249541 Challenging the assumption of universal access: Racialized women and health care inequality

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:30 PM

Shannon Orchard-Young, Student , Department Health Studies, Women and Gender Department, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Current migration trends have challenged the norms of social organization, forcing governments, such as Canada, to reflect on how power and privilege are associated with citizenship, status and access to health care within their changing population landscapes. While migration influences many levels of society, women's health care access and wellbeing is one area where the tension between access and citizenship is understood best. Access to health care is integral for the health of individuals, their families and communities, moreover, the universality of health care access has become part of the Canadian social identity. While Canada has attempted to foster policies that unify racial difference since the early 1970s, these policies were often administered as a expression of separation from the dominant norms of social whiteness. Currently, as a result of structures of society, immigrant and non-status women have had to negotiate many different terms of existence within a culture in which the very nature of their difference has become a threat. When conceptions of health and wellbeing are based on the white body, the racialized body becomes devalued and dehumanized. This reality has negative consequences for marginalized women as it reflects on the type of care they receive and how they are impacted by the social determents of health. This paper has incorporated the methodological discourse analysis approach to understand the impact that gender, racism and status have on health care access for women in urban centers.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Define where health care access gaps are; Identify steps to elevate these inequalities; Compare the Canadian health access issues with American health access issues; Formulate solutions to end the way race, gender and status often negatively impact health access.

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Access to Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present a poster presentation on my research because the information was gathered as part of my degree and approved by the university institution
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.