Black Women’s Health Matters

Douglas, Jenny (1991). Black Women’s Health Matters. In: Roberts, Helen ed. Women’s Health Matters. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 33–46.



The aim of this chapter is to review the available literature relating to the experience of health and health services of black women in Britain and to analyse the extent to which it adequately describes and contributes to an understanding of underlying concepts and perceptions of health and illness. Although there is a growing literature on the health experience of black and minority ethnic women, research studies have been concerned primarily with experiences of maternity services (Homans 1980; Lumb et al. 1981; Homans 1982; McFadyan and McVicar 1982; Clarke and Clayton 1983; Larbie 1985; Currer 1986a). Much of the literature describes family organization and cultural practices to do with childbirth and child rearing, where black family patterns are portrayed as deviating from white families.

The main focus is to examine feminist theory and methodology in an attempt to outline the problems in applying them to the experiences, concepts and perceptions of the health of black women. I aim to discuss the complex interrelations between the dimensions of races, class and gender in the lived experience of black women. Finally, I will address shortcomings in the field of women's health research and will make recommendations concerning the need for further research in this field.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions