About Us

The Women's Health Research Unit (WHRU) was established in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1996 and is located in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. The overall aim of the Unit is to improve the health of women through research that informs policy and practice. It acts as a multidisciplinary centre for women's health research in South Africa focusing on high priority women's health, and gender and health issues. The Unit's main activities include: Research; Health service support; Teaching; Social responsiveness and Advocacy.

The WHRU collaborates with departments and organisations within the University and with other Universities and national and international NGO's and research organisations. The Unit's research is structured according to high priority areas identified by the government and in keeping with international trends: HIV/AIDS; health systems research: reproductive health; abortion; female cancers and contraception. Its links with the National, Provincial and Local Departments of Health ensures that our research is relevant and contributes to health policy development and program implementation.

The WHRU produced a Booklet entitled "Body Mapping: to explore the embodied experiences of contraceptive methods and family planning with women in South Africa" from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Award.  It showcases study participants ' body maps.