Alberta Women’s Health Foundation (AWHF) partnered with Organon Canada, which is a company that was created to focus on women’s health concerns and to fight for gender equality. Together they conducted the Surveying the Silence survey that talks to women about the impact of taboo topics and seeks to bring attention to gender specific medical concerns that affect women’s lives. 

President and CEO of the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation (AWHF), Sharlene Rutherford explains they talked to over 2200 women about their gynecological health concerns, and they are scared to talk to their healthcare providers about it. 

“We learned that two-thirds of women who were surveyed indicated that they find it difficult to talk to their primary healthcare providers about their concern.” 

Rutherford explained over the 12 concerns that were identified through the survey (Painful periods, Perimenopause, Menopause, Endometriosis etc.) AWHF identified five of those issues and went more in-depth with the women that they surveyed.  

Every week for the last five weeks leading up to International Women’s Day, AWHF has been releasing more information every week about another women’s health concern. 

“This is an opportunity for us (AWHF) to raise awareness to talk about these issues. We are also raising awareness about how some women’s health issues affect them in their place of employment.”  

The survey has expressed that 10 per cent of women have left their job because of their health issues and Rutherford expresses that this shouldn’t be the case.  

“How do we ally? And that is everyone, not just women but all people can become an ally when it comes to women’s health and funding more research.”  

When it comes to being an ally for women’s health, President and Managing Director for Organon Canada Michael Casia explains that with Organon wanting to shine a light on women’s health issues that Casia has given all his employees a paid day off on International Women’s Day.   

“We have about 10,000 employees and so the hope is that our women employees will be able to focus on their own health for the day and our male employees will be able to take care of the women in their lives.” 

Casia then goes on to explain what it means for Organon to be partnering with the AWHF being a company really focused on women's health 

“For us to do our job properly, we really need to listen to women and what the gaps are and the needs are and by partnering with the AWHF, it really helps us to understand what the needs are and really hear their voice.”  

To read the whole Surveying the Silence Survey visit The Alberta Women’s Health Foundation’s website and for tips and tricks on how to take care of your health on International Women’s Day visit Organon Canada’s website

Sharlene RutherfordAlberta Women's Health Foundation CEO and President - Sharlene Rutherford 

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