What progress has been made across generations with regard to women’s health and well-being?

Exposure to women’s experience through women’s words provides a glimpse into the complexity of women’s lives. Part of that complexity is the difficulty in separating different areas of a woman’s life. Life experiences blend into one another, each influencing the other. Each experience is filtered through a previous experience, thus connecting them all. Women’s experiences with health and well-being are closely connected.

Consider the intersections between physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of women in the world today. For many women, the absence of health in one area may prevent a total sense of well-being. Issues of healthcare access, violence, poverty, security, and a sense of having a voice in the community impact the health of women. Similar to the connection between women’s health and well-being is the connection between individual health and a community’s health. This week, through a literary lens, you make connections between women’s health, well-being, and social change, critiquing literature and its techniques to effectively convey women’s experiences A young girl, aged 5, whose basic needs are met, experiences an uninhibited sense of self. Confidence and curiosity permeate her orientation to the world and her place in it. Her body is not a burden and her mind and spirit are united. Unfortunately, that confidence, positive body image, and positive sense of self can diminish as she grows up.

What are the factors that cause this perception of self to change over time? What images, words, laws, social norms, and experiences present barriers to maintaining a healthy sense of self? In this week’s Discussion, you explore connections between self-concept and health and well-being and how these connections reflect an awareness of and/or a need for social change.


  • Slender, E. (2013). In the body of the world [PDF]. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Company. Retrieved from http://inthebodyoftheworld.com/pdf/EveEnsler-InTheBodyOfTheWorld-Excerpt.pdf
    This excerpt from Eve Enslaves In the Body of the World, introduced in Week 1, is a powerful personal statement about issues related to women’s health and well-being.
  • Chopin, K. (1984). The story of an hour. In The awakening and selected stories (pp. 213–215). East Rutherford, NJ: Viking Penguin.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This short story depicts the experience of a woman and her complex emotional reaction to her husband. This story is examined for this week’s Application Assignment.

  • St. Jean, S. (Ed.). (2006). The yellow wallpaper: A dual text critical edition (pp. 23–52). [Review of The yellow wallpaper, by Gilman, C. P]. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
    This short story is regarded as an important piece of early American feminist literature providing insights into how a woman’s physical and mental health was regarded. This short story is examined for this week’s Application Assignment.

  • Dove, R. (1989). After reading ‘Mickey in the knight kitchen’ for the third time before bed. In Grace notes: Poetry. New York, NY: W. W. Norton. Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/read/101079599/grace-notes-poems
    Note: Click on the page number of the poem’s title in the Table of Contents.

    This poem speaks to women’s sense of the physical self, self-awareness, and cross-generational communication. This poem is examined for this week’s Discussion.

  • V-Day. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2015, from http://www.vday.org/

    V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Review the V-Day mission and consider its relevance to social activism, social change, and to women’s health and well-being.

  • Walden University. (2015b). SPA style: Overview. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/apa
  • Walden University. (2015e). Writing center. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/home
  • Document: Glossary of Terms and Techniques for Literature and Creative Writing (PDF)

    This resource provides support in analyzing various forms of literature. Use this resource to identify elements of style and apply literary terms to assignments.


  • Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Women’s voices and social change [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
    With this week’s content on women’s health and well-being in mind, review the timeline information on Rita Dove, Kate Chopin, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Optional Resources

Recommended Readings

  • Parker, D. (1995). Big blonde and other stories. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
  • Plath, S., & Middle brook, D. W. (1998). Plath: Poems. New York, NY: Knopf.

Web resources in support of this week’s topic

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Consider all that you have read of Slender and Dove for social change themes related to women’s health and well-being.
  • Review the V-Day website in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider its mission, the four core beliefs, and its long-term mission, particularly with regard to women’s health and well-being.
  • What connections are possible between Enslaves V-day (women’s empowerment day) and the idea of the next generation depicted in Dove’s poem?
  • How do body awareness and self-concept relate to social change?
  • What progress has been made across generations with regard to women’s health and well-being?

With these thoughts in mind:

Prepare a 2- to 3-paragraph analysis of how Enslaves and Dove’s ideas provide insights into social change themes related to women’s health and well-being experience.

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