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Women's Empowerment and Global Health

A Twenty-First-Century Agenda

Shari Dworkin (Editor), Monica Gandhi (Editor), Paige Passano (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780520272880
November 2016
$29.95, £24.00
Other Formats Available:
What is women’s empowerment, and how and why does it matter for women’s health? These are questions that the University of California Global Health Institute’s (UCGHI) Center of Expertise (COE) on Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment aimed to answer with this book. Since 2009 the COE has brought together a multidisciplinary network of experts from across the University of California (UC) campuses and departments, along with their global partners, to advance research and education on what has become a capstone theme in the global health and development agenda: women’s and girls’ empowerment and health. Women’s Empowerment and Global Health demonstrates the outcomes of COE's commitment to advance pedagogy and present the work of thought leaders in this domain.  

Despite the rise of a human rights–based approach to health and increasing awareness of the synergies between women’s health and empowerment, a lack of consensus remains as to how to operationalize empowerment in ways that improve health. Women’s Empowerment and Global Health presents thirteen multidisciplinary case studies that demonstrate how science and advocacy can be creatively merged to enhance the agency and status of girls and women. The book is organized into two sections, the first focused on sociocultural, educational, and health systems interventions, and the second on economic, policy, and structural interventions. Seven of the chapters are enriched by complementary videos that provide readers with context about programs in India, Kenya, the United States, Mexico, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Women’s Empowerment and Global Health provides the next generation of researchers and practitioners, as well as students in global and public health, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, law, business, and medicine, with cutting-edge and inspirational examples of programs that point the way toward achieving women’s equality and the positive outcome of empowerment on health.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Empowering Women for Health
Gita Sen


Dallas Swendeman and Paula Tavrow

1. Taking Services to the Doorstep: Providing Rural Indian Women Greater Control over Their Fertility
Pallavi Gupta, Kirti Iyengar, and Sharad Iyengar

2. Obstetric Fistula in Kenya: A Holistic Model of Outreach, Treatment, and Reintegration
Lindsey Pollaczek, Paula Tavrow, and Habiba Mohamed

3. Pathways to Choice: Delaying Age of Marriage through Girls’ Education in Northern Nigeria
Daniel Perlman, Fatima Adamu, Mairo Mandara, Olorukooba Abiola, David Cao, and Malcolm Potts

4. Early Empowerment: The Evolution and Practice of Girls’ “Boot Camps” in Kenya and Haiti
Karen Austrian, Judith Bruce, and M. Catherine Maternowska

5. Empowerment and HIV Risk Reduction among Sex Workers in Bangladesh
Victor Robinson, Theresa Y. Hwang, and Elisa Martínez

6. Gender Roles in U.S. Women with HIV: Intersection with Psychological and Physical Health Outcomes
Leslie R. Brody, Sannisha K. Dale, Gwendolyn A. Kelso, Ruth C. Cruise, Kathleen M. Weber, Lynissa R. Stokes, and Mardge H. Cohen

7. Examining the Impact of a Masculinities-Based HIV Prevention and Antiviolence Program in Limpopo and Eastern Cape, South Africa
Shari L. Dworkin, Abigail M. Hatcher, Christopher Colvin, and Dean Peacock


Shelly Grabe, Sheri Weiser, Shari L. Dworkin, Joanna Weinberg, and Lara Stemple

8. Empowering Adolescent Girls and Women for Improved Sexual Health in Zimbabwe: Lessons Learned from a Combined Livelihoods and Life Skills Intervention (SHAZ!)
Megan S. Dunbar and Imelda Mudekunye-Mahaka

9. Is Microfi nance Coupled with Gender Training Empowering for Women? Lessons from the IMAGE Process Evaluation in Rural South Africa
Abigail M. Hatcher, Jacques de Wet, Christopher Bonell, Godfrey Phetla, Vicki Strange, Paul Pronyk, Julia Kim, Linda Morison, Charlotte Watts, John Porter, and James R. Hargreaves

10. Older U.S. Women’s Economic Security, Health, and Empowerment: The Fight against Opponents of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Carroll L. Estes

11. Women’s Health and Empowerment after the Decriminalization of Abortion in Mexico City
Gustavo Ortiz Millán

12. Impact of a Grassroots Property Rights Program on Women’s Empowerment in Rural Kenya
Kate Gru¨nke-Horton and Shari L. Dworkin

13. Land Tenure and Women’s Empowerment and Health: A Programmatic Evaluation of Structural Change in Nicaragua
Shelly Grabe, Anjali Dutt, and Carlos Arenas

Conclusions: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda for Women’s Empowerment and Health
Shari L. Dworkin and Lara Stemple

List of Contributors
Research presented in this book was completed with the support of University of California Global Health Institute’s (UCGHI)Center of Expertise (COE) on Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment, whose leaders and members comprised the editorial team. Chapter authors include representatives and grantees from world-renowned organizations working at the intersection of women’s health, gender, and empowerment, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE International, Department for International Development, GirlHub, National Institute of Health’s Fogarty International Center, Nike Foundation, Packard Foundation, Population Council, Public Health Foundation of India, Sonke Gender Justice, and UNICEF. 

Lead Editors: 
Shari L. Dworkin
is Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing.
Monica Gandhi is Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
Paige Passano is Program Officer at the University of California, Berkeley’s OASIS Initiative, a project of the Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability and the College of Natural Resources.
“Taken together, the chapters in this book accomplish something extraordinary. They provide analyses of the complex interplay among structural inequalities and gendered norms and normative practices that produce women’s disempowerment and subsequent health-related vulnerability. But they also provide detailed accounts of interventions, programs, and policies that have been accomplished through and have further promoted women’s empowerment. Women's Empowerment and Global Health makes a major contribution toward not only the analysis but also the achievement of global health.”—Kim M. Blankenship, Chair of the Sociology Department and Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society, American University
Women's Empowerment and Global Health is a milestone in understanding the gender dynamics of global health and sets an agenda for future research, interventions, and activism.”—Robert Wyrod, author of AIDS and Masculinity in the African City: Privilege, Inequality, and Modern Manhood

Video 1.1. Action Research and Training for Health (ARTH), Rajasthan, India

Video 6.1. Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease (WORLD), United States

Video 7.1. Sonke Gender Justice and One Man Can, South Africa

Video 8.1. The SHAZ! HUB.1. Serving the Needs of Adolescent Women and Girls in Zimbabwe

Video 11.1. Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE), Mexico City

Video 13.1. Xochilt Acalt Women’s Center, Nicaragua

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