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  • Discipline(s): Gender Studies Public Health
  • Available: Fall Semester 2024
  • Course Type: Standard Courses
  • Taught in: English
  • Course Fee: TBA
  • Credits: 3
  • Course Travel: TBA

PUBH/GEND 310 - Gender and Public Health


Course description
This course will address public health issues from a gender perspective. Nowadays gender is one of the most important considerations in public health research and program implementation.

The way that health services are organized and provided can either limit or enable a person’s access to healthcare information, support and services, and the outcome of those encounters. These barriers include restrictions to services; lack of access to health support systems such as counselling and free access information; discriminatory attitudes of healthcare providers; and lack of training and awareness among healthcare providers and health systems of the specific health needs and challenges encountered by users in contemporary societies

The course will delve into these issues by analyzing the Italian National Healthcare System (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN). National healthcare should guarantee free and equal access to care for all people according to a welfare model defined as leaving no one behind, but is this the case? This course is designed for students who want to broaden their outlook and learn how a free healthcare system works, and what its strengths and weaknesses are from a gender perspective.

In this course we will examine the Italian healthcare system and access with a temporal lens looking back to the last century, and how services have developed and changed over time to the present day. We will look at the cornerstones of the health system, how gaps within the same system have created inequalities in service delivery and how these interfere with and have a negative impact on the quality of life of women, girls, trans and gender diverse people. We will start from a macro view, focusing on SDGs and social determinants of health, to a micro perspective targeting the Umbria regional health service focusing on transcultural health.

The program will be developed through various analytical tools, including an intersectional and multidisciplinary approach to ensure a global vision and support the construction of critical thinking concerning the complexity of the subject under study. In this regard, the course will have a strong empirical character providing a dynamic and immersive experience, it will include field visits, guest lectures, and privilege witnesses, and not least the development of a short project applying the innovative methodology of Service Design, learned during the course. Through this exercise in participatory research, students will become engaged in original project design in and out the classroom. 


Learning Outcomes and Assessment Measures
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify gender access to health services and care in Italy.
  • Identify the challenges for diverse genders to have access to Public Health services in Italy and the coherent achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Summarize the complexity of the Public Health system in Italy.
  • Analyse problems that hinder health in regional and national systems from a gender perspective.
  • Develop and design a qualitative research project on the public health service for migrants using the Service Design methodology.
  • Apply Service Design skills to contexts in which social, cultural, political, and economic aspects can be developed and increased for the benefit of communities and societies.
  • Distinguish the criticalities in Public Health for women, young girls, trans and gender diverse individuals.
  • Integrate empirical learning into classroom knowledge.
  • Explore different efforts and solutions for more inclusive and equal Public Health services in Italy.