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Empowerment of women for health promotion: Lessons from global movements and a local application

Snehendu B. Kar, DrPH1, Kirstin L. Chickering, MPH2, and Jennifer McDonnell, MEd2. (1) School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, P.O. Box 951772, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772, (2) School of Public Health, UCLA, P.O. Box 951772, Los Angeles, CA 90095, 310-794-7028, kirstin@ucla.edu

The study objective is to develop innovative empowerment strategies for health education and promotion in high-risk minority populations. The methodology includes two steps (1) a meta-analysis of 80 exemplary case studies of grassroots movements throughout the world that were led by ordinary women under extreme adversity, and (2)an examination of the lessons learned from our award-winning "Rescatando Salud" immunization project in Los Angeles County, which was created based on the findings of the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis uses qualitative and quantitative data from each case on six dimensions: (i) problem that propelled action, (ii) personal characteristics of the women, (iii) those who helped and opposed them, (iv) the methods they used, (v) the macro-environment, and (vi) outcomes/impacts. The seven most frequent empowerment methods are represented by the acronym EMPOWER (Enabling assistance; Media use; Public education and participation; Organizing unions and cooperatives; Work/Job training and income generation; Empowerment education and leadership training; Rights protection and legal reform.) Statistical comparisons reveal interesting similarities and differences in the use of the empowerment process model by rich and poor nations; implications are discussed. In addition, the impact of the Rescatando Salud project is evaluated using multiple indicators including (1) personal empowerment of the promotoras, (2) higher rate of complete and timely immunization coverage, (3) program efficacy and job satisfaction, (4) contributions to other programs. Lessons learned in the application of the EMPOWER model for the "Rescatando Salud" project and its impact are presented.

Learning Objectives: Atthe conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Strong Women, Good Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA