This expansive survey spotlights pervasive issues affecting girls' and women's sexual and reproductive health across the lifecourse. Research from diverse countries around the world analyzes the complex relationships among biological, psychological, sociocultural, and economic issues--particularly in terms of inequities--as they shape women's lives. Major challenges and possibilities for intervention are examined in their national context and with their global implications, including child marriage/motherhood, reproductive care and access, fertility, childbearing, contraception, abortion, HIV/STIs, gender-based violence, sexual pleasure, and menopause. In these forceful dispatches, a consistent human rights perspective emphasizes women's control, autonomy, and agency in all stages of their lives.
A sampling of topics covered:
- Girl child marriage: a persistent global women's health and human rights violation
- Investigating challenges and resilience among women living with obstetric fistula in Kenya
- A qualitative exploration of mainstream and social media reflections on abortion
- A continuum of severity of sexual intimate partner violence among black women in the United States
- Economic empowerment to improve sexual and reproductive health among women and girls
Summarizing an interdisciplinary field on research and practical levels, Global Perspectives on Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Lifecourse will be an invaluable text for undergraduate and graduate courses in a wide range of fields, including public health, global health, women's studies, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, and human rights.
Shonali Choudhury, PhD, MMH, was born on December 17, 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and died in Miami, FL on November 14, 2014. She graduated from Saint John's School in the Condado of San Juan and completed her B.A. at Bard College in upstate New York. As a child she wanted to be a medical doctor, but during her university years she decided to study social problems that affect health. Her senior thesis looked at mental health care of uprooted Puerto Ricans in upstate New York. After graduation she worked with the HIV Health Services Planning Council in Newark, NJ and went on to earn a PhD in Public Health at UCLA in 2009, where she earned the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for outstanding work on women's health. Her research on female sex workers in Tijuana for her dissertation required personal courage that reflected her passionate commitment to women's rights and helping disadvantaged populations gain access to health care.After graduation Shonali worked with the Hispanic Health Council and the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, CT, and then accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami. The multicultural atmosphere and the receptive attitude toward qualitative research made her feel immediately at home. She loved her students and her research.Shonali fought a long battle with the brain tumor that took her life, undermining her capacity to do the work she loved, affecting her eyesight, speech and coordination. She is remembered for her love of animals, holidays and gourmet cooking, as well as her bright smile and steadfast loyalty to her friends. In Shonali's honor, the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health created a scholarship fund in her name that honors her legacy for public health and social justice. A special Shonali Choudhury Fund was established within the Puerto Rico Community Foundation to promote women's rights, health and education. The Fund has given grants to a women's shelter for victims of violence, and a feminist community organization to promote sex education for adolescents geared to the prevention of sexual aggression.Jennifer Toller Erausquin, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her MPH and PhD from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She was a predoctoral fellow of the California Center for Population Research and the UCLA AIDS Research Training Program, receiving training in demography and epidemiology. She went on to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Duke Global Health Institute, focusing on gender, poverty, and health. Her research centers on social and contextual determinants of health disparities, and the design and evaluation of structural interventions to eliminate health disparities. Her work has largely been with marginalized populations, including female sex workers, sexual and gender minorities, and immigrants to the U.S. Her substantive areas of interest are prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), health risk behaviors among youth, and Latino/a health. Mellissa Withers, PhD, MHS is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is based at the USC Institute for Global Health. She also leads the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 45 universities in the Pacific Rim region. She received a PhD from the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master's in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley. Her primary research interests lie in community participatory research, maternal and child health, migration, gender-based violence, and global reproductive health.