Required courses (6 credits):
Women’s Global Health Movements (01:988: 407)
Informed by the history of the International Women and Health Meetings (IWHMs), this course investigates the political vision and organizational structure for women’s health movements around the world. It contrasts early strategies driven by coalitions of activists from the North, which focused on reproductive rights, self-help, and a definition of health based largely in the physiology of women’s bodies with approaches advanced by activists from the global South, which attend to the social, cultural, and economic factors that affect women’s access to the most basic healthcare. This course examines how and why contemporary feminist conceptions of health are grounded in a comprehensive framework attentive to international power dynamics, globalization, macroeconomic policy, national and global poverty, conflict and war, and debt crises in various countries. Beginning with an overview of women’s contemporary health challenges, the class then analyzes the political tactics and strategies women have devised to secure access to healthcare for themselves, their families, households and communities. Introducing students to the global institutions, organizations, and policies that impact health, course material also traces how women’s nongovernmental organizations have attempted to transform existing institutions and policies of global health governance to enable women in all regions of the world to lead physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally healthier, more dignified lives.
Impacts of Economic Inequality on Women’s Health (01:988: 408)
Domestic and global economic inequality places significant numbers of people at high risk for health crises even as they are denied access to care. This course investigates the “pathogenic” aspects of economic inequality. It examines how systems of unequal resource distribution grounded in class, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality and sexuality contribute to wide disparities of health risk, access to health care, and clinical outcomes. It explores how global trade and transnational migration affect health costs, health care delivery systems, and the availability of health care professionals. By tracing links between macro-economic policies and access to health care, the course analyzes pathologies suffered by individual women in the context of structural violence, which is exacerbated by the intersections of gender, class, race, national belonging, and geopolitical power.