Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls

University of Southampton

Dissemination and impact activities

Dissemination and impact activities

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As part of the Project ‘Redressing gender inequalities in health of displaced women and girls in contexts of protracted crisis in Central and South America’ (ReGHID), the team led by Prof Pia Riggirozzi (Principal Investigator) of the University of Southampton, UK, Zeni Lamy at the Federal University Of Maranhão (UFMA), and Maria do Carmo Leal and Rita Bacuri at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Brazil, carried out two key social and policy engagement events in Brazil between 13-16 March 2023 which were held in the cities of Manaus and Brasilia.

The ReGHID Project is an interdisciplinary and international consortium that brought together research institutions from Central and South America and the UK. In Brazil, the research was coordinated by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and the Federal University of Maranhão with a focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) needs and the experiences of access to health and protection of Venezuelan women and adolescents who forcibly migrated to Brazil.

The events in Manaus and Brasilia

Dr Nísia Trindade Lima, Brazilian Health Minister at the event in Brasilia

The team presented and discussed findings of the study and recommendations to redress gaps and lags in protection of migrant women and girls, particularly in relation to their needs and challenges related to the sexual and reproductive health.

Dr Nísia Trindade Lima, Brazil Health Minister at the Brasilia eventA very engaged  audience of local and regional governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as policy makers and experts attended these events. ReGHID was particularly pleased to welcome Brazil’s first woman Health Minister, Dr Nísia Trindade Lima, as an official guest at the event in Brasilia where she highlighted the importance of the inclusion of the women’s health agenda under her portfolio, and the significance of the ReGHID project and its recommendations, which were summarised in an Executive Summary, available here.

It was also the first opportunity to screen ReGHID’s documentary Salir Adelante / Moving Forward in Brazil. The film, directed by Bruna Curcio and produced based on data from the project, tells stories of Venezuelan migrant women and adolescents in Brazil, their opportunities and challenges that they face to rebuild their lives. The documentary trailer can be accessed here. Migrant women and civil society organisations working with them and featured in the film were invited at the screening and took part of the Q&A in Manaus. The film has been selected for the Best documentary prize at the WRPN Women’s International Film Festival, the director reflected that ‘both audiences complement each other …and are very important for a holistic comprehension of how practical actions could be taken’.

 Presentations of research results were made by local researchers Maria do Carmo Leal, from the National School of Public Health of Fiocruz (ENSP/Fiocruz) and Zeni Lamy from UFMA, Prof Pia Riggirozzi and Natalia Cintra (University of Southampton), as well as Ivan Ochoa (York University) from the UK, and Jovana Ocampo (Universidad de los Andes) from Colombia.

Rodrigo Correa-Oliveira, Vice president of Research and Biological Collections at Fiocruz, said ‘The research shows the sexual and reproductive health needs of these migrant women from Venezuela and demands that these principles must be improved in practice’ .

 Outcomes of the events included a series of recommendations such as the guarantee of socioeconomic rights and social inclusion as a determinant of health, sexual and reproductive health care policies.

Social and policy engagement event panel in Manaus, Brazil
Poster presentation at the Manaus event

Pia Riggirozzi stated that the acknowledgment of health as a human right, and its relation to dignity, autonomy and other social determinants has been pioneered by Brazil and it is now an opportunity to honour those principles by taking actions based on evidence.  The research can be used to improve practices and generate appropriate health policies, services, and long-term health protection for migrants.’ These claims were seconded by Zeni Lamy who addressed the ‘importance of designing public policies which have a long-term impact’. As a result of these events, ReGHID is now closely working with the National School of Public Health of Fiocruz in order to turn some of the study’s recommendation into practice. ReGHID has also been invited to participate in the next Free National Conference on the Health of Migrant Populations, and will continue to push for health policies that take into consideration how both migration and gender are a social determinants of health, and will work with governments, civil society organisations and migrants themselves to push this agenda forward.

ReGHID team at  Documentary  screening in Brasilia
ReGHID team and official guests at the Brasilia event
Audience and panel, Brasilia event