This women's studies course provides and introduction to key issues in women's health in Canada with a global perspective. The first half of the course focuses on constructing a feminist framework for understanding women's health issues. The framework is introduced by looking at biological, socio-cultural, historical and political processes that shape and define women's health experiences, including ways in which medical knowledge has been constructed and applied to women's bodies. Starting with an overview of the current state of women's health in Canada and globally as a baseline, we look at how women's health is defined by the discourse of "gendered bodies." Women's unique biological functions are reviewed and then examined as they are reconstructed and represented as women’s health issues by the medical community and media. The second part of the course engages the students in an exploration of four important topics in women's health: Sexual and reproductive health; illness; violence against women; and mental health. With a focus on these four topics, the feminist framework is use to understand women's experiences of health across differences of race, class, sexuality, culture, and ability, with special attention given to issues of concern to First Nations women of Canada.
Any one of WMST 101, WMST 102, ANTH 102, SOCI 101 or SOCI 102.