Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls

University of Southampton

Giving voice to displaced women and girls through participatory research

Giving voice to displaced women and girls through participatory research

ReGHID is a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom (ESRC-UK), involving research institutions in the UK, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras, which aims to better understand the lived experience of displaced women (aged 25-49) and adolescent girls (15-24) that migrate from Venezuela to Brazil and Colombia, from Central America to Mexico, and those that return to Central America in regards to their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs and rights. The project aims to identify what are the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and adolescent girls in displacement and how they can better realise those needs.

An innovative aspect of the project is that it co-produces participatory research with non-governmental and civil society organisations working with displaced women and adolescent girls to uncover their lived experiences in relation to sexual and reproductive health, and the barriers in the way of health rights.

Participatory methods will give female forced migrants a platform to express themselves, and their voices will impact the creation of material for further public awareness and training sessions with community and health authorities. For instance, we will produce immersive short video documentaries and engage displaced women as photographers, unravelling their own views and experience using photos taken by them and testimonials to be presented at exhibitions and in a photo book. The photovoice methodology in particular will give voice and agency to displaced women through their active participation as photographers. The photos will bring attention to everyday experiences of women in displacement in relation to their sexual and reproductive health needs and challenges. This has enormous potential benefits as it provides visual material that will inform advocacy and awareness campaigns for improving sexual and reproductive health responses and services supporting women in displacement.