Exploring issues in women's health
Exploring issues in women's health

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 Thinking about women’s health today

Before you start, you’ll watch a video featuring OU academics, Dr Sara MacKian and Dr Sharon Mallon, as well as OU employees discussing issues in relation to women’s health.

Activity 1 Issues in women’s health

Watch the video and as you’re watching consider your response to the question ‘If you could click your fingers and solve a problem to improve women’s health’ what problem would you solve?

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

In the video several ‘click your fingers’ examples are provided in relation to women’s health, for instance:

  • If men were magically given periods, they would experience the pain and disruption that these cause and the world is likely to change quite radically for the better as a result.
  • In terms of mental health, addressing toxic diet culture and unrealistic expectations in terms of body image would make a major difference to the mental wellbeing of women.
  • Appreciating women for who they are, by no longer objectifying them and focusing on how women look – this would be extremely beneficial.
  • Improving access to abortion (especially in Northern Ireland) and addressing the stigma attached to abortion.
  • Providing affordable treatment options for women who cannot get pregnant.

In the video there are other key messages. For example, Sara and Sharon highlight that women’s bodies are often controlled by others, especially in relation to reproduction. There can also be a medicalisation of nature processes, such as menopause, which is frequently pathologised in an inappropriate way, given that it is a normal biological process. There is a need for a wider understanding of women’s health and issues, because keeping these ‘hidden’ or ‘unspeakable’ is clearly problematic.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371