142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

New Resource to Improve Women's Health Through Community-Based Action

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:30 AM - 8:42 AM

Sarah Shannon , Hesperian Health Guides, Berkeley, CA
While information about women’s health proliferates on topics including sexuality, family planning, unsafe abortion, HIV, and violence against women, few resources exist which help health educators reduce stigma, foster dialogue, and include men in behavior change communication.

 To address this gap, Hesperian drafted new material based on the experiences our global grassroots partners. This material included activities, stories, and tools derived from the experiences of women and communities globally to address social barriers, attitudes, and practices which harm women and girls. During development, the material was reviewed by professional health care providers and experienced organizers and was field-tested by community-based groups in 23 countries. Pre-publication field-testing found that 17 organizations in 14 countries reported increased comfort addressing controversial topics after field-testing. Over 80% of respondents reported feeling significantly more comfortable when presenting on topics including “How gender roles affect health,” “Sexuality,” and “Violence against women,” then they had prior to the field-testing process.

 Field testing concluded in 2013; in 2014 Hesperian released a health education and community organizing resource titled Health Action for Women which is currently undergoing a process to make it freely available online. Women’s health information is the most frequently accessed of Hesperian’s free online health information, with 700,000 unique visitors to Hesperian’s digital material in 2013. Most popular search terms include, “Safe methods of abortion,” “Danger signs during pregnancy,” “genital infections” and “family planning.” Health Action for Women compliments this material by providing health educators with the tools they need to take action to improve women’s health.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Design a women's health education resource to address social barriers, attitudes, and practices which harm women and girls, in a way that reduces stigma, fosters dialogue, and includes men.

Keyword(s): International Health, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led Hesperian since 1996, and am one of the editors of the Health Action for Women book. Prior to my time at Hesperian, I trained health workers and administered health programs in Honduran refugee communities.
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.

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