Conferences from the Women, Poverty, Discrimination and Health in Montreal Discussion Event
The LSQ Interpretation of these conferences is available at the bottom of this page
The members of the Political Action Committee on Health and Social Services of the Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal wanted to create a day of discussion for the Table’s member groups that have been affected by the intersections of health, poverty and discrimination.
The objectives were first to develop a clear understanding of the multiple realities encountered by member groups, as well as discussing and identifying action points.
Representatives from women's groups were invited to share reflections and conclusions from their work regarding the links they’ve identified between poverty, women's health and the discrimination that they face. Afterwards, participants were invited to further develop their analyses in small groups (workshops) and large groups (plenary discussions) and identify action points to follow up with.
A quick look at the ensuing conferences reveals recurring themes: health services that are not universal; costs and barriers that are still present for too many women and result in their exclusion.
Insufficient financial support creates difficult or even unacceptable living conditions for many women, resulting in major impacts on their physical and mental health. In turn, health problems lead to a loss of income which then leads to the deterioration of living conditions.
It’s also clear that women who find themselves at the intersections of systems of oppression experience abuses of power in the healthcare system, leaving them vulnerable to the imposition of unwanted treatments or overmedicalization, among other concerns. Furthermore, some women are continually faced with deeply anchored prejudices that prevent them from receiving the full degree of care and respect they deserve.
The depth and relevance of the event’s discussions exceeded its organizers' expectations. We felt it was important to keep a record of this first encounter, using this document, which we hope to continue developing during future events. It's clear that we have barely scratched the surface of these issues and that a long discussion on action points is warranted.
Source: Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal (2018)
Keywords: Indigenous women, racialized women, disability, immigrant women, mental health, poverty, lesbians, intimate-partner violence, separation, cancer