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Sisters Fund Recipients

2015 Recipients

Cheryl A. Moyer (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School)

The Shift from Surgical to Self-Induced Abortions: Community Level Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Misoprostol Use in Urban Ghana

Complications from induced abortion remain a public health problem worldwide. Despite the liberalization of abortion laws more than two decades ago in Ghana, many Ghanaian women still seek unsafe abortion. Data shows most women induce abortions themselves, often with assistance from pharmacists. The use of misoprostol at the community level for induced abortion is not well understood. This cross-sectional community survey will be conducted over an eight-week period to determine knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices associated with misoprostol use in two urban fishing communities in Accra. Findings from this project will provide insights to policymakers and stakeholders about misoprostol use and the role of pharmacies in local communities.

Denise M. Saint Arnault (Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing)

Multicultural Feasibility Study Examining the Barriers and Facilitators of Help Seeking After Gender Based Violence

Help-seeking after trauma is limited by cultural and social barriers, internalization of stigma, and fears of emotional engagement. This overall goal of this research is to compare the internal, social and cultural barriers and facilitators of help-seeking. This project is grounded in research by the PI, and extends existing collaborations toward the establishment of a six-country consortium to investigate the details of help-seeking across diverse cultures and countries. Sisters fund monies will support travel to a central locale for two training and evaluation sessions, conduct of 6-12 interviews in each country, and development of a practice and policy recommendations report.

2013 Recipients

Rebecca Hardin (School of Environment and Natural Resources)

Women and Girls in Kenya’s “One Health” Human/Animal Interface: Social and Ecological Change in Laikipia’s Pastoralist Systems

Caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, the disease Q Fever is easy to transmit between animals and humans, but hard to detect until later onset of severe reproductive and cardiac symptoms in infected animals and humans. This project enables a gender component for a broader collaborative project that samples livestock ranching in Laikipia, central Kenya. Those pilot data indicate that Q Fever is more prevalent in mixed species “subsistence” herds than in commercial cattle herds on private ranches, which feature more frequent chemical baths and antibiotics for the animals. Further, more male heads of households are working in commercial ranching and agricultural jobs, as more females are responsible for herding flocks of sheep and goats, along with camels, and cattle. The Sisters Fund grant supports a Kenyan graduate student to work with our team studying these changes in rural women and their families. She will collaborate with UM Public Health student Annie Wang on ethnographic and clinical medical research within stratified exposure risk groups, to test whether poorer pastoralist communities in Laikipia, and within them women and children, are at greatest risk for exposure to this chronic, hard to detect, but serious disease.

Petra Kuppers in Christchurch, 2010

Petra Kuppers (far right) in Christchurch with fellow artists, just after the first earthquake, and a few months before the deadly quakes of February 2011. Credit: Henry Sunderland.

Petra Kuppers (English Language and Literatures; Women’s Studies; School of Art & Design)

Recovering Christchurch

Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of a series of devastating earthquakes in 2011, is now in the rebuilding phases. 185 people lost their lives in the most severe of these quakes, and many more people found their homes destroyed, or were forced to emigrate due to the collapse of the city’s infrastructure.

The Sisters Fund grant will provide support for an arts project with disabled women in Christchurch to investigate the role of the arts in women’s wellbeing post-quake, and the differential experiences of disabled women. The focus of the project is on feminist community arts methods that explore the aftermath of disaster, and offer help to rebuild resilience. Over two weeks in early 2014, during the three-year anniversary events remembering the deathly quakes, I will work with local disability/health researchers, and local disability performance groups to explore artful connections between gender, expression, health and survival. My goal is to create a performance piece for and about women’s wellbeing, site and survival; and to explore the ongoing local work on the theme among community artists in Christchurch and beyond.


2012 Recipients

Dr. Katherine J. Gold (Family Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Collaborative Development of Interventions to Reduce Intrapartum Stillbirths in Ghana

Low-income nations account for 98 percent of the 3 million stillbirths that occur worldwide each year. While stillbirths affect families, fundamentally they are a women’s health issue, burdening mothers with painful mental, physical, and reproductive health issues. We have collected pilot data providing detailed information about stillbirths over the course of one year at a major tertiary hospital in Ghana, West Africa.  With the support of IRWG’s Sisters Fund, we will conduct a set of international stakeholder meetings to review our detailed data and design a practical, culturally appropriate, and feasible intervention at this hospital to reduce intrapartum stillbirths.

Beth Glover Reed (Social Work and Women's Studies)

Reducing Gendered Health Disparities by Jointly Addressing both Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and alcohol and other drug problems (AOD) both produce health problems that are more severe for women than men. When these problems occur simultaneously, gendered disparities in resources create challenges to effective treatment. IPV and AOD are two separate fields with different histories and approaches to working with the problem. Few organizations address both, even though better outcomes occur with joint approaches. Our previous research identified 35 organizations that address both IPV and AOD. With Sisters Fund support, we will conduct focus groups and participatory research using electronic methods to identify core elements and differences in nine areas of innovation, and build an emerging "community of practice" to generate knowledge and support for future progress.

2011 Recipients

Janis Miller (Nursing)

Jane Hassinger (IRWG and Women's Studies)

Gender-based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Sisters Fund will support a two-week exploratory visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by a team of four U-M researchers. Visits are scheduled with USAID, HEAL Africa, and the Panzi Hospital, which treats rape victims. The team's findings will support a larger U-M effort to help end the ongoing, brutal, and systematic use of rape as a tool of war in the DRC. U-M will apply its collective expertise to develop interventions for the medical, psychological, and social needs of victims.

2009 Recipients

Barbara Brush

(Nursing, Public Health, and Center for Global Health)
Voices from the Street: Exploring Homeless African American Women's Lived Experiences

Maria Muzik

(Medical School and Psychiatry)
Young Mothers Mentorship Program

Daphne C. Watkins

(Social Work)
Women are from Venus, But What Can They Tell Us about Mars? Black Women’s Perceptions of Black Men’s Depression

2007 Recipients

Catherine L. Benamou

(Literature, Science, and the Arts, American Culture-Latina/o Studies and Screen Arts & Cultures)
Reaching Women–Reaching Out through Spanish-Language Television

Jody R. Lori

A Critical Analysis of Maternal Mortality in Liberia

Dawn P. Misra

(Public Health and Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Who Profits? Changes in Household Dynamics after Women's Participation in a Poverty-Lending Program in Rural Haiti

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