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|Title:||Checkpoints on the long road to Palestinian women's health|
|Publisher:||Birzeit University, Institute of Community and Public Health|
|Abstract:||The long road to maternal death has been well delineated (Fathalla 1987); however, the diverse pathways down the road to women‟s health have yet to be traced. The health of Palestinian women is shaped by the context in which they are living, their experience of the past, and their hope for the future. Based on the assumption that all women have the right to adequate and safe health care, this overview of women‟s health will explore some of the social, political and biomedical factors which affect women‟s health and the provision of health services in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Presenting a portrait of Palestinian women‟s health, the provision of care, and the external and internal challenges faced in the provision of effective and equitable health care, this review aims to promote local and international dialogue to improve the well-being of Palestinian women and their families, in line with the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development. While the Millenium Development Goals in low income countries show trends in key universal indicators of women‟s health, they do not depict the quality or experience of care, or how the conditions in which women live affect their physical and psychological health. Rather, over-reliance on quantifying women‟s health care through coverage indicators can deflect attention away from what has been called the „structural violence‟ (Farmer 2003) of poor women‟s everyday life, that goes unnoticed or ignored. A broader approach to women‟s health is needed for a better understanding of how to improve the lives of Palestinian women and how to go beyond emergency aid to develop a vision and plan for sustainable development based on and emanating from the local context. Palestinian women‟s health and well-being has been shaped by the interplay of different factors over the years of Israeli military occupation. Over one-half (57%) of households were living under the poverty line in 2007,1 with increasing socioeconomic and regional inequalities (Mataria et al 2009). Most critically in the past year, women in Gaza are suffering from the casualties and the destruction of the Israeli attacks in December 2008- January 2009, and the continuing siege of the Gaza Strip, prohibiting reconstruction and daily subsistence. Within the context of deteriorating living conditions, this review will present the research data available on women‟s health status throughout the life cycle and how women‟s health care has evolved over the recent decades. Finally, it will investigate the quality, safety and gaps in the provision of health care. Understanding the process of care and its systemic deficiencies may contribute to improving the quality, safety and efficiency of care and its responsiveness to women‟s needs both locally and regionally, where similar challenges to quality care have been identified (UNDP 2009)|
|Appears in Collections:||Institute of Community and Public Health|
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