Since 1998, the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, LACWHN, has offered a human resources training program throughout the region. The International Courses on “Gender Perspectives in Health” also known as the Itinerant University (IU) is the primary strategy employed in training human resources in women’s health, under the following objectives:
• To strengthen, from civil society, cultural and political changes to ensure gender equity in public policies; to develop and reinforce women’s advocacy skills; to strengthen women’s leadership in policymaking bodies, healthcare services and academia, with an emphasis on the exercise of women’s citizenship; and finally, to nurture the formation of strategic alliances among healthcare workers and members of the women’s health movement.
1. To provide tools for the understanding and application of a gender perspective in international and national policies and their impact on women’s health.
2. To define, analyze and share advocacy strategies at the local, national, regional and international levels that promote and implement health policies and programs that are favorable to women and their rights.
3. To provide tools for analysis and organization building that foster alliances needed to strengthen the force of women’s demands in health programs and policies.
Bearing in mind the regional context characterized by the installation of neoliberal economic models accompanied by structural adjustment programs, this educational project uses the overarching focus of "Gender, Globalization and Health Sector Reform" to apply a gender perspective to the processes of health sector reform, changes in the role of the State and economic, social and cultural paradigm shifts. The Itinerant University also proposes to examine the public policies of this new order and their impact on women’s health.
The courses are given by a team of experts of international renowned, women members of LACWHN who share their academic and practical experience, and local specialists in the subjects.
The courses target members of the women's health movement (community groups and NGOs, preferably LACWHN members), women who work in the public health system and, occasionally, members of pertinent professional associations, academia and local government. As the objectives clearly state, the IU encourages the participants to develop their leadership, lobbying and advocacy skills in order to help them better impact the sectoral policies that harm women’s health.
The IU courses also have a strong focus on the construction of advocacy agendas, as well as the development of tools for lobbying and citizen monitoring of government actions on the issues that women have defined as relevant and urgently needed.
Photos taken at Itinerant University courses held over the past six years in nine different countries can be downloaded here from LACWHN's Spanish-language website.
For more information, contact Program Coordinator, Sandra Castañeda, at: firstname.lastname@example.org