International Women's Day

Meet two members of our MomMD community involved in women's health issues in Africa.

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a date established by the United Nations in 1975 to recognize the achievements – economic, political, and social – of women everywhere. Exploring themes that emphasize equal access to education, training, and science and technology, MomMD speaks with two Americans who are working to improve health care for women in Africa and address the need for better training, technology, and education for women and girls.

Dr. Joey Banks is an Indiana-trained family practice physician specializing in women’s reproductive health. A former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Ghana, Dr. Banks is no stranger to Africa and knew she would return one day. She's an attending physician at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center in Arusha, Tanzania, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

Dawn Sinclair Shapiro is a Chicago-based documentary filmmaker whose The Edge of Joy, an exploration of maternal mortality rates in Nigeria (pictured above), is called “eye-opening” by Global Health Magazine: “Shapiro’s documentary embraces the idea that education is a vital step in building structures to support women’s rights while preserving the strong family dynamic at the center of a rich Nigerian tradition.”

In our four-part series, we talk with Dr. Banks and Sinclair Shapiro about their work and experiences with women in some of the most challenging health environments in the world.

Some FAQs

When is International Women's Day? Every year it is March 8th.

What is the 2012 theme? "Connecting girls, inspiring futures."

March is Women's History Month in the United States.

Articles in the IWD series

Part 1: Women physicians key to perinatal care in Tanzania

Part 2: A documentary filmmaker’s exploration of ‘safe motherhood’

Part 3: Dr. Banks on education’s impact on Tanzanian women’s health issues

Part 4: Reducing maternal mortality with technology in Nigeria

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