December 3, 2014

Urban Women’s Health in the United Nation’s Post-2015 Agenda

past event


As the final event in Penn IUR’s year-long 10th anniversary lecture series, Penn IUR collaborated with the Center for Global Women’s Health at Penn Nursing to host a conference that examined proposed targets for global women’s health. In particular, the conference included an expert roundtable and panel discussion to examine the proposed targets and indicators for urban women’s health and well-being to be put forward in upcoming Framework for the United Nations’ Post-2015 Agenda, known also as the Sustainable Development Goals. These speakers addressed a broad array of women’s health issues of growing concern, including health care opportunities in developing countries; the shift in gender norm’s and their impacts on women’s health; urban versus rural sexual and reproductive health; including social issues like sexual debut; and the importance of analytical data to inform the policy conversations about women’s health.

This event showcased Penn’s Provostial theme for the 2014-2015 academic year, Health. Vivian Pinn, Former Director, Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), National Institutes of Health (NIH) addressed the importance of gender equity and collaboration and shared her vast knowledge of the history of women in the medical profession. Shamim Hayder Talukder, CEO, Eminence – Associates for Social Development and President Elect, International Society for Urban Health, spoke to the emerging place for women in the growth and economic development of Bangladesh. Nisha D. Botchwey, Associate Professor, School of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, emphasized the need for built environment data next to health data for better decision-making and highlighted the demographic and gender differences in medical data. Nithya Raman,  Project Director, Transparent Chennai, Centre for Development Finance (Chennai, India), explained many critical sanitation-related problems in India as it rapidly develops and stressed the importance of supporting advocacy, practice, and change. Bridgette Brawner, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Penn School of Nursing, discussed the emerging concept of “geobehavioral vulnerability” and showed how geographic proximity to various urban elements, such as brownfields or major transportation hubs, can dramatically impact health vulnerabilities. Yzette Lanier, Assistant Professor, New York University, College of Nursing, Center for Global Women’s Health, discussed the disparities among women based on demographics and their sexual and reproductive health, defining the idea of a sexual debut and how such events influence future reproductive health outcomes for urban women. Catherine McDonald, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Penn School of Nursing spoke about the different vulnerabilities women face in middle income countries related to traffic deaths and how health impacts vary based on urban indicators, demographics, and country characteristics. 

Eugenie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education; Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning; Co-Director, Penn IUR; and Marilyn Sommers, Director, Center for Global Women’s Health and the Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Penn Nursing, both moderated the panels. Each guided their panel’s to negotiate important questions in the built environment and in the medical sector. The event also welcomed opening remarks from Antonia Villarruel, Dean, Penn Nursing, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, and Afaf Meleis, Professor of Nursing and Sociology, Dean Emerita, Penn Nursing, who each discussed important changing elements in women’s health, such as the correlation of women’s changing social role and health-related impacts and where the future of women’s health research must explore. 

Urban Women’s Health in the United Nation’s Post-2015 Agenda (Part 1) 

Urban Women’s Health in the United Nation’s Post-2015 Agenda (Part 2) 

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