Dear Members and Colleagues,
We are at the threshold of the Spring season with its message of hope and new beginnings. The unique and beautiful varieties of cherry blossoms around the world that bloom in March remind us of the miracle of life and nature. March is also the month where we think of ways in which we can address women’s mental health wherever we live and work.
The recent devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria and its aftermath have reminded us of the importance of disaster preparedness and developing effective ways of supporting those who have faced losses. The gendered nature of the impact of disasters (be it natural or created by humans) and specific factors related to supporting women and girls should be in the forefront of intervention planning.
Gender Based Violence is known to increase when existing support systems are not functional. Many organisations have been working on important aspects that influence women’s physical, reproductive and mental health such as Period Poverty and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) which are often neglected in disaster support.
Embarrassment and anxiety related to menstrual hygiene and cultural aspects of using toilets and water by women in disaster settings have an important role in relief planning that keep in mind the dignity and mental health of women and girls.
The IAWMH will enable a discussion around these matters through webinars and sharing resources over the next quarter.
We request members to write in with their thoughts and suggest other important topics for discussion.
From this issue we start a Journal Article Review Corner by Early Career Professionals. For this newsletter, Nicole Votruba and Akanksha Agarwal review two of the 5 Most Downloaded articles of 2022 from the Archives of Women’s Mental Health. (See below)
Prabha S. Chandra MD, FRCPE, FRCPsych, FAMS
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“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.” Kofi Annan