242976 Ivory Tower as a Site of Empowerment and Environment of Risk for Female Students at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

Michelle L. Gamber, MA, MPH , Maternal and Child Health, University of Arizona, College of Public Health, Tucson, AZ
Issues: The view that education leads to women's empowerment, and indirectly to gender “equality,” has gained in popularity. Goal three of the global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aims at empowering women through policies and programs that builds women's capabilities, improves their access to economic and political opportunity, and guarantees their safety. Yet, further research is needed to understand how exactly education empowers women and translates into “better lives” for women.

Description: In this study, I examine how women navigate, negotiate, and mediate their sexual and reproductive health in the complex university environment. First, I will describe the range of health concerns faced by women on campus. Next, I will outline the strategies women (and men) take to promote positive health and prevent negative health outcomes. Lastly, I will discuss future prevention strategies that can be taken to promote a safe, healthy, and academically successful environment for women on campus. In my discussion, I will highlight the need for global higher education efforts to take into account the present-day conditions that women face to create an environment where impact to sexual and reproductive health is minimized, and higher education is attained.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: 1) Describe how gender-based policies, procedures, and resources are applied within the university system, 2) Discuss the risks and dangers influencing women’s health by exploring the links between sexual and reproductive health knowledge and attitudes, sexual communication and confidence, safety on campus, and personal health practices, and 3) Identify individual and institutional strategies to promote health and safety on campus.

Keywords: Women's Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I collected this data for my dissertation project and completed all requirements prior to data collection.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.