Colombia: Forum on Care and Health with a Gender and Ethnic Approach
A gendered and ethnic approach to health
The forum Care and Health with the Gender and Ethnic Approach addressed issues related to health for indigenous and afro-Colombian women across the country and provided recommendations on the implementation of a gendered and ethnic approach to health within the health system.
The forum was created by HealthNet TPO in collaboration with the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo Martínez. It brought together representatives of indigenous and afro-Colombian women from different regions of the country.
The Minister described the objectives of the forum as an opportunity for women to share their experiences. "Today we wanted to summon all of you, so that you can give line to this ministry, so that with your experience and leadership in the different territories of this country, you can give us your proposals, we have the obligation to build with you all the policy towards the future." Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, Minister of Health and Social Protection of Colombia
Women leaders from varying territories shared their own experiences of the health system and cultural barriers to accessing quality care. It provided an opportunity to create health promotion from culturally situated practices and with an intersectional approach.
"Health for us is to prevent us from getting sick, we have to have harmony within the body, the spirit and mother nature, if mother nature is sick, we are not going to have health, we are not going to breathe a healthy environment."
María Yalanda Campo, Governor of the Misak Community
"An intercultural perspective must be incorporated that takes into consideration racism, structural discrimination, risks and differences in care based on ethnicity and race, as is the case of the experiences of indigenous and Afro-descendant women."
"We need a doctor who understands our culture, a doctor who knows how to deal with an indigenous person, we need doctors who speak our language, we need this type of institution to accompany us from the territory."
Recommendations for a differential gender and ethnic approach in the health system
The dialogues and debates that arose allowed all participants, including HNTPO and the Ministry, to review the progress, gaps and barriers to accessing quality, permanent care within the health system.
Following the forum, the discussed recommendation on the implementation of the differential gender and ethnic approach in the health system will be presented in a technical document to contribute to the Colombian health system.