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Gender and the Reproductive Rights of Tarok Women in Central Nigeria

Women's Health and Action Research Center
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The study investigated how unequal gender relations inhibit the attainment of women’s reproductive rights. It examined whether women can choose if and when to marry, who to marry/have sex with, ability to negotiate sex with spouse, and their access to family planning. Based on theoretical orientation from gender-sexuality framework, this paper employed the qualitative research design. The main respondents were female and male of various sociodemographic groups who were engaged through in-depth interviews and focus group discussion sessions. Findings show wide scale abuses of Tarok women’s reproductive rights. Most of these abuses may be traced to traditional male-centred socio-cultural structures and patriarchy that help guarantee the immunity of male violators. It is concluded that in the context of unequal gender relations and dominance of patriarchy, the attainment of women’s reproductive rights is a major challenge which has profound implications for life and death.Keywords: Culture, Gender Relations, Patriarchy, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Sexuality and TarokAfr J Reprod Health 2012; 16[1]:83-96)

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