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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Chapter 1: Womens Health Movement in Canada WHM = Women health movement; WM=womens movement WHM is not vitally covered in the general womens movement. The key feature of the WHM (i.e. to expand on the definition if health) overlaps with the key events and issues of the larger womens movement. The womens health movement is distinct body of theorizing and activism. WHM and the larger womens movement both challenge dominant paradigms and build theories and practice to influence policy towards womens concerns. Prior to womens movement in Canada, womens health issues were ignored or defined as being related to reproductive health concerns. This was a result of the dominance of male researchers and practitioners in the medical and health sciences. The rise of biomedicine in the 19 century contributed to the occlusion by placing greater focus on the needs and concerns of men and by neglecting to consider social determinants of health and its affect on health. Outline: The way womens bodies have been understood in the western history. The reasons for the rise of womens health movement in Canada. The political and activist strategies used to educate health professional about womens bodies; to challenge androcentric; ethnocentric and racist research paradigms; to develop women-centered care models; and to enhance womens reproductive rights and access to specialized care. The tensions that arise from womens differing experiences in the health care system (focus given to disabled, immigrant, aboriginal and colored women) Current challenges to Canadian health policy arising from national and international trends such as globalization. The strengths that transnational feminist activism is bringing to womens health movement. Women and the Body The fundamental differences between womens and mens bodies have influenced the development of contemporary western science and medical practice. The western traditions saw the body to be the site of unruly passions that lead to disrupt the pursuit of truth and knowledge and THUS ignored the body overall. The transcendence of the body over mind was a valued goal in western tradition. Women were associated with the body and men with mind and thus lead to a transcendence of the body. Therefore, women are less capable than men. Somatophobia: fear of the body was related to womens bodies as they are seen as being out of control and in need of regulation. Association of hysteria with the womb is a historical example of the feminine body being marked with irrationality. www.notesolution.com
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