Online Program

International perspectives in women's health: Women's health as human rights

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.

Arlene Calvo, PhD, MPH, Community and Family Health, Global Health, University of South Florida Panama Program, Panama, Panama
Cheryl A. Vamos, PhD, MPH, Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Anne Firth-Murray, Professor, Human Biology Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Background. Gender-based health inequities exist globally and necessitate research, practice, and policy efforts to ensure that women's health as a human right is a reality. Teaching plays a vital role in ensuring that the future workforce is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and passion required to address critical health issues. We plan to describe the development of an interdisciplinary, graduate-level international women's health course. Methodology. Expanding on existing infrastructure of the University of South Florida's Health (USF Health) international program in Panama, an alternative-schedule course (three-day seminar, one-month remote learning, culminated by a ten-day field study in Panama) was developed. Diverse objectives, teaching modalities, and assessments were employed. Results. Students gained an awareness of the historical, political, economic, socio-cultural, and environmental factors influencing global women's health. A mixture of modalities (lectures, discussions, videos, case studies, site visits) and assessments (op-ed articles, media critiques, group papers/presentations, journaling) were used. Guided by the lifespan approach, topics included: gender-selective abortion, access to health care/education, early childbearing/marriage, reproductive/sexual health, sex trafficking, violence, conflict/war, globalization, chronic disease, and aging. Site visits included government, international non-government, and community health (sex-worker clinics) organizations, as well as historical/cultural visits (indigenous communities). Conclusions. Triangulating theoretical aspects of human rights and critical women's health issues with experiential learning helped students recognize the significance and complexity of issues. Such a course facilitates greater understanding of the interrelated factors influencing health and the interdisciplinary efforts required to uphold women's health as a human right in local and global settings.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the development of an interdisciplinary graduate-level international women’s health course. Explain the experiences learned from teaching an international women’s health course that is grounded in a human rights–based approach. Identify lessons learned from experiential learning about women’s health in an international setting.

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Global Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the main instructors in this international course on women's health issues. I have ample experience in public health and community research.
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.