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Women’s Health & Empowerment

Women's Health and Empowerment Fellow Researches the Dynamics of Disclosure in India

Dr. Tapan Parikh is one of four COEWHE fellows who received UCGHI funding this year for his research endeavors in Women's Health and Empowerment. Dr. Parikh, working with doctoral student Meena Natarajan, partnered with the Positive Women's Network, a support and advocacy network for women living with HIV/AIDS in Chennai, India. Their joint research focuses on "how information about HIV status is disclosed and managed within the heterosexual married couple and family." Dr. Parikh and Meena Natarajan are presenting findings from their research at the Women's Health and Empowerment Retreat, taking place November 7-9, 2012 in Mill Valley, CA.

2012 Women's Health and Empowerment Summer Institute Enlightens and Inspires

The second annual Global Women's Health and Empowerment (WHE) Summer Institute, held at the UCLA campus on August 1-15, 2012, sparked ideas and generated far-ranging discussions about gender health disparities globally, and innovative strategies to address them. Sixteen students from 10 academic fields engaged in interactive and multidisciplinary lessons during this four-unit course, which was led by four core instructors and three guest instructors. The WHE Summer Institute provided graduate/professional students interested in improving women's health and well-being with foundational knowledge and skills to explore the dynamics of empowerment. For their final project, students developed a grant proposal for advancing women's health and empowerment globally.

This course was sponsored by the UCGHI Center of Expertise on Women's Health and Empowerment and hosted by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Department of Community Health Sciences. Partial and full scholarships were available to many of the UC participants. To learn more, watch the event video. Registration for next year's WHE Summer Institute is expected to open in March 2013.

Women's Health and Empowerment Journalism Fellow Builds Partnerships in South Africa

After a competitive selection process, Molly Oleson, a graduate student in Journalism at UC Berkeley, was selected for the COEWHE's first Journalism Summer Internship Program. Molly worked with Sonke Gender Justice, a COE partner based in South Africa. During her time working with Sonke, Molly was able to develop her reporting skills and learn valuable lessons, from a journalist's perspective, on partnering with NGOs. Molly intends to publish two articles, with the guidance of her faculty advisor at UC Berkeley, featuring two of Sonke's projects relating to gender justice. Both articles will be posted to the COEWHE website. Molly also is sharing her reflections on WHE in journalism at the Women's Health and Empowerment Retreat, November 7-9, 2012 in Mill Valley, CA.

Women’s Health & Empowerment Funds UC Berkeley Journalism Student to Report from South Africa

After a competitive selection process, Molly Oleson, a graduate student in Journalism at UC Berkeley, was selected for the COEWHE’s first Journalism Summer Internship Program. Oleson will complete a magazine-length article describing the work and major projects of Sonke Gender Justice, a COE partner based in South Africa. She will interview participants in Sonke’s activities, staff members, and on-site researchers, and collect other information relevant to the organization’s work. Oleson also will investigate and write at least two shorter articles that address the intersection of women’s health and empowerment in South Africa. The COE-WHE will publish these articles on its website.

Oleson is a print and multimedia journalist with a background in fine art and extensive experience in writing, photographing, and editing for various newspapers and magazines. After earning a B.F.A. in Painting from Boston University's College of Fine Arts and studying creative writing and journalism, Oleson began to combine her two passions: writing and art. She served as Editor of City College of San Francisco's award-winning Etc. magazine; contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle, Nomic magazine, and Juxtapoz magazine; and interned at Sierra magazine, where she continues to freelance. Currently, Oleson is a writer, photographer, multimedia producer, and illustrator at Mission Local, a hyperlocal news site in San Francisco's Mission District. She aims to find creative ways of combining writing, art, photography, and video to tell compelling stories of fascinating people and places.

Women’s Health & Empowerment COE Hosts 2nd Annual Summer Institute at UCLA, August 1-15

The Global Women’s Health and Empowerment Summer Institute is an intensive 4-unit interdisciplinary program to provide post-undergraduate students interested in improving women’s health and well-being with foundational knowledge and skills from several disciplines. Instructors are be drawn from UCLA and UCSF.

Upon completion of the WH&E Summer Institute, students will be able to:

  • explain gender health disparities globally;
  • describe and apply interdisciplinary empowerment frameworks to women's health issues;
  • analyze diverse case studies;
  • develop a grant proposal for advancing women's health and empowerment; and
  • identify various career paths and resources, and interact with potential mentors.

Women’s Health & Empowerment Sponsors Cross-campus Master’s-level Course

As part of the curriculum for the UCSF Masters of Science degree program in Global Health Sciences, the WHE Center of Expertise has developed a course on women’s health and empowerment. The course is co-taught by Anke Hemmerling, MD, PhD, MPH (UCSF), Mara Decker, DrPh (UCSF, UC Berkeley), and Denise Dunning, PhD (UC Berkeley). In order to facilitate cross-campus and interdisciplinary collaboration, this course has been made available to Master’s in Law (LLM) students at UCLA through distance learning media and technology.

This graduate-level course provides core knowledge and skills from several disciplines on how to improve women’s health and well-being globally. It aims to expand students’ understanding of the interconnected factors that influence women’s empowerment and health, including economic development, political frameworks, demographic changes, educational opportunities, social changes, and advances in gender equality.

Women’s Health & Empowerment Member Co-authors Abortion in California: A Medical-Legal Handbook

The complex political, cultural and regulatory landscape surrounding abortion care in the United States requires that abortion providers develop a sophisticated understanding of the legal system. Abortion in California: A Medical-Legal Handbook was created to aid clinicians and lawyers in navigating the bounds of California law in order to fully understand how the law interacts with clinical practice.

Women’s Health & Empowerment COE member Jennifer Dunn, JD (UC Hastings), co-authored the handbook with a team of other lawyers and doctors practicing in California. She is the Executive Director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy, and teaches Women’s Health and the Law at UC Hastings. Dunn formerly taught Women’s Health and the Law at UC Berkeley Law. Her recent work and research focuses on the history and current impact of "physician-only" abortion laws; the implications of forced and coerced cesareans on maternal morbidity and personal autonomy; and the development of the Medical-Legal Handbook: Abortion in California.

COE Coordinator Lindsey Zwicker, JD, MPP, worked as a legal fellow on the development of the handbook.

The handbook is available for purchase on Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com. It is also available at the UC Hastings Bookstore. A new site, www.californiaabortionlaw.com, will provide all information from the book as well as free updates. This new website will be available within the next few months. A wine and cheese reception celebrating the launch of the new book will be held in San Francisco on Thursday, March 22nd, at 6pm. See event flier for details.

Apply Now: UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship

The deadline for the UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship has been extended until March 15, 2012. For information on how to apply, see program flier

WHE Co-sponsors Lecture Series

Women’s Health & Empowerment is co-sponsoring a lecture series and conference with the UCSF Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine. The next lecture, titled "Living and Dying in HIV-land: Political Violence, Health Care, and Experiences of HIV-positive Pupuan Women" will be given by Leslie Butt, PhD, Professor, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria. The talk will take place at UCSF on April 18, 2012. See event flier for details.

Second Annual Women’s Health & Empowerment Summer Institute at UCLA

The WHE COE is proud to announce that it will host its second annual Women’s Health & Empowerment Summer Institute in August 2012. The Summer Institute is an intensive four-credit interdisciplinary program offered by the University of California Global Health Institute at the UCLA campus (see info from the 2011 Institute). The Institute’s main purpose is to provide graduate students with core knowledge and skills from several disciplines on how to improve women’s health and well-being globally. More information will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, contact Lindsey Zwicker with any questions.

Women’s Health & Empowerment COE Hires Abbey Hatcher, MPH, as Grant Writer

Ms. Hatcher will assist COE members in developing and submitting grant proposals to support new research relevant to women’s health and empowerment. For information on how to avail of Abbey’s grant writer services, please see the call for applications.

As a project coordinator for four UCSF investigators, Ms. Hatcher’s exposure to crafting a compelling (ie. fundable!) grant has been vast and varied. She has a keen interest in packaging, articulating, and conceptualizing research, which has helped guide several proposals from the “good idea’ phase to the top tier of funding. When not working on proposals, she leads qualitative research, assists with manuscript development, and advises process evaluations of structural interventions. She has helped to design complex interventions and interdisciplinary research funded by CFAR, PEPFAR, and NIH. She is presently writing a doctoral dissertation at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that explores social and structural barriers to linkage to HIV care. She anticipates that the COE grant writer role will complement her doctoral experience, and help her contribute creatively to innovative health research led by UC campuses.

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