March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by recognizing the women who are making history today by working to impact policy change in various areas where Arnold Ventures works.
Today we are highlighting Dr. Añu Manchikanti Gómez, an associate professor at the University of California Berkley School of Social Welfare and director of the Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity (SHARE) Program.
Who She Is
For more than 15 years, Gómez has worked as a health equity researcher with a focus on reproduction and sexuality throughout the life course. Her research has focused on a diverse range of issues related to women’s health equity from contraceptive use, to gender equity, and violence against women and children.
What She Is Working On
Gómez’s current research focuses on three areas: the measurement and meaning of pregnancy planning; understanding contraceptive decision-making within social, relational and structural contexts; and evaluating the impact of and evidence base for policies related to reproductive health.
What Inspires Her
“My family and community — past and present — inspires me. In so many ways, the work I am doing now is the product of my family’s history. My great grandmother was widowed at age 16 and shut out by her husband’s family. My grandmother gave birth 16 times, and only half of those babies survived to adulthood. I grew up in Kentucky, very isolated as a child of Indian immigrants in the ’80s, never having received formal sex ed (even abstinence-only education!). This fabric of my life and history has inspired me to work for a future where the human right to decide if, when, and how to have a family is realized, with the conditions to support people in parenting with dignity and in safety and health. I am also inspired by all the amazing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color I get to collaborate with, mentor, and be in a community with. It’s an honor to bear witness to so much ingenuity and resilience.”
My family and community — past and present — inspires me. In so many ways, the work I am doing now is the product of my family’s history.Anu Manchikanti Gómez