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Women RISE to participate in the 2024 Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation conference

The Women RISE research project Catalyzing women’s involvement in post-COVID-19 recovery through agricultural cooperatives in Kenya (WINRACK) will participate in a panel discussion at the upcoming 2024 conference of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC). Themed "Sustaining Shared Futures - the Co-operative Way," the conference will take place from June 12-14, 2024, at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.
Women RISE panel session graphic

WINRACK researchers will engage in a roundtable discussion at the CASC Conference on Thursday, June 13, 2024, from 8:30-10:00 a.m. EDT. The roundtable will explore innovative approaches to gender-responsive health-care financing through agricultural cooperatives, focusing on experiences and insights from Kenya. Prof. Cherie Enns and Kristin Swardh from the University of the Fraser Valley in Canada, along with Prof. Isaac Nyamongo, Wycliffe Alucoh Oboka and Kennedy Waweru, from The Co-operative University of Kenya, will discuss the following themes: 

Innovating gender-responsive health-care financing through agricultural co-operatives in Kenya 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in health-care financing systems that left women at a disadvantage — with the instability, fragmentation and inequity of employment-based health financing exacerbating gender disparities in health-care access. WINRACK’s qualitative research, utilizing human-centred design, focuses on agricultural cooperatives in Central and Southern Kenya as a catalyst for gender-responsive and cooperative-led health-care financing at affordable rates. Such a framework is critical to addressing the intricate challenges posed by societal crises and ensuring equitable access to adequate, high-quality and timely holistic health-care services, particularly for marginalized groups.  

Challenges in accessing health care by women during COVID-19: Implications for building a better future for all in Kenya through co-operatives 

Globally, women were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to weaknesses in health-care systems. As cooperatives undertake measures to enhance the resilience of communities, there is a need for a special focus on women’s access to health care. Kenya has a vibrant cooperative movement of 25,000 cooperatives. This provides an avenue through which the power of collectives can be harnessed for gender-responsive health care.  

The participation of WINRACK at the CASC annual conference highlights Women RISE’s commitment to advancing gender-inclusive approaches and strengthening health systems to support the wellbeing of women and girls in the Global South.  

About Women RISE 

Women RISE seeks to support action-oriented, gender-transformative research on how women’s health and their work (paid or unpaid) intersect and interact in the context of preparing for, responding to and recovering from COVID-19. It is a two-year, CAD24-million initiative supported by IDRC in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.