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Session Overview
RN16_03a_H: General Call: Gender Perspective on Public Health
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Angela Genova, University of Urbino
Location: HA.1.1
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 1.

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Violence against women between reproduction and social change. Research and action in four italian municipalities

Lia Lombardi

ISMU Foundation, University of Milan

This proposal intends to discuss the issue of violence against women under two perspectives: by analysing the forms of domination and subjugation that reproduce the violent dynamics of men against women; highlighting the social change, analysed through the narratives of the interviewees involved in a quanti-qualitative research and also through the test of a governance model to contrast gender violence.

The research was carried out in 2012-2013 in four municipalities of Milan province to investigate the socio-cultural factors of violence against women (knowledge, perception, stereotypes, prejudices, representations). It consisted in: a survey of 300 interviews with women aged 20-59; three focus groups with 20 women involved in the previous survey; 10 in-depth interviews with sex-offenders prisoners (men) who were attending an "Intensified program of the offence elaboration", under the project "Parla con lui".

Research and actions taken on the four Municipalities, provide tools for understanding the social construction of gender violence phenomenon; the next step is to learn how to break the circle of violence. With reference to this last point, we bring the example of a governance model deployed by one of the municipal administration involved in the research project. They started in 2009 with a comprehensive work to combat violence against women, by providing before a reception service to women (Sportello Donna) up to the establishment, in 2014, of a local and operational network on: a) training for educational, social and healthcare operators; b) educational awareness courses for students; c) coaching and support to women victims of violence.

French standards and resistance to the implementation of breastfeeding policies

Géraldine Comoretto1, Aurélie Maurice2, Claire Kersuzan3

1ALISS INRA; 2LEPS Université Paris 13; 3COMTRASEC Université de Bordeaux

France holds one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, despite official adherence to international standards and social policies promoting birth and child well-being. Compared to other European countries, the promotion of breastfeeding appears later in France and in a more flexible way. This paper investigates French resistance to the implementation of policies to promote breastfeeding although it has become a public health concern in the last decade and there is growing emphasis on breastfeeding recommendations in child's health and nutrition programs.

This presentation focuses on the specificity of the French case in the European context: 1) a specific historical heritage unfavorable to breastfeeding compared to the Anglo-Saxon pattern (Rollet, 1989); 2) the social acceptability of mothers returning to work soon after birth, strengthened by social policies (16 weeks of maternity leave), when mixed feeding is already less widespread than elsewhere; 3) a singular normative context against lengthy breastfeeding, competing with international standards promoting breastfeeding for six month or more, up to two years. The paper will specifically highlight the maternal experience of lengthy breastfeeding in France. Who are the mothers involved and how do they reconcile their breastfeeding choices with the societal standards that see them as "nonstandard"?

This work combines qualitative and quantitative approaches based on semi-directive interviews conducted with 25 mothers from various social backgrounds and statistical data from the French Longitudinal Study of Children (Elfe), following a cohort of more than 18,000 children born in 2011 via a multidisciplinary approach.

Sexual and reproductive health of migrant women and impact on the health system: the role of culture and family traditions

Giovanni Delli Zotti, Ornella Urpis

University of Trieste, Italy

The patriarchal structure of the family seems to be still the foundation of human relationships and of the organization of society in many countries with strong emigration. In migratory processes, loyalty to traditional patriarchal family systems often remain unchanged, and relations between sexes crystallize. Difficult relationship with the new society, cultural distance and lack of integration often produce the withdrawal of the migrants in their cultural groups. This way, many foreign communities remain impermeable to the social world that surrounds them.

An ethnic group thus defines through the maintenance or the strengthening of distinctive traditional practice like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that in migrant communities becomes pivotal in collective identity. FGM is a taboo not to be revealed and becomes the boundary of identity and of community pride.

Female genital mutilation, one of the most brutal human rights violations of our times in many places in Africa, in some countries in Asia and now also in Europe, because of migration, is deeply rooted in gender inequalities, as well as an expression of deliberate physical and psychological dominance over girls and women.

The data presented will be collected through an analysis of the accesses to the Maternal Child Health Hospital Burlo Garofalo of Trieste and by means of a series of in-depth interviews with migrant women and cultural mediators. The goal of the research is to identify the presence of the phenomenon of forced marriages and FMG in the territory of Friuli Venezia Giulia and to observe the effects of patriarchal patterns of behavior on sexual and reproductive health of migrant women, as well as on the social costs that these behaviors produce on healthcare facilities.

Perceptions of use of complementary and alternative medicine in women with breast cancer

Kavi Sharma1, Joana Almeida2, Jonathan Gabe3, John Anderson4

1Brighton & Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, UK; 2Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; 3Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; 4Brighton & Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, UK

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United Kingdom, and the majority of people with this cancer, mainly women, have been treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, in turn, has caused severe side-effects, yet relatively little UK research has been carried out into the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to tackle these side-effects or simply to improve the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. Sociological literature further highlights a disturbing lack of communication between cancer patients and mainstream healthcare professionals in regards to CAM use. The pilot-study presented here thus aims to understand the perceptions of use of CAM in women with breast cancer; it addresses three main research questions: (1) Why women with breast cancer have used CAM; (2) What women with breast cancer have thought are the benefits of using CAM; (3) What women with breast cancer have felt are the reasons for nondisclosure of CAM use. Qualitative semi-structured interviews will be conducted to 12 female breast cancer patients during March and April 2017 at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust. The interviews will be analysed using a general thematic analysis guided by a grounded theory. This qualitative pilot-study will present preliminary findings on the perceptions of CAM use in female breast cancer patients. This will enhance our understanding of CAM use by cancer survivors and will potentially form the basis for a major impact case study, where healthcare professionals will be considered.

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