While the overall health of people in the EU has improved over recent decades, the improvement in health has not been equal. This inequality in health is the result of biological and sociological differences between women and men. With FP 7 EU funding, the EUGenMed (European Gender Medicine Network) project aimed to improve the health of all European citizens by developing a roadmap for implementation of sex and gender into biomedical and health research.
The project group showed that considering sex and gender differences in many diseases will improve treatment of these diseases and elaborated policy briefs related to asthma, diabetes, lung cancer and stroke.
EUGenMed also made recommendations for funding agencies and the scientific community on how sex and gender differences in frequent diseases can be addressed.
To assure sustainability of the EUGenMed project a EUROPEAN Gender Network (EUGenNet) was founded to follow the goals of EUGenMed, to disseminate its results and to continue working into the same direction. More than 71 participants already registered for active cooperation in EUGenNet (EGN membership form).
EUGenNet will act in close cooperation with the International Society of Gender Medicine (IGM) and hold sessions at their congresses. At the same time EUGenNet will function as an open group and as an effective communication structure. Bylaws have been proposed that shall unify these goals. Partners will interact by email and meet personally at the IGM conferences. Due to a lack of direct resources, donations will been used to pay membership fees within IGM. Regular newsletters will keep all partners informed and call them to common action, if necessary- f.e. to register as gender experts in the Horizon 2020 programme.
The formation of this EUROPEAN Gender Network (EUGenNet) will consolidate European Gender networks. The added value of EUGenNet will keep Europe at the forefront of innovation in biomedical S&G research, in clinical medicine, in public health, basic research, medical education and medicine regulations. Science needs to increase its understanding of S&G differences and how this knowledge can be applied to the next generation of medical interventions. The EUGenMed roadmap already developed materials that will impact future research priorities and facilitate the integration of sex and gender into the design and process of health research and into the training of future scientists and medical professionals. In this way, Europe can make an important step in addressing sex and gender inequities in health.