International Women's Health + Human Rights

We are a global community dedicated to education and collaborative action on issues of International Women's Health & Human Rights. This is the Tumblr page for the massive open online course (MOOC), featuring Anne Firth Murray, the founding president of the Global Fund for Women and an educator at Stanford University. Visit www.internationalwomenshealth.org for more information.

undpingo:

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Dr. Katrin Malakuti of IMCES

An estimated one in four people globally will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organisation. It’s shocking to learn that almost one million people die due to suicide every year, and it is the third leading cause of death among young people. The situation is so serious that depression is ranked third in the global burden of disease and is projected to rank first in 2030.

At Thursday’s workshop called “Global Mental Illness Crisis and a Replicable, Sustainable Intervention,” a team from the Institute for Multicultural Counseling & Education Services and International Council of Psychologists presented their research and perspectives on how to address this challenge around the world. Kicking off the session was a presentation on how cultural differences pervade mental illness and treatment, and the research being undertaken by the panel in an attempt to develop global best practices and general principles.

Read More

halftheskymovement:

AT&T made a $1 million contribution to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that seeks to bridge the gender gap in technology by equipping girls with computing skills. The donation will help the organization expand beyond its current outposts in five U.S. states.

Since their start in 2012, 3,000 girls have graduated from Girls Who Code clubs and camps across the country, with 95 percent of the students wanting to major in computer science in college. “It has made becoming a computer scientist seem possible,” said Anah Lewi, one of the graduates.

During the organization’s summer program, high school girls learned to code, worked on programming robots and met with women working in technology and engineering.

Read more via The Daily Beast.

intlwomenshealth:

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon is best-selling author/photographer Paola Gianturco’s fifth illustrated book featuring activist grandmothers worldwide fighting courageously and effectively to create a better future for grandchildren everywhere.

Learn more about the book and Paola Gianturco at Grandmother Power

The last person most of us see on earth is a woman-the nurse’s aid (significantly one of the least paid and least valued workers in our society)…These are, in a sense, the midwives of death.

Tish Sommers, Death - A Feminist View. Paper presented at Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa. March 27, 1976.

Used by Mary Howell, Mary Allen and Paula Doress-Worters in “Dying and Death”. It comes from the text “The New Ourselves Growing Older” (Doress-Worters & Siegal).

As professionals dedicated to issues of women and gender, we often appear aloof from the daily concerns of “the average woman.” In our professional lives and in our political and ideological commitments as feminists, we tend to project an image of ourselves as strong women. But it is time to publicly acknowledge the cost of our dedication to women’s issues and of the political actions that spring from our professional commitments as feminists. This process has a serious impact on our physical and mental health, and addressing this reality is also a means of empowerment.
Celia Sarduy Sánchez “Who Cares for the Caregivers? : The Vicious Cycle of Illness”

intlwomenshealth:

For this week’s unit on Aging, Dr. Carol Hunter Winograd talks about age demographics and the effect of aging will have on the globe. Learn more about Dr. Winograd from her website.

Carol Hunter Winograd, MD is an emerita professor of Medicine and Human Biology at Stanford University. She received her BA with honors in French from Wellesley College, then did graduate work at Harvard University before getting her MD cum laude at Boston University Medical School. She did her residencies at the University of California San Francisco and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University. She was on the medical faculty at both the University of California San Francisco and Stanford. She was the Clinical Director of the Geriatric Research and Education Center for 12 years at Stanford. She currently advises students and teaches courses on women and aging, mobility, and geriatrics.

Dr. Winograd’s research focused on identifying predictors of decline and improving function, especially mobility, in frail hospitalized patients.  Her interests include geriatric assessment, Alzheimer’s disease, mobility, health policy, women’s issues, and a comprehensive health and social approach to aging.
Her publications include co-authorship of a book Treatments for the Alzheimer Patient: The Long Haul (New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1988.) and more than 40 peer-reviewed articles on functional impairment in hospitalized elders, mobility, and geriatric assessment. After retiring due to illness, she became active in using art for healing, and has exhibited her paintings in a number of shows, including “Visions Toward Wellness,” a national juried exhibit, in Providence, New Haven, and New York.

Dr. Winograd is a a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine with added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine, Diplomate of the American Academy of Family Practice, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society and the Gerontological Society of America.  She has served on the editorial board of numerous scientific journals. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Geriatrics Society from 1987-1995 and Chair of the Public Policy Committee from 1987-1992. She is currently Chair of Advisory Board of the Jewish Chaplaincy at Stanford Medical Center.

intlwomenshealth:

Part of the reading for this week is this report on aging throughout the world. Prepared by the Population of Division, this report was a contribution to the 2002 World Assembly on Ageing and its follow-up. The report’s findings demonstrate:

Population ageing is unprecedented, without parallel in human history—and the twenty-first century will witness even more rapid ageing than did the century just past.
  Population ageing is pervasive, a global phenomenon affecting every man, woman and child—but countries are at very different stages of the process, and the pace of change differs greatly.  Countries that started the process later will have less time to adjust.
  Population ageing is enduring:  we will not return to the young populations that our ancestors knew.  
 Population ageing has profound implications for many facets of human life.

A complete copy of the report is available from the UN Population Division.

intlwomenshealth:

Part of the reading for this week is this report on aging throughout the world. Prepared by the Population of Division, this report was a contribution to the 2002 World Assembly on Ageing and its follow-up. The report’s findings demonstrate:

imagePopulation ageing is unprecedented, without parallel in human history—and the twenty-first century will witness even more rapid ageing than did the century just past.

image  Population ageing is pervasive, a global phenomenon affecting every man, woman and child—but countries are at very different stages of the process, and the pace of change differs greatly.  Countries that started the process later will have less time to adjust.

image  Population ageing is enduring:  we will not return to the young populations that our ancestors knew. 

image Population ageing has profound implications for many facets of human life.

A complete copy of the report is available from the UN Population Division.

humanrightswatch:

The Indian government should end “manual scavenging” – the cleaning of human waste by communities considered low-caste – by ensuring that local officials enforce the laws prohibiting this discriminatory practice. The government should implement existing legislation aimed to assist manual scavenging community members find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.

Across India, castes that work as “manual scavengers” collect human excrement on a daily basis, and carry it away in cane baskets for disposal. Women from this caste usually clean dry toilets in homes, while men do the more physically demanding cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. The report describes the barriers people face in leaving manual scavenging, including threats of violence and eviction from local residents but also threats, harassment, and unlawful withholding of wages by local officials.

internationalwomensinitiative:

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Sensationalism sells, fact. It therefore shouldn’t be a shock to see news headlines such as “Britain overrun with refugees” or “Asylum seekers costs the taxpayer millions each year”, particularly now as we climb back towards economic prosperity and look around for the scapegoat. Yet it is still difficult to hear seemingly educated people vehemently discuss the influx of asylum seekers, difficult to comprehend that it is considered appropriate to create a mainstream television  programme entitled “Immigration Street”, and difficult to see a rise in popularity of right-wing political parties, whose manifestos have previously included provisions to detain all asylum seekers in secure units. So what is the truth?

Contrary to media suggestions the majority of asylum seekers know nothing of the welfare system before they arrive in the UK and that they do not expect any financial assistance. They often flee their home country in fear of persecution due to their religion, political ideologies, nationality, race or gender, and it is this fear of persecution which forms part of the criteria for refugee status. Yet despite around one third of asylum seekers in the UK being female victims of heinous crimes such as rape, forced marriage or ‘honour’ crimes, gender specific persecution is not considered when deciding if refugee status should be granted. As a direct consequence women are disproportionately more likely to be refused refugee status.

Consider Noorzia Atmar. Like so many asylum seekers before her, Noorzia did not want to leave her home country. She had been one of the inaugural female politicians in Afghanistan and was a passionate advocate for women’s rights. Yet just three years after her term had ended she divorced the man who abused her, she was living in a women’s shelter and she had suffered knife attacks, beatings and threats against her life. Noorzia sought asylum from the Western countries that had so welcomed her outspoken approach to women’s rights issues in the middle-east, but her asylum request was immediately refused. The strict criteria for asylum applications only allows for applications to be submitted once a person has fled their home country. Noorzia did manage to flee to another country and her application is ongoing, but for so many other women who have been forced out of the family home, who have no access to their monies or who are of limited finances this travel would be impossible.

The sad truth is that even when all criteria has been satisfied, the majority of applications for asylum are still rejected. In 2014 68% of initial decisions on asylum applications were rejected, and many women claim that when discussing their persecution they are simply not believed by officials. Furthermore, since 2005, the majority of those who manage to successfully obtain refugee status will only be permitted to remain in the UK for a maximum of five years. Refugees are often unable to make decisions for their long term future and having initially escaped persecution and wading through the grueling asylum application process, the fears and stresses of being returned to the country were their persecution is almost inevitable will not be alleviated.

Take Yashika Bageerathi for example; in March this year Yashika, a 19 year old student due to take her A-Levels examinations, was detained in Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre awaiting a flight to Mauritius. Yashika and her family came to the UK in 2011 to escape an abusive relative, but the Government claimed that as Yashika was now 19 she was no longer protected under deportation rules. Despite an online petition receiving over 175,000 signatures and MPs requesting a review of the matter, Yashika was deported to Mauritius and to her abusive relative. She was unable to sit her A – Level examinations and the Home Office has refused to comment on her individual case.

Frequently women who are awaiting deportation are placed in immigration removal centres under the supervision of predominantly male guards. For those who are persecuted or falsely imprisoned by men this arrangement is abominable. It is also in direct conflict with Section 9.1 of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Guidelines, which states that “victims of torture and other serious physical, psychological or sexual violence need special attention and should generally not be detained.” Current research completed by Women for Refugee Women suggests that of the asylum seekers they questioned who are currently detained 85% had been raped or tortured before they came to the UK, 93% were depressed, more than 50% had thought of suicide and 20% had attempted to take their own life at least once. These appalling figures represent the true reality of the asylum process in the UK.

The asylum process is complex, cruel and outdated. A complete Governmental overhaul is required to create a gender sensitive asylum system, with a focus on widening the definition of persecutions, ensuring time limits for refugee status are considered on an individual case basis and addressing inherent issues with detaining women before deportation, and we must recognise that the current process is more gruelling, oppressive and harrowing than sensationalist journalists would have us believe.

Perhaps don’t believe everything you read.

mercycorps:

Did you know that Somalia has the worst school enrollment and retention rates for girls and young women in the world? We’re hoping to change that statistic with a female teacher training program.