Barriers to and facilitators for female participation in an HIV prevention project in Rural Ethiopia: Findings from a qualitative evaluation
Culture, Health and Sexuality
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, United States; CARE International, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopian women face complex social and cultural factors that influence their probability of HIV infection. HIV prevention efforts among this population are particularly important; however, female participation in a rural, HIV prevention project has been minimal. This programme evaluation investigated barriers and facilitators influencing women's ability to participate in project activities. Evaluation data were collected through nine focus groups and 20 semi-structured interviews, which were conducted between October and November 2003. The main themes found to negatively influence women's decisions to participate in this HIV prevention activity included: domestic workloads, lack of education and awareness, and cultural norms that have discouraged discussions about HIV and sexuality. Domestic chores, which are labour intensive and limit time and energy, were found to be the primary barrier to participation among women. Respondents also indicated that female illiteracy and limited educational attainment occur within a social context that traditionally supports education for men but discourages formal knowledge among women, including HIV prevention. Lack of education and inability to freely discuss sexuality denies women access to health information, potentially exposing women to adverse consequences such as HIV infection. Identified facilitators of participation included a radio serial drama and the one female peer educator associated with the project. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.
adolescent; adult; article; awareness; controlled study; cultural anthropology; data analysis; Ethiopia; female; health care access; health program; human; Human immunodeficiency virus infection; interpersonal communication; major clinical study; male; medical information; motivation; patient attitude; patient decision making; preventive health service; priority journal; qualitative analysis; school child; semi structured interview; sexuality; social behavior; social belief; social status; social support; workload; Adolescent; Adult; Cultural Characteristics; Ethiopia; Female; Focus Groups; Health Education; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Health Services Accessibility; HIV Infections; Humans; Middle Aged; Narration; Program Evaluation; Questionnaires; Rural Population; Women's Health; Women's Rights