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Mailman-Specific Course Offerings (Spring 2023)

The Global Menstrual Movement: Understanding Policy & Practice

Spring Quarter

Instructor: Marni Sommer

In recent years, a global movement has begun around menstruation, ranging from research and policies addressing the barriers that school girls may be facing in low-resource contexts, to initiatives fighting the ongoing stigma experienced by girls, women and, people with periods in high- and low resource contexts, to the advocacy focused on period poverty. How did this global movement begin? What is the existing evidence base for addressing menstruation as a public health issue? And what gaps remain? The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation on the topic of menstruation, including the existing research, program and policy approaches underway globally, to equip students with an understanding of the research methodologies most appropriate for understanding the experiences of those who menstruate, and the ways in which advocacy has served to shift attention to this fundamental issue. Students in this course will learn to analyze the current status of the global menstruation movement through debates, news media critiques, and a proposal addressing ‘new frontiers’ in menstruation. The course fits into the MPH curriculum in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences by increasing students’ knowledge and skills of key perspectives and approaches to research and intervention around menstruation that include social science theories. 

Structural Approaches to Global Health

Spring Semester

​Instructor: Marni Sommer

Offers a broad overview of the most important social, cultural, political, and economic transformations taking place at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, and explores the implications of these changes for community health in major urban centers in the United States as well as internationally. Focuses on the multiple dimensions of globalization as well as the impact of globalization on the development of new social movements at the community level. Examines the ways in which processes associated with globalization, such as growing disparities in income distribution and the disappearance of work for major sectors of the urban population, have impacted community health problems. Explores the possibilities for community mobilization, advocacy, and activism within this broader social context and assesses the extent to which community health might be conceptualized as an issue of social justice within the contemporary global system.

To register: Mailman Course Directory

Online Course Offerings 

Menstruation in a Global Context: Addressing Policy and Practice

Self-paced 7 modules

Instructors: Marni Sommer, Maggie Schmitt, Caitlin Gruer & 21 Global Guest Lecturers

Over the last decade, menstruation has attracted increased attention as an important public health issue. This has resulted in the proliferation of new research, programs, and policies aimed at tackling menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) challenges faced by girls, women, and others who menstruate. Global advocates are directly combatting ongoing menstrual stigma and calling for an end to period poverty around the world. The objective of this course is to provide learners with a foundation on the global menstruation movement that aims to ensure that the menstrual needs of everyone, everywhere are met. We will review cutting-edge menstrual health and hygiene research, programming, and policies being implemented around the world. Through a series of lectures and case studies from global experts, participants will gain knowledge and skills on approaches for MHH program design and implementation research, monitoring, and advocacy, with an emphasis on low-income and vulnerable populations around the world. 

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