Sexual, Reproductive and Gender Health of forcibly displaced women in Canary Islands during the COVID-19 pandemic

Forced Migration, Labor, Livelyhood, Health and Daily Life

by Esperanza Basurto Alcalde

Studies in Europe have shown differences in access to healthcare and maternal and child health indicators between migrant women and non-migrant women, nevertheless, Sexual, Reproductive and Gender Health Rights (SRGHR) of forcibly displaced women is an issue rather unresearched at the southern European border, the Canary Islands. The aim of this research is to know the perspective of these women on their needs on SRGH and the access barriers they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forcibly displaced women arrived at the Canary Islands are highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to, on the one hand, to the conditions of the migration journey and secondly to the conditions in which they are living once they arrive. The measures adopted to address health protection in this context presumably do not guarantee access to SRGHR, and already underestimate need.
Is access to STI prevention methods, maternal health, chosen maternity, abortion, STI prevention and menstrual health, among others, guaranteed for these women today? Let’s hear what they have to say about it. It is an emergency to make the needs of forcibly displace women visible. To generate knowledge on their needs of SSGHR and to recognize gender as a key factor on the access to women’s health, are necessary conditions to change. And change is urgent, now.


Esperanza Basurto Alcalde

Esperanza Basurto Alcalde is graduated on International Relations and has two master’s studies on Gender and on International Cooperation for Development. She has worked for international NGOs as Medics of the World and Population Council on the study of reproductive health of migrant women in the southern border of Mexico. After years abroad, she is back to Spain now. She is currently studying a PhD on Sociology and Social Anthropology at Universidad Complutense, while she works abroad as college professor at National Autonomous University of México. She teaches Gender on International Relations and Violence Against Women.