This post piggy-backs from a discussion of women's health held here: http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/womens-health-forum-affinity
(Quick background: We are trying to use Evoke to make a difference in terms of women's health, and are working together to come up with a potential project to direct our efforts towards. Specifically:
"1) empower women/promote reproductive health
2) prevent unwanted pregnancies and pregnancy related illness/injury
3) treat problems that
cause mothers to die" - Yumna
Please feel free to join in at any stage of this process and comment with thoughts, opinions, and insights!
To make a sustainable impact on women's health, the public health community needs take a more holistic approach. Of course this means increasing access to quality reproductive and maternal healthcare (one of our favorite innovations on this front is highlighted by the work of LifeWrap
). However, at the same time, we also need to address the root causes of poor health namely, inequality and injustice. Even though this is not a new idea, in my mind the truly innovative approaches to this work are the ones that take this perspective to heart. Possible Initiative:
The idea is to create a mini-conference / symposium using grandmothers as agents for change in their communities. (I propose the usage of grandmothers as they may have more influence in their villages than very young women, and women of child bearing age are often busy with family responsibilities. This could of course be changed!)
Grandmothers will be recruited from communities with one or more programs relating to women's empowerment. (This could be a village maternal healthworker program, a microfinance program open to women, a school for girls, a reproductive rights program, etc.) The person recruited need not be a program practitioner, but should be a respected community member with "pull" in their community. The communities should be within the smallest geographical boundary possible.
Participants will receive a stipend to cover their travel costs and any lost wages during their stay.
Each participant will make a presentation on the program in their community - what it does, the impact it has, challenges and benefits. This can take th