In the Philippines, the Apelo Women's Health Association (AWHA) was organized in 1991 to help economically depressed women take control of their lives, their health, and their fertility. One woman being helped by AWHA is 17-year-old Vilma, who was married and separated at 13, became a bar girl at 14, miscarried at 15, bore a son at 16, and had an abortion. Because of AWHA, Vilma is now using oral contraceptives and insisting that her customers use condoms. AWHA was set up by GABRIELA (the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action) to replace the free, occasional medical care formerly available in the slum area of Apelo Cruz, in Pasay City. The free medical care fostered dependency instead of self-reliance among the women. AWHA, therefore, is a health cooperative which requires members to pay a minimal amount for services. AWHA also runs monthly educational activities to inform women of their rights, duties, and responsibilities. It provides a forum for the women in the neighborhood to speak their minds freely. The women are also grateful for the ability to control their fertility through the use of contraception.
Medicine, social conditions, culture and politics are inextricably bound as determinants of health and wellbeing. In Cuba, perhaps this is nowhere more evident than in the arduous struggle to consider non-discriminatory analysis of gender-sensitive components as fundamental to population health, medical practice and research; national policy; and above all, public consciousness. Among the standard-bearers of this cause is Mariela Castro, psychologist and educator with a master's degree in sexuality, who directs the National Sex Education Center (CENESEX), its journal Sexologia y Sociedad, and the National Commission for Comprehensive Attention to Transsexual People. The Center's work is at the vortex of national polemics on sexuality, approaches to sex education and health, and respect for the human rights of people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities. The daughter of President Raúl Castro and the late Vilma Espín--who, as founder and leader of the Federation of Cuban Women, pioneered the defense of both women and homosexuals--Mariela Castro nevertheless speaks with her own voice in national as well as international debates. MEDICC Review talked with her about the range of issues that link gender to WHO's broad definition of health as the highest level of physical and mental wellbeing.
Ron, Santiago R.; Venegas, Pablo J.; Toral, Eduardo; Morley Read; Diego A. Ortiz; Manzano, Andrea L.
Abstract We present a new phylogeny, based on DNA sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, for frogs of the genus Osteocephalus with emphasis in the Osteocephalus buckleyi species complex. Genetic, morphologic, and advertisement call data are combined to define species boundaries and describe new species. The phylogeny shows strong support for: (1) a basal position of Osteocephalus taurinus + Osteocephalus oophagus, (2) a clade containing phytotelmata breeding species, and (3) a clade that corresponds to the Osteocephalus buckleyi species complex. Our results document a large proportion of hidden diversity within a set of populations that were previously treated as a single, widely distributed species, Osteocephalus buckleyi. Individuals assignable to Osteocephalus buckleyi formed a paraphyletic group relative to Osteocephalus verruciger and Osteocephalus cabrerai and contained four species, one of which is Osteocephalus buckleyi sensu stricto and three are new. Two of the new species are shared between Ecuador and Peru (Osteocephalus vilmae sp. n. and Osteocephalus cannatellai sp. n.) and one is distributed in the Amazon region of southern Peru (Osteocephalus germani sp. n.) We discuss the difficulties of using morphological characters to define species boundaries and propose a hypothesis to explain them. PMID:23166473