The Value of Storytelling in Women’s Health

WISH, Bass Connections, and the (In)visible Organ

Storytelling manifests in different ways across our Center’s various programs and ventures. In this post, we want to highlight the role of Storytelling in the WISH Revolution, Bass Connections, and the (In)visible Organ.

WISH, or Women-Inspired Strategies for Healthcare, is a GWHT venture focused on empowering marginalized women with the knowledge, innovative clinical tools, and confidence to take control of their health and kickstart a worldwide movement against cervical cancer.

Well what does storytelling have to do with ending cervical cancer? It turns out, quite a lot! Many women are afraid or embarrassed to be screened for illnesses such as HPV. Additionally, many women are unaware of the importance of early screening, identification of disease, and treatment. WISH facilitates woman-to-woman storytelling to break down the barriers of shame and stigma associated with sexual and reproductive health.

To learn more about The WISH Solution, keep reading.

Bass Connections is a program at Duke University that bridges the classroom and the real world, while fostering knowledge in service of society. Our Center has a great history working with Duke Bass Connections to get undergraduate students involved in the power of storytelling.

This year, we have a WISH Bass Connections team, where undergrads can be a part of the WISH Solution that is working to empower women to take control of their health through the use of storytelling.

In previous years, we’ve had students such as the 2019–2020 team that focused on the Callascope, a GWHT-developed device that allows for self-exploration of female reproductive anatomy in an interactive and private way.

Our Bass Connections team demonstrate that storytelling can be powerful on a peer-to-peer education level, as well as on a level of personal understanding and empowerment.

The (In)visible Organ is GWHT’s storytelling initiative to destigmatize the cervix and the female reproductive anatomy in research, design, and medicine. Through initiatives such as the (In)visible Organ art exhibit, arts workshops, and a full-length documentary film, the (In)visible Organ seeks to shift the narrative of shame and invisibility that surrounds the female reproductive anatomy.

If you are interested in hosting a screening of the documentary with your organization, please contact alexandria.daponte@duke.edu.

Empowering women to take control of their own health by breaking down the barriers of shame and stigma surrounding women’s health and reproductive anatomy is powerful. WISH, Bass Connections, and the (In)visible Organ demonstrate that by coming together to share stories, we can create change.

Innovate with passion, deliver with compassion. www.DukeGWHT.org