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Call the Midwives: South Asian Women's Intergenerational Experiences of Health Services in Coventry

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This project unearths Coventry's South Asian women's 'hidden histories' of seeking healthcare, including childbirth, antenatal care and elderly care.

In partnership with Foleshill Women's Training, this project explores experiences of healthcare and will provide deeper understandings of differences in health outcomes. Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted BAME communities. The pandemic has shed further light on health disparities in BAME communities.

The research examines links between contemporary health inequality and the experiences of immigrants and their descendants from former British colonies.

The research project will make the link between the past and present by developing oral history narratives of Coventry's South Asian women. It will focus on women's intergenerational experiences of accessing healthcare in the UK between 1950s-2020s.

South Asian women's narratives will help shed light on how they experienced and navigated the healthcare systems for themselves and their families. This will enable knowledge to be shared between various stakeholders.

An art exhibition of their oral history will be held at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry, designed to help root women's contemporary experiences to that of their relatives and ancestors' historical experiences.

The project will explore South Asian women's experiences of accessing healthcare between 1950s-2020s. Image courtesy of Samia Malik.

The project will primarily benefit the women participants, whose knowledge across generations will anchor and give context and meaning to their experiences. The research will also help local government officials and public health policymakers to take into account women’s experiences of accessing health services when developing new policies.

The project is led by Dr Saba Hussain (Sociology, Coventry University), Dr Kindy Sandhu (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University) and Dr Shahnaz Akhtar (Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick)

Project partners: Foleshill Women's Training 

Dr Kindy Sandhu discusses how her research connects to the topic of breastfeeding