Sunday, June 11, 2006

Caring for the North

Last week I attended a symposium at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) called Caring for the North: Gender, Care and Northern Communities. I met some wonderful people both men and women from academia, community organizations, government health care providers, doctors and nurses... all with interesting things to say about counseling, fetal Alcohol syndrome, cronic diseases, health care continuity, teenage pregnancy, cultural perspectives and prejudices and other cool (and relevant!) stuff.

I mean, did you know that Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS) is highly contested and largely socially constructed to demonize women and minority groups... say like indigenous people here in Canada?!
If you google FAS, you'll get the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) website which will tell you that "FAS is 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant." While this statement might sound harmless and might even seem helpful, it actually helps support the moral surveillance by society upon the pregnant body. Check out Robyn Longhurst for publications on this topic.

PHOTO: Daultabad Village near New Delhi, India, 2006.

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