What Are Canadians Doing? the Women's Domestic Violence Health Policy Project (WDVHP)

Herizons, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

What Are Canadians Doing? the Women's Domestic Violence Health Policy Project (WDVHP)


Calgarians Dr. Wilfreda (Billie) Thurston and Dr. Jennifer Hatfield are part of an international team studying how domestic violence policy is developed and how women's concerns are being incorporated into government health policies and services. The project, Women's Domestic Violence Health Project (WDVHP), is directed by the University of Calgary's Community Health Services Department and the Institute for Gender Research. WDVHP includes researchers from Calgary, Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Jordan-and Thailand as well as local community partners and non-government organizations. By using this international approach, the team hopes to enhance cross-cultural expertise and learning in order to help identify strengths and gaps in the existing policies in these countries.

"Going to Afghanistan presents us with a unique opportunity to look at domestic violence in a postconflict context, as well as an opportunity for Canadians to contribute to the rebuilding of that country, " says Dr. Hatfield. "We know we are here for the right reason when we meet eight-year-old girls in a local shelter who were kidnapped and sold off to be married, or speak to front-line workers about the lack of legal and social protection for women."

An Afghan research team will provide answers to important questions such as how violence against women is understood and defined in Afghanistan, how it is recognized and recorded, what services exist currently, what is known about international policy on domestic violence and violence against women and what potential future researchers and practitioners exist there. …

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