Course Description

Women's Health, Gender And Empowerment, PBHLTH W108

The course will provide core knowledge and skills from several disciplines on how to improve women's health and well-being globally, and it will follow a life course framework. It aims to expand students’ understanding of the interconnected factors that influence women’s health and empowerment - including foundations of sexual and reproductive health, economic development, political frameworks and global reproductive rights, demographic and social changes, basic principles of empowerment theory, educational opportunities, and efforts to ensure gender equity.

Key Information

Credit: 4.5 quarter units / 3 semester units credit
UC Berkeley, School of Public Health

Course Credit:

Upon successful completion, all online courses offered through cross-enrollment provide UC unit credit. Some courses are approved for GE, major preparation and/or, major credit or can be used as a substitute for a course at your campus.

If "unit credit" is listed by your campus, consult your department, academic adviser or Student Affairs division to inquire about the petition process for more than unit credit for the course.

UC Berkeley:
Unit Credit

UC Davis:
Unit Credit

UC Irvine:
Unit Credit

UC Los Angeles:
Unit Credit

UC Merced:
Unit Credit

UC Riverside:
General Education: Elective units

UC San Diego:
Unit Credit

UC San Francisco:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Barbara:
Unit Credit

UC Santa Cruz:
Unit Credit

More About The Course

This course will be taught online via asynchronous narrated PowerPoint lecture components, and guided readings. Class participation will be assessed via student engagement in class activities and online group discussion threads. In addition, a number of larger assignments include a Group Project with various milestones, and a proctored midterm examination. 

The total time commitment for a 3-unit semester long class is a total of 135 hours, which is approximately 8 -10 hours weekly over 14 weeks for the completion of all components. For students on quarter system campuses, the received units for the completion of the course will be adjusted upward to 4.5 units in order to adequately reflect their time commitment for the quarter system. 

OBJECTIVES 
[KNOWLEDGE]: To expand students’ understanding of the interconnected cultural, demographic, social, and economic factors that influence women’s health and empowerment globally. 
[KNOWLEDGE]: To gain knowledge of the historical and present-day contexts of politics, policies, and laws related to women’s health outcomes, human rights, sexual and reproductive rights, and gender inequities. 
[SKILLS]: To critically engage with contrasting perspectives and changing paradigms about women’s health and empowerment among epidemiologists, clinicians, public health experts, demographers, economists, human rights activists, and development specialists. 
[SKILLS]: Assess policies, development frameworks and case studies of interventions designed to improve women’s health and empowerment in differing cultural and national contexts with specific attention to gender norms. 

COMPETENCIES 

  • Identify and analyze gender inequities in health care needs and access to care. 
  • Explain the ways in which social, economic, and cultural factors can both promote and impede women’s and girls’ health. 
  • Examine how girls’ education contributes to individual, community, and national development. 
  • Critically examine how gender and women’s empowerment is addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals and other development frameworks 
  • Evaluate case studies of interventions designed to improve women’s health and empowerment in differing cultural and national contexts and recommend improvements 
  • Compare macro level political, institutional, and structural factors that influence women’s health and empowerment in relation to local, cultural, and regional contexts 
  • Identify the major institutions and non-governmental organizations that influence women’s health and empowerment and suitable approaches for implementing interventions to ensure gender equity. 
  • Assess the impact of women’s health on advances in other sectors including child health, education, economic development, and social stability. 
  • Analyze case studies applying the relevant historical context of politics, policies, and laws related to women’s health and human rights. 
  • Analyze the contrasting perspectives and changing paradigms among epidemiologists, public health experts, demographers, economists, human rights activists and development specialists related to women’s health and empowerment.

Course Creators

Mara Decker
Mara Decker, DrPH MHS (UCSF/UCB) is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.  She oversees several applied research projects and evaluations focusing on reproductive health both domestically and globally. Currently, she directs the evaluation of California’s Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health programs as well as a bi-national study of quality of care for pregnant and parenting Latina adolescents. Her research interests include the intersection between health and other developmental issues including human rights, social determinants of health, and health equity. Dr. Decker has implemented a participatory health and conservation program in the Bolivian jungle, researched the association between homelessness,health, and violence, and assessed health needs in post-conflict Angola among internally displaced women. She is also on the Steering Committee of California’s Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group, a member of the UC Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment, and an advisor to the UNFPA’s adolescent health efforts. In addition to this course, Dr. Decker teaches an online course in program evaluation through UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and co-teaches a graduate course in women’s health and empowerment with Dr. Hemmerling at UCSF. Mara Decker, DrPH MHS (UCSF/UCB) is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.  She oversees several applied research projects and evaluations focusing on reproductive health both domestically and globally. Currently, she ...

Mara Decker, DrPH MHS (UCSF/UCB) is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.  She oversees several applied research projects and evaluations focusing on reproductive health both domestically and globally. Currently, she directs the evaluation of California’s Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health programs as well as a bi-national study of quality of care for pregnant and parenting Latina adolescents. Her research interests include the intersection between health and other developmental issues including human rights, social determinants of health, and health equity. Dr. Decker has implemented a participatory health and conservation program in the Bolivian jungle, researched the association between homelessness,health, and violence, and assessed health needs in post-conflict Angola among internally displaced women. She is also on the Steering Committee of California’s Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group, a member of the UC Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment, and an advisor to the UNFPA’s adolescent health efforts. In addition to this course, Dr. Decker teaches an online course in program evaluation through UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and co-teaches a graduate course in women’s health and empowerment with Dr. Hemmerling at UCSF.

Anke Hemmerling

Anke Hemmerling, MD PhD MPH (UCSF, UCB) is the Director of the Interdisciplinary MPH Program at UCB School of Public Health, and a clinical researcher at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, focusing on the prevention of reproductive health infections. She is mentoring and teaching students in the UCB Interdisciplinary MPH program, the UCB Global Health Specialty Area, and the UCSF Global Health Masters Program. Dr. Hemmerling also serves on the steering committee of the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies for Reproductive Health (IMPT). During her clinical training, she repeatedly worked in health projects and hospitals in Latin America. Her PhD research assessed medication abortion in Germany. Before joining UCSF in 2007, she was a postgraduate Global Health Research Fellow for the UCB Bixby Program, and a Director of Special Health Projects for Venture Strategies for Health and Development, conducting research related to safe motherhood and safe delivery in Africa.

Anke Hemmerling, MD PhD MPH (UCSF, UCB) is the Director of the Interdisciplinary MPH Program at UCB School of Public Health, and a clinical researcher at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, focusing on the prevention of reproductive health infections. She is mentoring and teaching students in the UCB Interdisciplinary MPH program, the UCB Global Health Specialty Area, ...

Anke Hemmerling, MD PhD MPH (UCSF, UCB) is the Director of the Interdisciplinary MPH Program at UCB School of Public Health, and a clinical researcher at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, focusing on the prevention of reproductive health infections. She is mentoring and teaching students in the UCB Interdisciplinary MPH program, the UCB Global Health Specialty Area, and the UCSF Global Health Masters Program. Dr. Hemmerling also serves on the steering committee of the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies for Reproductive Health (IMPT). During her clinical training, she repeatedly worked in health projects and hospitals in Latin America. Her PhD research assessed medication abortion in Germany. Before joining UCSF in 2007, she was a postgraduate Global Health Research Fellow for the UCB Bixby Program, and a Director of Special Health Projects for Venture Strategies for Health and Development, conducting research related to safe motherhood and safe delivery in Africa.


Deborah Mindry
Deborah Mindry, PhD, MPA, MA (UCLA/ UCI) is a Research Anthropologist in UCLA’s Center for Social Medicine and Humanities, Semel Institute. Her research interests include gender politics, NGOS and development, and HIV/AIDS. She has conducted qualitative ethnographic research in South Africa since the early 1990s. Her research examines HIV, reproductive health and gender dynamics in South Africa (Durban), Malawi (Lilongwe and Nkhoma), Uganda (Kampala) and the United States (Los Angeles). She is currently working on a book manuscript, “I am HIV: Ordinary people daring to live and make change in South Africa” which challenges conceptions of Africans as victims of HIV and examines the complex realities of people living with HIV, their determination to survive and to make change in their communities. Deborah Mindry, PhD, MPA, MA (UCLA/ UCI) is a Research Anthropologist in UCLA’s Center for Social Medicine and Humanities, Semel Institute. Her research interests include gender politics, NGOS and development, and HIV/AIDS. She has conducted qualitative ethnographic research in South Africa since the early 1990s. Her research examines HIV, reproductive health and gender dynamics in South ...

Deborah Mindry, PhD, MPA, MA (UCLA/ UCI) is a Research Anthropologist in UCLA’s Center for Social Medicine and Humanities, Semel Institute. Her research interests include gender politics, NGOS and development, and HIV/AIDS. She has conducted qualitative ethnographic research in South Africa since the early 1990s. Her research examines HIV, reproductive health and gender dynamics in South Africa (Durban), Malawi (Lilongwe and Nkhoma), Uganda (Kampala) and the United States (Los Angeles). She is currently working on a book manuscript, “I am HIV: Ordinary people daring to live and make change in South Africa” which challenges conceptions of Africans as victims of HIV and examines the complex realities of people living with HIV, their determination to survive and to make change in their communities.

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