The relationship between women’s empowerment and pregnancy and childbirth is the topic of a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth published November 8, 2017.
Edited by the Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise (COE) of the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI), the journal supplement, Women’s empowerment related to pregnancy and childbirth, features papers from multiple disciplines and varied methodologies, all responding to the central question of how women’s empowerment relates to pregnancy and childbirth.
“We chose empowerment as the central theme of this issue because the relationship between women’s empowerment and pregnancy or childbirth, including abortion, has not received sufficient attention,” said COE Co-director Ndola Prata.
The COE editors for the special issue evaluated 52 submissions, inviting top scoring applicants to submit full papers and to participate in a development workshop, partially funded by National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
The 12 accepted studies apply methodologies from anthropology, sociology, law, demography and public health to provide empirical data on an aspect of women’s empowerment during a critical period of the reproductive life-course. The authors also connected their research results to potential policies and programs.
The special issue provides a platform for examining the relevance of empowerment to various features of women’s (and transgender men’s) experiences of pregnancy and childbirth across the globe. The articles are grouped into three main subject areas:
- Fertility, family planning and abortion
- Antenatal care, delivery and the perinatal period
- Maternal health and mortality
More than half of the authors contributing to the special issue are University of California faculty and researchers, representing UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UC Irvine, UCLA and UCSF.
About the Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise
The COE promotes research, education and community engagement at the intersection of health and empowerment in the US and globally. Collectively, it represents a wide variety of disciplines and approaches to improving women’s health and empowerment. Faculty, staff and students from across the campuses of the University of California, along with practitioners and international partners, comprise the COE.