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This ticketed event is co-organised by the Global Health and Social Medicine Anti-Racism Steering Group, and the Palestine Global Health Collective.

War and displacement have profound and multidimensional effects on health, ranging from more immediate and direct injury and trauma to longer term impacts on wellbeing.

The impacts of war and displacement can be especially pronounced among adolescents, as this is a critical transitional period where girls experience key physiological changes that often coincide in important changes in their relationships, roles, and identities vis a vis their families and societies.

In this talk, Dr Hammoudeh will focus on the role of place, community, and broader political context in shaping and impacting the mental health and wellbeing of refugee adolescent girls residing in Palestine refugee camps in the West Bank and Jordan. For this talk, she will draw on a mixed-methods study which includes a qualitative phase consisting of 39 in-depth interviews and 24 focus groups discussions with over 200 adolescent girls residing in 29 Palestine refugee camps in the West Bank and Jordan, followed by a representative household-level survey conducted in these camps with a target population of 2800 girls.

The findings from this study highlight how adolescent girls navigate social and political conditions in their daily lives—including chronic displacement, political violence, gendered restrictions, the stigma of being a camp dweller, and living conditions— and the implications of these conditions for mental health and wellbeing.

The experiences and insights of our interlocutors underline the relational aspects of these interactions and push us to think critically about agency, resilience, and mental health through an intersectional lens. The quantitative findings point to the potential importance of personal, familial, and community level characteristics and relationships in shaping adolescent mental health, especially trust, safety, and freedom.


About the speaker

Dr Weeam Hammoudeh is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University where she teaches in the MPH program and serves as coordinator for the mental health unit.

She is also co-director of the Palestine Program for Health and Human Rights, a joint program between ICPH-Birzeit University and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. She holds a Ph.D. and MA in Sociology from Brown University and an MPH in Community and Public Health from Birzeit University.

Her academic focus is on understanding how political and social transformations impact health, psychosocial well-being, health and social systems, and population processes, particularly in Palestine. She works on understanding the structural, social and political determinants of health, and has worked in Palestine and among refugee populations in Jordan.

In her work, she uses a broad range of methodological approaches, both quantitative and qualitative, and has recently been more involved in participatory approaches and community engagement in research. She is a member of various research and advocacy networks, including the Palestine-Global Mental Health network, the Reproductive Health Working Group (RHWG), the Palestinian Sociology and Anthropology Association, Al-Shabaka, and Research for Health in Conflict (R4HC).

Event details

Bush House North East Wing
Bush House North East Wing, 30 Aldwych, WC2B 4BG