Gender-based analyses and considerations within policies, programs and practices related to elder abuse are of central importance to the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI). As a key partner of the FEAI, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) completed a contextual gender-based analysis (GBA) of elder abuse in Canada. It includes guidelines for creating and evaluating bias-free, gender- and culturally-relevant policies and practices1
to respond more effectively to the needs of both older men and women in situations of abuse.
In her research paper, "Elder Abuse in Canada: A Gender-Based Analysis", commissioned by PHAC’s Division of Aging and Seniors (DAS) under the FEAI, Peggy Edwards selected eight gender dimensions for examination: incidence and prevalence; characteristics of victims and perpetrators; effects on health; feminization of aging and care; factors that precipitate or prevent elder abuse; screening and diagnosis; programs and interventions; and, legislation and protective services. Ms. Edwards explored each in terms of known and unknown factors as they relate to the determinants of health in order to determine whether men and women are as likely to benefit from current policies, programs and legislation.
Despite numerous challenges, which included a significant lack of available data combining age, sex and diversity, a number of key findings emerged to inform the public health component of the FEAI in the development of tools and resources for public health practitioners. For example, many current elder abuse screening and assessment tools are based on research that has a relative scarcity of information about older mens experiences of abuse. These instruments also generally do not account for the fact that older women and men may differ in their tendency to report abuse and in how they interpret questions about abuse.
Another important aspect of the paper was the inclusion of guidelines for creating and evaluating bias-free, gender- and culturally-relevant policies and practices based on access, inclusion and benefits. The proposed template also incorporated key principles from The BIAS FREE Framework
developed by M.A Burke and M. Eichler, the gender-based guidelines recommended by Status of Women Canada and Health Canada, as well as the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s policy paper on Culturally Relevant Gender-Based Analysis
For more information or to obtain a copy of the research paper, contact Marie-Lynne Foucault at 613-952-1723, or