The first Quarterly Conversations in Global Health of the academic year, entitled, “Gender Inequalities from a Health Perspective” took place on November 2nd, 2016 at the Great Hall, International House at UC San Diego.
Quarterly Conversations in Global Health , a series brought to you by The UC San Diego Global Health Program, Students for Global Health and Global Forum, seeks to bring the global health community together to discuss relevant topics in the field and provide networking opportunities.
The topic of discussion was MC’d by the charismatic Dr. Cathy Gere, who led us gracefully through the panel discussion and Q&A session. As Dr. Gere shared:
“The goal of the discussion is to educate students and audience members on the barriers and limitations to individual health concerns that arise in relation to gender, and to bring about meaningful discussion of this social concern.”
The first panelist, Claudia Huerta, a Legislative and Political Engagement Manager at Planned Parenthood, addressed the existing health disparities in our county, region and nation with a focus on women’s’ access to reproductive care. She spoke on the 501c(4) organization which advances reproductive health via advocacy and education, the Hyde amendment (except in case of rape, incest, or imminent danger to the mother), which removed federal medicaid coverage for abortion and the role Planned Parenthood has in sponsoring and supporting legislators at the federal and state level in their initiatives involving women’s reproductive healthcare.
Next, Kenyatta Parker, HIV Planning Group Support Staff, HIV, STD & Hepatitis Branch of the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, discussed HIV nationwide, its history and who is most impacted by HIV today. Ms. Parker agrees that gender dynamics, both nationally and globally, affect women’s likelihood of getting HIV and their experience with it. Ms. Parker spoke to a host of factors that influence HIV infection like poverty, a lack of conversation between doctors and female patients, and the belief that women are not asked to test because HIV is still stigmatized as a prevalent problem among gay and bi-sexual men.
The third panelist, Dr. Erin Falvey, Executive Director of Christie’s Place, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS education, support, and advocacy to women, children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Dr. Erin Falvey oversees the development and implementation of gender and trauma-informed care delivery. Dr. Falvey spoke to the significant degree of overlap between trauma and HIV and that the vast majority of women are not connected to care, thus resulting in their inability to sustain their treatment, and to higher rates of simultaneous diagnosis of HIV and AIDS.
Our last panelist, Dr. Jennifer A. Wagman, PhD, MHS, is a UC San Diego Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health at the Department of Medicine and an active faculty member with UCSD’s Center on Gender Equity and Health.
Dr. Wagman emphasized that it is quite common for people who have experienced Intimate Partner Violence, including physical, emotional, psychological, economic and social abuse, to suffer health disparities. Dr. Wagman feels that gender dynamics play a role in health care, especially in women who live with significant cultural differences and expectations. Dr. Wagman strives to put a stop to blaming cultural differences and allowing false, damaging views about women in our society.
The Quarterly Conversation culminated with a rich discussion between our panelists and students. Thank you to all who attended for making this a very successful event!
Please save the date for the Winter Quarterly Conversations in Global Health series on February 15, 2017 where we will discuss the important topic of “Food Insecurities from a Health Perspective.”