Health Promotion from a Feminist Perspective: A Framework for an Effective Health System Response to Woman Abuse

By Thurston, W. E. | Resources for Feminist Research, Annual 1998 | Go to article overview

Health Promotion from a Feminist Perspective: A Framework for an Effective Health System Response to Woman Abuse


Thurston, W. E., Resources for Feminist Research


W.E. Thurston

Department of Community

Health Sciences and Office of Gender and Equity Issues

Faculty of Medicine

University of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta

Wife abuse is widespread and is a threat to well being both directly and through the limits imposed on a woman's capacity for health. While the impact on women is reason enough for the health sector to make wife abuse a priority issue, the impact on health care utilization should also be a concern. After fifteen years of research and education, however, the health system response has been inadequate. Risk reduction and primary prevention models cannot capture the complexities required for successful prevention programs. With feminist analysis, health promotion models provide a more promising starting point.

La violence faite aux femmes par un conjoint est tres repandue et menace le bien-etre des femmes non seulement directement mais aussi a travers les limites imposees sur la sante d'une femme. Quoique l'impact sur les femmes constitue en luimeme une raison suffisante pour que le secteur de la sante fasse de la violence faite aux femmes une priorite, l'impact sur l'utilization des services de sante devrait aussi engendrer de l'inquietude. Cependant, au bout de quinze ans de recherches et d'education, la reponse du systeme de sante a ce probleme demeure inadequate. La reduction du risque et les modeles de prevention premiere ne peuvent tenir compte de la complexite exigee par des programmes de prevention reussis. Grace a une analyse feministe, les modeles de promotion de la sante offrent une point de depart plus prometteur.

Introduction

There are three points I intend to make in this paper: first, wife abuse is a serious health issue which demands response from the health sector; second, the health sector has not addressed this issue, or has responded ineffectively; and third, if a feminist analysis is included, a health promotion framework would improve the health system response to wife abuse. The available research on wife battering and health supports the conclusion that wife abuse is a prevalent and serious health issue. Wife abuse can result in loss of women's potential to protect and promote their own health and well-being, as well as in serious injuries and illnesses which require utilization of health services. Wife abuse is a preventable health problem with enormous personal and social costs. The health sector has played a limited role in addressing wife abuse and when one looks at the patriarchal model of health care, this is not surprising. Few health professionals routinely screen for abuse, and policies to promote this practice have often been ineffective. The professions, furthermore, have not addressed the impact of personal experiences of violence on the lives and practices of their own members. In addition, advocates for a health system response to wife abuse have experienced both backlash and cooptation.

In the past decade, health policy makers have articulated that the health system must adopt an expanded view of health and of the role of the health system in prevention and health promotion. Many health policy and program analysts have written about the necessity of a multi-sectoral and coordinated response to health issues because the social determinants of health play a greater role than health services in maintaining the health of populations (e.g., Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1994). There is a congruence between this view of health, health promotion and the issues raised by feminists concerning an effective response to the issue of violence against women. Health promotion, therefore, provides a useful framework for working on wife battering in the health sector. The challenge will be ensuring that feminist theory and a gendered analysis of policy and practice remain integral. (1)

The concept of health or women's health used in this paper was defined by Phillips (1995, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Health Promotion from a Feminist Perspective: A Framework for an Effective Health System Response to Woman Abuse
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.