The general aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between law and the potential for social change in the context of women's health. More specifically, I will critically examine the arguments made by Canadian feminists about the need for change in the ways that health research is structured and carried out in this country, particularly with respect to the generation of knowledge about women's health. Part one of this analysis examines the nature and extent of the problem of gender-biased research. It is followed by an overview of the regulatory framework within which health research is currently conducted in Canada. The third part of this discussion provides a feminist analysis of the major arguments raised by those who seek to maintain the exclusionary status quo. Part four reflects upon the impact of political action for change taken by women's health activists. Recognizing that Canadian feminists have, to date, been more successful in influencing change through public activism in the political arena than through efforts to work within the dominant research institutions, the paper concludes with a brief assessment of the prospects for legislative intervention.
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Erin Skinner, "Women's Health Research in Canada: Feminist Change in a Murky Zone of Law, Medicine and Politics" (2001) 10 Dal J Leg Stud 182.