Special Panel Presentation

2018 Panel Information

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Health Equity and Social Determinants of Muslim Women’s Health

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Conference Main Hall

Moderator: Sr. Soumia Djirar

Panellists: Sr. Rusul Alrubail, Sr. Anjum Sultana, Sr. Samiya Abdi

This panel will address the social determinants of health from a Muslim woman’s perspective. It reviews the health status of Muslim women, which is overwhelmingly worse than that of other Canadians, physically, mentally and emotionally. Determinants of health are presented as

  1. “proximal” (health behaviours; physical environments; employment and income education; and food insecurity),
  2. “intermediate” (healthcare systems; educational systems; community infrastructure; resources and capacities; environmental stewardship; and cultural continuity)
  3. “distal” (colonialism; racism and social exclusion; and self-determination).

While all determinants are experienced differently by Muslim women, distal factors are noted as having, “…the most profound influence on the health of populations because they represent political, economic and social contexts…within which all other determinants are constructed.”

It suggests “historical trauma” as a determinant that may explain the residual gap between the health of Muslim women and other Canadians when all other factors are accounted for.

The panel will make specific recommendations for action, it speaks to the need for better health data on Muslim women, and points to some priorities, including early child development and employment/income as “causes of the causes” of inequity.

It notes that self-determination has been cited as the most important determinant of health, as it influences all other determinants. The panel’s strongest recommendation will be that Muslim women should participate equally in political decision-making and have control over their lands, economies, education systems, and social and health services.

Includes a 1-hour Q&A session