Health and Gender Equity in a Period of Global Crisis


Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway 09:00 :: 28th November 2013

Conference themes
The DSAI 2013 annual conference will be a collaborative event in association with two other Ireland-wide research networks - the Irish Forum on Global Health (IFGH) and the Gender Advanced Research Consortium (Gender ARC). It seeks to fulfil one of the DSAI objectives, namely to build an inclusive and participatory platform for development studies in Ireland. It is committed also to enhancing the development debate and the interactions between theory, policy and practice. By working in partnership with the two specialist Irish networks our aim is to maximise research collaboration and capacity, and minimise the risks of fragmenting research across these fields.
We welcome proposals for papers around any of the following themes or combinations of them.

Health equity
Poverty and poor health are directly related. The global economic crisis and accompanying austerity measures threaten the gains made in population health, and weaken public services, including health systems. The public health effects of the crisis are clearly visible and evidence is emerging that health inequities between and within countries are widening. Worsening poverty and declining services have a synergistic effect. Falling incomes affect nutrition and unhealthy behaviours. Mental health is highly sensitive to economic downturn, with increasing rates of suicide in many countries. The World Health Organisation has described how the crisis is increasing vulnerability and depleting the coping capabilities of individuals and communities.

Gender equity
The ongoing economic crisis from 2007 is a significant challenge to women and men across the globe, and more so in the Global South as it came on top of concurrent food and fuel crises. The ’triple crisis’ has important ramifications for gender equality in southern economies reinforcing pre-existing disadvantage, deepening poverty, and accelerating other crises such as HIV epidemic. Others argue that the ’triple crisis’ has affected gender relations within households with some suggesting a reversal of gender roles with men more engaged in caregiving. Equally governments globally, under pressure for fiscal consolidation, are increasingly introducing ’austerity’ budgets with important repercussions for both the productive and reproductive spheres.

Global Crisis
We meet in period of open crisis of the global development order. We need to ask how the development agenda is being transformed by the unprecedented economic turmoil since the banking crisis of 2008-9 and its subsequent effects North and South. The end of the current phase of the MDGs also opens up a new scenario. In short we pose the need for a rethinking of development paradigms. The end of neoliberal globalisation and the rise of the South poses serious challenges to accepted development perspectives in the North. New issues are also being posed which need to be debated by the development community in Ireland.

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