International Women’s Day 2015
On International Women’s Day (March 8), we celebrate women across the globe and the progress made toward achieving women’s rights. While we reflect on the improvements made, we also must recognize that for many women, their rights, including their right to health, are still not fully realized.
On International Women’s Day, GHSP Volunteers reflect on the importance of women’s health and why they have pursued careers dedicated towards improving the health of women worldwide.
Women’s health is important because when she is healthy, her entire family and community will benefit.
I have chosen to work in women’s health because all women deserve to have the best care possible. Often women have no voice of their own and have not yet realized they are so valuable. It is essential to educate them and their communities so everyone is working together towards the goal of improving the health of women.
Women’s health is everyone’s health because a strong and educated woman can conquer the impossible. Growth begins in a literal way.
Women’s rights = Human rights. They are synonymous.
Women’s rights and health are intertwined because it is a fundamental human right to be healthy and have access to a system that believes the same.
My mother is an immigrant to America from Chiapas, Mexico. Her mother died when she was very young and so my mother did not recognize her own strength and value. She thought she was dying when she got her first period.
Unknowingly she patterned a sense of inferiority and taught me to be passive and powerless. Luckily, through time and personal education, I have come to understand the opposite is true.
I am excited about sharing this knowledge with others and promoting equality, assertiveness and strength. I am passionate about teaching women to be healthy, stay healthy and “infect” others with health.
– Jeanne Cheshier-Alvarado, MD, MPH (OBGYN), 2014 GHSP Volunteer
Improving the health of women is fundamental to reaching gender equality.
Women and girls must have the power to make decisions about their bodies and access to quality health services in order to reach their full potential. One of the most dangerous places in the world to become pregnant is sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Health Organization, one in 44 Tanzanian women will die in her lifetime as a result of pregnancy-related complications; many more will suffer serious and chronic health consequences. Lack of skilled health workers to prevent complications like hemorrhage shock and eclamptic seizures is one serious obstacle to reducing preventable deaths.
During my year with GHSP, I hope to make a difference by helping prepare the next generation of nurses who will provide skilled, supportive and respectful midwifery care.
– Rebecca Jones Munger, RN, CNM, MPH, 2014 GHSP Volunteer