Lately there has been a lot of discussion about women's empowerment in Globemed at Brown. It is interesting to think about how gender roles and women's empowerment directly and indirectly relates to health outcomes. For example, there has been research done in Lesotho, Africa that describes how many AIDS orphans lack caretakers since that is typically a "women's" role, and therefore men are hesitant to take responsibility for care. Issues such as this one really emphasize the fact that gender discrimination and social norms can be devastatingly restrictive in many aspects of daily life. How can these norms be changed or altered in order to better health outcomes? Are health initiatives more or less effective in areas with strong traditional gender roles? I think it is crucial to look at articles and issues written about women rights and the oppression of women and try to put these events in the context of health. How can this societal judgment harm or extinguish the lives of those who give life?
An interesting article to try to read through this lens is one titled "Why Do They Hate Us" by Mona Eltahawy.
- Megan M.