The Center for Global Public Health established its annual graduate student research fellowships in 2008 to provide experiential learning for Berkeley students who are interested in global public health. This year, eight to ten research fellowships in the amount of $3,000-$5,000 will be awarded to qualified students who are selected, via a competitive evaluation process, to support 8-12 weeks of international travel and research activities in summer 2018.
The project must take place at an approved faculty research site in a low- to middle-income country (LMIC). These sites are often long-term field study sites of UC Berkeley and/or UC San Francisco (UCSF) faculty members. The student’s primary supervisor can be their on-site field supervisor for the proposed research, but students must also have a direct faculty supervisor from UC Berkeley or UCSF who will help oversee their work and provide a letter of support and has signed the affiliation agreement with the CGPH. The CGPH welcomes proposed research projects in all public health disciplines.
Deadline: January 26, 2018
Edited by: Ndola Prata, Paula Tavrow, and Ushma Upadhyay
Published: 8 November 2017
The link to the supplement is permanently accessible via the Supplements link on the article page of the journal website.
Empowerment is widely acknowledged as a process by which those who have been disempowered are able to increase their self-efficacy, make life-enhancing decisions, and obtain control over resources [1, 2, 3]. In addition, empowerment is multi-dimensional – a woman may be empowered in one dimension or sphere (such as financial) but not in another (such as in sexual and reproductive decision-making). Most countries now recognize the importance for girls and women to become more empowered, both as a goal in itself, as well as to achieve a more gender equitable society . More recently, researchers have been assessing the contexts and mechanisms by which empowerment directly or indirectly affects various aspects of women’s health [5, 6, 7]. A better understanding of the situations where greater empowerment is associated with improved health outcomes can assist policymakers in planning and prioritizing their investments.
Although associations between women’s empowerment and some aspects of their health, such as fertility and contraception, have been studied fairly extensively and seem to be mostly positive [6, 8, 9], the relationship between women’s empowerment and pregnancy or childbirth, including abortion, has not received sufficient attention. Moreover, empowerment measures still need to be critically evaluated [10, 11] and to encompass a range of potential empowerment domains – psychological, social, political, economic and legal [8, 9, 12, 13]. The purpose of this special issue in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth is to bring a multidisciplinary lens and varied methodologies to the central question of how women’s empowerment relates to pregnancy and childbirth. By highlighting women’s health concerns, rights, and empowerment, this special issue aims to catalyze societal-level changes that will yield sustainable improvements in health and well-being for women on a global scale.
This special issue is sponsored by the Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment Center of Expertise (COE), a part of the University of California Global Health Institute. The COE is comprised of faculty, staff and students from across the campuses of the University of California, along with practitioners and international partners. 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.
In the fall of 2015, the COE put out an open call for long abstracts from multiple disciplines on the role of women’s empowerment on pregnancy and childbirth. We received a total of 52 submissions, which were evaluated by all managing editors using several criteria, including strength of the empowerment construct, methodology, clarity, significance, innovation, and suitability for the supplement. The top 16 submissions were invited to submit full papers. All selected articles included a construct that is conceptualized as women’s empowerment, defined broadly. To further develop and share ideas concerning the articles for this issue, the COE conducted a one-day research workshop, which was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (NIH NCATS UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR000124). Members of the COE submitting full papers had the opportunity to give an oral presentation presenting their study’s aims and methods, receive feedback and guidance on how to improve their study’s conceptualization, hear about other scholars’ work for this special issue, and network with others interested in these topics. A total of 12 papers successfully went through peer review and were accepted for this special issue .
The 12 studies included in this special issue apply methodologies from different disciplines – 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 were also asked to discuss how their research results could affect future policies and programs. We have grouped the articles into three main subject areas, namely (1) fertility, family planning, and abortion; (2) antenatal care, delivery, and the perinatal period; and (3) maternal health and mortality.
Tuesday, October 31 2017 at 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Ndola Prata – University of California, Berkeley
Susheela Singh – Guttmacher Institute
For more information: http://ipc2017capetown.iussp.org/
Engaging Men in Family Planning: Perspectives from Married Men in Lomé, Togo
October 30th, 2017 at 3:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Although family planning activities have made vast progress in many regions of sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, lack of male engagement in many of these interventions has resulted in disappointing outcomes. Few studies have examined attitudes of male involvement in family planning from the perspective of men themselves; this evidence is necessary for development of successful family planning projects that include men. This study explored attitudes of men through six focus groups in urban Lomé, with each focus group including ten to twelve urban, married men. Among the themes that emerged from the focus groups are explanations for positive or negative views on family planning, the role of gender when deciding on family size, the role of men in contraceptive decision making, and perceived barriers to male involvement in family planning. Togolese men’s views can be grouped into three categories: complete acceptance of family planning, acceptance with reservation, and complete rejection. This finding suggests that the level of male engagement in family planning projects will depend on men’s knowledge, understanding, and trust in the information available to them. Future attempts to address these challenges should pay specific attention to men’s concerns, misconceptions, and their roles in family decision making.
- Paul Blewessi – CERA
- Karen Weidert – University of California, Berkeley
- Kpeglo Kokou
- Ouro Bitasse Erakalaza
- Adjoko Mensah
- Jacques Emina – University of Kinshasa, Department of Population and Development Studies
- Sheila Mensah – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Annette Bonjovani
- Ndola Prata – University of California, Berkeley
For more information: http://ipc2017capetown.iussp.org/
On September 13th, the world celebrates Bump Day, highlighting the joy of healthy pregnancies, moms, and babies, and also the need for increased access to healthcare for women worldwide. As we take a moment to celebrate how much we have achieved, let us also consider the current state of women’s health globally and the areas in which increased investment can make the most difference.