Regulatory Options for Gender Equity in Health Research

International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, 2008, 1 (2), pp. 80 - 99
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It is clear that where a disease affects men and women differently, research on potential therapies or cures should include both men and women and should examine whether the therapy is effective and safe for both sexes. In this paper we consider whether there is an appropriate role for law in regulating to ensure an examination of these sex- and gender-specific aspects in health research. We consider the relative advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a regulatory approach to achieving gender equity in the field of women's health by exploring first, the meaning of gender equity, and second, the regulatory mechanisms that might be best suited to promoting the goal of gender equity. Within our examination of different regulatory forms and mechanisms, we also interrogate the shift from gender-neutral provisions relating to sex in favor of generalized notions of fairness that remove any specific consideration of sex.
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