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Expanding beyond "mother-child" services.

Authors
  • Paulson, S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Network (Research Triangle Park, N.C.)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
18
Issue
4
Pages
29–31
Identifiers
PMID: 12294404
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Several reproductive health programs in Bolivia have attempted to reduce institutionalized gender inequalities through efforts ranging from consciousness-raising courses to national legislation against domestic violence. It has been found that a maternal-child health-oriented approach to reproductive health eliminates many of those who require services, including childless women, women who have completed childbearing, and men. Moreover, the traditional exclusion of men from family planning decision-making often exacerbates women's vulnerability to abuse. La Casa de la Mujer in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, conducts family planning workshops for couples, works with young men and women, and seeks to involve male partners of its clients in center activities. Gender awareness not only helps couples to improve their relationships, but also improves the quality of interactions between family planning clients and providers. The widespread tendency of clinic doctors and staff to dismiss women's questions and concerns about contraceptive methods undermines providers' ability to counter misinformation and urge user compliance. The Center for Research and Development of Women in El Alto, Bolivia, has developed an approach to communication in which providers and clients discuss options in a collaborative manner. This approach has led to improved provider-client cooperation, more accurate diagnoses, and improved client health.

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