Online Program

Reproductive justice and migrant women farmworkers in the US

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Charlene Galarneau, PhD, Women's and Gender Studies Department, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
The reproductive health of women migrant farmworkers in the US has been little studied and rarely ethically assessed. Following a demographic overview of US women farmworkers and their health status with particular attention to reproduction, I engage the Reproductive Justice framework to begin to understand the complex reasons for these women's relatively poor reproductive health and why we might call it unjust. I identify 1) social inequities that produce reproductive oppression, 2) aspects of this oppression experienced by migrant and other farmworkers, and 3) farmworker-directed strategies for change. I compare this Reproductive Justice framework to mainstream Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights frameworks that emphasize individual health status, the lack of adequate services, and advocacy for more services. A Reproductive Justice framework adds critical attention to the structural oppression central to poor reproductive health as well as to the agency of communities in organizing and leading efforts to improve their health. I give particular attention to three elements of reproduction oppression: labor/occupational conditions, health care, and social relations involving race, immigration and fertility, and then highlight some current efforts at women farmworker-directed change. Finally I offer several analytical observations suggesting the Justice framework's importance to broader discussions of migrant worker health.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements

Learning Objectives:
Describe three obstacles to reproductive health for migrant women farmworkers Explain the Reproductive Justice framework

Keyword(s): Reproductive Health, Migrant Farm Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: have a PhD in ethics and health policy, spent years working with migrant farmworker women in Colorado migrant/community health centers, was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health 1988-1992, and have researched and taught about the health of farmworkers.
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.