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Rising to the Challenge: Sex- and gender-based analysis for health planning, policy and research in Canada

This Canadian guide is the result of more than a decade of work by the now defunct Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. It demonstrates that sex- and gender-based analysis (SGBA) is an essential, “necessary and possible” (p. 2) process for addressing the social determinants of health and improving health equity in Canada. It makes the point that equity is the ultimate driver for sex- and gender-based analysis.

The resource is divided into two sections. The first presents the origins of SGBA, and how its key concepts relate to health. It includes guidance on how to conduct a SGB analysis; essentially the process involves asking new questions about existing evidence and identifying gaps in evidence. The second section presents over one dozen case studies that illustrate the power of SGBA to help planners and others understand different types of health research, health care and health policy issues. The authors make the point that SGBA can and should be applied to better understand men’s and boys’ health as well as women’s health.

The guide is supported by three sets of online, free tutorials —co-developed by the former network of Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health—to guide your learning. The first set of modules provides an opportunity to explore core concepts, while the second set supports the process of doing SGBA. The final set provides an opportunity to apply SGBA to your own work.

Use this resource to

  • better understand the inequities that result from sex and gender-based relations and interactions with other social factors;
  • review tested methods for doing sex- and gender-based analysis (SGBA);
  • engage in a deeper discussion, beyond checklists, of the changing meaning of sex and gender in the context of your work; and
  • use SGBA as a practical and effective process to engage across sectors.


Clow, B., Pederson, A., Haworth-Brockman, M. & Bernier, J. (2009). Rising to the Challenge: Sex- and gender-based analysis for health planning, policy and research in Canada. Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Halifax, NS.

Tags: Evaluation, Healthy public policy, Methods & tools, Sex & gender, Assess and report, Modify and orient interventions, Participate in policy development, Report / Document