledge base is already in place and the health sector is fast becoming feminised in the sense of an increasing rate of women professionals. The interviewees point to the need to incorporate intersections of gender with age, lifestyle, and other important factors and stress the need for continued awareness of the importance of gender differences in health.


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