Launch: Women RISE $20 million funding opportunity

Dear colleagues,

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities around the world. The unequal and gendered social and economic impacts of the pandemic have been well documented: women earn less, are more likely to work in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, have taken on disproportionally more caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic, and continue to have access to fewer social protections. To help address the gendered consequences of the pandemic on women around the world, today we launch a new $20 million funding opportunity through the recently announced Women RISE Initiative.

Women RISE (Women’s health and economic empowerment for a COVID-19 Recovery that is Inclusive, Sustainable and Equitable) specifically responds to the UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery’s call to action in support of a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future. This new initiative is a collaborative effort that builds on the strengths of CIHR’s Institute of Population & Public Health (IPPH), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, and CIHR's Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Emergencies, Institute of Infection & Immunity, and HIV/AIDS & STBBI Research Initiative.

The Women RISE call for proposals will support action-oriented research on how women’s health and their work (paid and unpaid) intersect and interact in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. In particular, it will fund research teams in Canada and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to undertake research that addresses research priority 3.5 from the Roadmap: “How have recent economic changes disproportionately impacted women and how can recovery strategies be inclusive and gender-transformative?”.

I am extremely proud of this initiative, not only for its alignment with IPPH’s Global Health Policy priority and the UN Research Roadmap, but also its commitment to strengthening authentic research partnerships among researchers in Canada and LMICs and its ability to deliver on the CIHR Framework for Action on Global Health Research’s Impact Area 2 on Sex, Gender and Health. By strengthening Canadian and global capacity to conduct gender-transformative research, this initiative will also nurture a community of practice, especially among emerging researchers. 

It is no accident that we announce this new funding opportunity today, on International Women’s Day, which calls on us to not only celebrate the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women but also to take concrete action against gender inequality everywhere. Women RISE is a commitment to redouble our efforts towards achieving gender equality. The full details of this opportunity can be found on IDRC’s website. Additionally, we have built a partnership tool to help spark partnerships between researchers in Canada and researchers and decision-makers in LMICs, which we hope proves useful.



Steven J. Hoffman JD PhD LLD | @shoffmania
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health
Director, Global Strategy Lab, and
Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science, York University

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