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International Women's Health and Human Rights

About This Course

This self-paced course provides an overview of women's health and human rights, beginning in infancy and childhood, then moving through adolescence, reproductive years and aging. We consider economic, social, political and human rights factors, and the challenges women face in maintaining health and managing their lives in the face of societal pressures and obstacles.

We focus on critical issues, namely those that may mean life or death to a woman, depending on whether she can exercise her human rights. These critical issues include: being born female and discrimination; poverty; unequal access to education, food, paid work and health care; and various forms of violence. Topics discussed include son preference, education, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, violence in the home and in war and refugee circumstances, women's work, sex trafficking, and aging.

Our MOOC will have a special focus on creating an international network of engaged participants. We will ask participants to take part in interactive discussions to share their own experiences. We also ask participants to engage with the communities they live in, in order to deepen their understanding of the issues and tie academic ideas to real-life circumstances.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Anne Firth Murray

Anne Firth Murray, a New Zealander, was educated at the University of California and New York University in economics, political science and public administration, with a focus on international health policy and women’s reproductive health.

For the past twenty-five years, Anne has worked in the field of philanthropy, serving as a consultant to many foundations. From 1978-1987, she directed the environment and international population programs at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in California. She is the Founding President of The Global Fund for Women, which aims to seed, strengthen, and link groups committed to women’s well-being and human rights. In 2005, Anne was nominated along with a thousand activist women for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Anne is a Consulting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University, where she teaches on women's health, human rights and love as a force for social justice. She is the author of the books Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change and From Outrage to Courage: The Unjust and Unhealthy Situation of Women in Poorer Countries and What They Are Doing About It, on international women's health.

Kevin Hsu

Kevin was the technical director for the original version of this MOOC on International Women’s Health and Human Rights. He is dedicated to crafting new experiences for participants and heads the educational design studio, Skyship Design, which specializes in developing open online courses. He teaches in the Program on Urban Studies at Stanford University, where he is an instructor for “International Urbanization,” which explores the sustainable development of cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What basic principles form the foundation course?

Because we believe that what we do is important but that the way we do it is more important, we attempt to teach and learn according to a set of principles that will guide the content and processes of the course. These are: compassion, mutual learning, respect, transparency, trust, and truth.

What do I need to take this course?

An interest in health and social justice. It will be useful to have an open mind, willingness to hear different points of view, and a commitment to positive social change.

Access to the Internet. A stable internet connection will also be useful, as much of the other content, including video interviews and lectures will be delivered online.

The course already started! Is it too late to join?

You don't have to worry. Because it is a self-paced online class, you can comfortably jump into this course at any time. You get to review the material and watch video lectures and interviews on your own time!

Is there a textbook for the class?

The primary text for the class is a book on international health and human rights, From Outrage to Courage: The Unjust and Unhealthy Situation of Women in Poorer Countries and What They Are Doing About It (Second Edition), by Anne Firth Murray. If you are interested in having a copy of the book, you can obtain one from Amazon.com. We will also make individual chapters available online during the course.

Can I receive a Statement of Accomplishment for this course?

Yes, participants who successfully complete the required elements of the course with at least a 70% will be eligible to generate a personalized Statement of Accomplishment. The Statement of Accomplishment does not confer a Stanford University grade, course credit or degree.



PLEASE NOTE: The content of this course is intended to promote contemplation and discussion of global health issues. Certain issues may be controversial in some cultures and/or disturbing to some people. As such, participants must be aware that some content may be objectionable or uncomfortable to view/read/access. If you feel you might be offended by the content of this course, you should not continue. You access this material at your own risk and are solely responsible for compliance with the laws applicable to your country of residence.

  1. Course Number

    IWHHR - SELF PACED
  2. Classes Start

  3. Estimated Effort

    3 hours per section
  4. Price

    Free
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