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Fall Classes in the Certificate Program in Women's Global Health Leadership

As part of the Certificate Program in Women’s Global Health Leadership, we are pleased to announce the Fall 2014 courses Global Women’s Health MovementsThe Growth Imperative, Global Ecology, and Women’s Health, and Debt, Crisis, and Women’s Health. Each course is offered entirely online.


Class Descriptions:


Women’s Global Health Movements (01:988:407)
Professor Julia Wartenburg

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.

The Growth Imperative, Global Ecology, and Women’s Health (01:988:409)
Professor Julia Wartenburg

Over the past half-century, scholars have debated the relationship between the quest for “endless growth”–capital accumulation on a global scale–and resource exhaustion. This course situates women’s health in the context of these debates, investigating the health consequences of environmental crises linked to various market-based development strategies and technological innovations. Analyzing externalized business costs in the currency of human health, the course investigates illness caused by toxic industrial products and byproducts, injury from resource extraction processes such as nuclear fission and deep-water oil drilling, the manifold health hazards stemming from violent conflict over control of scarce resources in postcolonial states, and dangers that attend dislocation resulting from climate change.

Debt, Crisis, and Women’s Health (01:988:410)
Professor Heidi Hoechst

Growing national debt has become a feature of increasing numbers of nations over the past 60 years, heightening dependence on international financial institutions and restricting the sphere of freedom of national policy makers. Health care provision has been subjected to severe cuts as nations struggle to meet their debt obligations and stabilize their economies. Framing ongoing global economic crisis as a consequence of excess rather than scarcity, this course unsettles the conventional moral calculus of credit and debt, exploring the relationship between debt and economic crisis, and examining the impacts of austerity policies on women’s health. Comparing experiences of nations in various regions of the world, the course considers the effects of continued borrowing to pay debt interest on humanitarian concerns. In particular, the course analyzes who suffers for the sake of debt repayment and the magnitude of that gendered suffering in highly leveraged societies.

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