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Women's health practice in the 17th century

Women's health practices in modern times were recognized and highly valued by their peers. However, the image of these practices transmitted by archival sources is partial and stereotyped. On International Women's Day we vindicate from the ACA their individual work as midwives or healers.

Salto de línea On their own behalf, an outstanding detail because anonymity is a universal characteristic of women's work, three women: Magdalena Fenollet, Josefa Medina and Joana Ruiz, trace some features of the health care they exercised empirically. They cured various ailments ("rage sickness" or remedies "for women suffering from breast diseases" are cited), but they also treated fractures and dislocations of arms and legs with great skill. Health practice was exercised by the guilds and colleges of doctors and surgeons, which excluded women from regulated training. Without access to formal training in unions or medical schools, these women could not be examined and prove their competence or obtain a license to practice. This delimitation framed the request to the authorities of these healers in a double objective. Officialize their medical competence learned within the family alongside grandmothers and mothers. And get a salary or gratuity, without being accused of intrusiveness by union doctors and surgeons.

Salto de línea His main argument is the practical usefulness and health benefit that his expertise - some allude to being a gift from God - produces above all among the poor or the evicted. These archival sources testify to a desire for equality derived from an awareness of their ability and expert knowledge.