I received an official invitation to lead a team of physicians and counselors from Choices to Moscow for an educational exchange. Three months later I was on a
plane to Russia accompanied by nine of my staff, carrying visions of being a pioneer and of changing their world.
To start the day the Choices delegation and I met for breakfast at the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. Women’s Rights Activist Alena Popova, famous for her work fighting against the Russian patriarchy, joined us. We had an intense discussion about strategies to deal with Domestic Violence and sexual harassment,
Today, I attended a multi-track conference on the role of women in modern society at the Civil Chamber of the Russian Federation. The room was full of anticipatory buzz...all in a language I could not understand, but the energy and electricity was palpable.
During a group discussion about healthcare in Russia, I was struck by how fear, shame and guilt seem to be all-consuming forces in the women’s lives when it comes to their health. Even simple wellness practices like self-breast exams are essentially unheard of.