Striving for reproductive health for all

Dr Julie Balen, Lecturer in Public Health, School of Health and Related Research.

Julie Balen

To me, part of gender equality means reproductive health for all, whereby women and men around the world are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life, with the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.

Sadly though, this is not the case for far too many, and women are usually left carrying the burden of poor reproductive health.

In my research, together with my colleagues and students, I develop contextually-relevant knowledge and action on neglected reproductive health issues such as menstrual hygiene, adolescent parenting, premature birth, and infertility (among other issues).

Our work focuses on vulnerable women, men, families and communities in resource-limited settings across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

We try to understand socio-cultural, and health policy and systems factors related to poor reproductive health outcomes, and test locally-adapted means of addressing the emerging issues.

Working closely with our international partners, we research these issues from a local level, through to national policies and programmes, and international treaties and discourses, with the ultimate goal of improving access to healthcare services, and reducing health and gender inequalities in the communities within which we work.

A few examples of our publications can be found here, here and here.

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