McMaster University


McMaster University



About Dr. May Cohen


A force for positive change in women's health, May Cohen graduated at the top of her class in 1955 and after a 20 year career as a family physician in Toronto, Dr. Cohen joined McMaster University , Department of Medicine in 1977. While at McMaster, Dr. Cohen was Associate Dean, Health Services from 1991 to 1996 and the founding Chair of the Women's Health Office in 1991 until her retirement in 1998. Dr. Cohen has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and her legacy at McMaster continues through the Eli Lilly Canada/ May Cohen Chair in Women's Health, currently held by Dr. Shannon Bates, Professor in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University.


We congratulate Dr. Cohen on her induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2016.

For more information, please visit


May Cohen Lecture In Women's Health


Upcoming Lecture

Spring 2022, details to follow!


Past Lectures


March 6, 2020

"Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation: A pervasive form of sexual violence"

Abstract: Human trafficking is a major global public health issue and approximately 1 in 4 identified victims are children.  Sex trafficking may take an enormous toll on the physical and mental well-being of affected youth, given the violence, psychological and economic manipulation, lack of protection and exposure to disease so commonly associated with this form of exploitation.  Sexual violence against Indigenous youth includes sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.  In this presentation we will examine child trafficking in the global context and within the Indigenous population of Canada, discussing risk factors at individual, peer, community and societal levels, health effects of trafficking, and the myriad challenges faced by healthcare providers and trafficked youth in recognizing and responding to victimization.  While examples in the discussion focus on barriers to healthcare, the content is widely applicable to challenges faced by other professionals working with trafficked and at-risk youth.

Presented by Dr. Jordan Greenbaum

*as part of the Resilience: Equity in Gender, Health, and Water Conference - March 6&7, 2020


March 28, 2018

"The World Writes on the Body: A Feminist Perspective on Immigran Women's Health"

Abstract: Female genital circumcision/mutiliation/cutting (FGC) is often considered onlyin terms of its effects on the reproductive system and sexual health. In this talk Dr. Einsein uses a feminist science approach to consider how this gendered practice affects other body systems, in particular, the nervous system and in this way, move the conversation from women's genitals to their brains. View the talk.

Presented by Dr. Gillian Einstein

November 26, 2015

Women`s Health Research: Why Should We Care?

Abstract: Biological and gender-related differences mean that being a woman has an important impact on health. However, the health needs of women, apart from reproductive concerns, have historically been downplayed in medical research. More recently, advances in science, technology and advocacy have increased interest in this area, although progress remains slow. In her presentation, Dr. Bates will review how a lack of sex/gender-based research impairs women's health, barriers to this type of analysis, and recent changes that have enhanced opportunities in women's health research.

Presented by Dr. Shannon Bates

November 2013

Gender and Mental Health

"Women's Mental Health: Beyond Gender Matters" Presented by Dr. M. Morrow

"Current Research in Boy's and Men's Body Image" Presented by Dr. D. McCreary

November 7, 2011 - view flyer

A Feminist Critical Approach Reveals 9 Hidden Obstacles to Ethical Behaviour and Decision making in Health Care.

Presented by Dr. Chloe G. Atkins

November 2009

Impact of Gender on Health

Presented by Dr. Katarina Hamberg and Dr. Antoine Lagro-Janssen


November 2007

Intimate Partner Violence and Women's Health: Problems and Prospects

Presented by Dr. Harriet MacMillan


November 2005

Men Have No Gender? Expanding the Analysis and Raising the Politics


This presentation will take as its central focus the issue of gender to include both women and men in its conceptualization. However, beyond that, it will also see individuals as not only gendered but as raced, sexed, classed, regioned and cultured.

Frank will argue that these are important considerations in our teaching and education of health care professionals. Using a specific model of change for teachers and institutions, language, pedagogy, curriculum and policies, all of which inform institutional climate, will be discussed. The talk is framed by an understanding that, if in Canada we are committed to issues of social justice, universal health care and equity, then knowledge about all forms of inequities must be addressed.


Presented by Dr. Blye Frank





Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0