Looking back and beyond health through women’s eyes

28 Feb 2019 Download

 Community based women’s health programme is based on women’s empowermentandaself-helpapproach as well as on plant based medicine. It was initiated inApril 1997 to address the need for the health program to embrace a holistic approach with appropriate human resources. WOREC adopted the concept of barefoot gynecologists in its program which was beginning of women’s health movement from the community level where women took control of their own health. This case which became foundation fo WOREC’s women health program made it clear that a number of health problems that women faced were a result of social inequalities. Not having control over her body, sexuality and reproduction, discriminatory cultural practices, values and norms have further lowered women’s status and contributed to women’s health problems. The gender-based division of labor, social norms, values and traditions related to pregnancy, reproduction, miscarriage, abortion, and use of contraceptives without proper information and lack of counseling were the factors that contributed to degrading women’s health. During a health camp in 1994, founder of WOREC Dr. Renu Adhikari when examined 56 years lady, the prolapsed part of her uterus projected out, along with a fountain of smelly dark yellowish watery discharge.The lady had inserted a rubber slipper inside her vagina for ease of walking as it kept her uterus inside.Married at age of 12,she had her first child at 15 and her uterus prolapsed after the birth of her third child at the age of 20. Five years later, her husband abandoned her and their five children. She was not allowed by the women in the village to take a bath at the public tap because of her smelly discharge and had to allow other to fill their water pot first. She went to see several local health institutions for treatment, but all turned her away saying they did not have medicines for women’s diseases.