The Swiss government is investing CHF47 million ($51.9 million) in four national research programmes to cover gender medicine, biodiversity, new construction techniques and crop cultivation.
Some CHF11 million will be spent on enhancing knowledge of gender aspects in medical research and healthcare. The results will be translated into guidelines for doctors, nursing staff and the pharmaceutical industry.
Gender disparities in medical treatment have recently been the focus of new research. A growing number of institutions, like the University of Lausanne, are incorporating gender into medical education.
Gender bias refers to unintended, but systematic, neglect of either women or men that results in serious negative effects on diagnoses and on the quality of healthcare.
Women and men have different levels of suceptibility for certain diseases and often experience different symptoms, which can have a fundamental impact on how a disease is diagnosed and treated.
Of the remaining budget, CHF15.5 million will be allocated to the promotion of biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem services.
A further CHF10.6 million will be spent on creating new construction strategies to improve the quality of the environment. Some CHF10 million will go to the ‘Innovative Plant Cultivation’ plan which links innovations in crop managment to socio-economic and political changes.