In Focus: Women’s Mental Health in the Arab World
Among women in the Arab world, there are high rates of depression and both anxiety and stress-related disorders, according to the organizers of a recent conference held in Amman, Jordan that focused on the mental health of Arab women.
Additionally, there is a tendency to treat the physical symptoms of psychological and emotional distress, while the underlying mental health conditions are never identified. Cultural factors, such as social norms, values, aspirations, and ascribed roles contribute to the stress experienced by women in the region and impact the prevalence, patterns and treatment of mental health disorders.
The significant impact these conditions have on Arab women and society, and the reality that mental disorders are the largest contributors to disability globally are why GE was proud to sponsor the Columbia University-hosted symposium entitled, “Promoting Women’s Mental Health in the Arab Region.”
The Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University convened this international program in partnership with the University of Jordan and the American University of Beirut, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The symposium brought together global health policy experts, regional experts, mental health professionals and philanthropists to address priority issues for women’s mental health in the region. The program had three main topic areas: “Promoting Social Justice to Address Interpersonal Violence in the Arab Region,” “When There is No Going Home (a focus on refugees)” and “Women’s Sexual Health: Breaking the Taboo.”