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Women's choice between indigenous and Western contraception in urban Mozambique.

Authors
  • Agadjanian, V
Type
Published Article
Journal
Women & health
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
28
Issue
2
Pages
1–17
Identifiers
PMID: 10067803
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper analyzes women's choice between indigenous contraception (a combination of herbal and magical medicine) and western contraception (mainly oral pills, IUDs, and injectables) in urban Mozambique. Data collection according to the qualitative method was conducted in 1993; it included participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups in the suburban and periurban part of Greater Maputo, Mozambique. Since the qualitative method was employed in the study, statistics on the effectiveness and prevalence of indigenous and western contraception were not provided. Thus, the study dealt more with the reasons and circumstances behind the women's choice between indigenous and western contraception. Indigenous contraception users were women who had a stronger affiliation with tradition--for example, women living in semirural suburbs where traditional customs and lifestyles were more normative. It was noted that not all women had access to indigenous contraception since it was only available to married women and required the presence of a husband. The most common western counterpart of the indigenous method is Depo-Provera, which is popular among the less educated, higher-parity women. The fear of real or perceived side effects of western contraception greatly affected the women's choice of method. A reported disadvantage of indigenous contraception was that traditional healers who administered them charged their clients while most family planning clinics offered contraceptives for free. In general, most of the women's attitudes on contraception were practical and their contraceptive strategies were focused on effectiveness.

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