Women's Experiences
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This book examines women’s experiences in African politics as aspirants to public office, as candidates in election campaigns, and as elected representatives. Part I evaluates women’s efforts to become party candidates in four African countries: Benin, Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia. The chapters draw on a variety of methods, including extensive interviews with women candidates, to describe and assess the barriers confronted when women seek to enter politics. The chapters help explain why women remain underrepresented as candidates for office, particularly in countries without gender-based quotas, by emphasizing the impact of financial constraints, fears of violence, and resistance among party leaders. Part II turns to women’s experiences as candidates during elections in Kenya and Ghana. One chapter provides an in-depth account of a woman’s presidential bid in Kenya, demonstrating how gendered ethnicity undermined her candidacy, and another chapter presents a novel evaluation of the media’s coverage of women candidates in Ghana. Part III turns to women as legislators in Namibia, Uganda, and Burkina Faso, asking whether women engage in substantive representation on gendered policy issues once in office. The chapters challenge the assumption that a critical mass of women is necessary or sufficient to achieve substantive representation. Taken together, the book’s chapters problematize existing hypotheses regarding women in political power, drawing on understudied countries and a variety of empirical methods. By following political pathways from entry to governance, the book uncovers how gendered experiences early in the political process shape what is possible for women once they attain political power.

2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
María López-Toribio ◽  
Paulina Bravo ◽  
Anna Llupià

Abstract Background Women’s engagement in healthcare decision-making during childbirth has been increasingly emphasised as a priority in maternity care, since it increases satisfaction with the childbirth experience and provides health benefits for women and newborns. The birth plan was developed as a tool to facilitate communication between health professionals and women in Spain, but their value in routine practice has been questioned. Besides, little is known about women’s experiences of participation in decision-making in the Spanish context. Thus, this study aimed to explore women’s experiences of participation in shared decision-making during hospital childbirth. Methods An exploratory qualitative study using focus groups was carried out in one maternity unit of a large reference hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Participants were first-time mothers aged 18 years or older who had had a live birth at the same hospital in the previous 12 months. Data collected were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a six-phase inductive thematic analysis process. Results Twenty-three women participated in three focus groups. Three major themes emerged from the data: “Women’s low participation in shared decision-making”, “Lack of information provision for shared decision-making”, and “Suggestions to improve women’s participation in shared decision-making”. The women who were willing to take an active role in decision-making encountered barriers to achieving this and some women did not feel prepared to do so. The birth plan was experienced as a deficient method to promote women’s participation, as health professionals did not use them. Participants described the information given as insufficient and not offered at a timely or useful point where it could aid their decision-making. Potential improvements identified that could promote women’s participation were having a mutually respectful relationship with their providers, the support of partners and other members of the family and receiving continuity of a coordinated and personalised perinatal care. Conclusion Enhancing women’s involvement in shared decision-making requires the acquisition of skills by health professionals and women. The development and implementation of interventions that encompass a training programme for health professionals and women, accompanied by an effective tool to promote women’s participation in shared decision-making during childbirth, is highly recommended.

2021 ◽  
pp. 000276422110422
Ysabel Gerrard

The purpose of this special issue is to offer new perspectives on fan cultures which respond to changes and controversies that have happened since the last American Behavioral Scientist special issue on fandom was published, in 2005. But the aim of my contribution is to argue that, sadly, derisive-gendered discourses like ‘fangirls’, ‘groupies’ and ‘shippers’ are still alive and well. Returning to the kind of research conducted in the 1980s – when women’s experiences of feminized popular cultures began to be taken seriously – reminds us that their pleasures are no less derided or controversial four decades on. My findings also suggest that the enduring presence of older stereotypes within teen drama fandoms – particularly the ‘groupie’ – signals the agility of sexism, as the term can now be understood as more of a generational designation rather than a medium-specific one. This article is the product of three years of qualitative empirical research with ‘teen girl’ fandoms of three popular television shows: Pretty Little Liars, Revenge and The Vampire Diaries. The data it discusses includes Skype audio and video interviews, written interviews conducted via email and Facebook Messenger, along with overt social media observations.

Burcu Avcibay Vurgec ◽  
Sule Gökyildiz Surucu ◽  
Cemile Onat Köroglu ◽  
Hibe Ezzo

Background: Adverse birth outcomes of immigrant women and neonates are associated with the quality of perinatal care. For this reason, examining immigrant women’s experiences of perinatal care is necessary if host country care systems are to respond appropriately to migration. Aims: The aim of the study was to evaluate the perinatal care experiences of immigrant women. Methods: The qualitative phenomenological design used in the study enabled to make an in-depth exploration of immigrant women's experiences. The participants were 24 women who had a pregnancy within the past 6 months and lived in Adana, Turkey, between September and December 2019. Data were collected using a semi-structured form through the snowball method. Qualitative data were analysed using the thematic analysis method. Results: The participants’ mean age was 21.41 [standard deviation (SD) 3.86] years. Mean age at first pregnancy was 17.27 (SD 4.59) years. It was determined that immigrant women received insufficient maternity services. In thematic analysis, 4 main themes indicating barriers to sufficient perinatal care were identified. The barriers to maternal care services were: language barrier, cultural incompatibility, decreased social support and inadequate information. Conclusion: Our findings indicated that perinatal care for immigrant women was inadequate and their experiences were generally negative. Although the barriers seem separate, they are actually intertwined, with the language barrier appearing to be the main one. Innovative approaches are needed to solve this problem. Mobile applications that translate instantly can be used by both immigrant women and health care professionals.

2021 ◽  
pp. 154041532110410
Talia Robledo-Gil ◽  
Shakkaura Kemet ◽  
Meredith Pensak ◽  
Abigail Cutler ◽  
Blair McNamara ◽  

Introduction: Research on Spanish-speaking Latina/Hispanic women's experiences during pregnancy is limited. Methods: We recruited women from urban, walk-in pregnancy testing clinics from June 2014 to June 2015. Women aged 16–44 years, at less than 24 weeks gestational age, who spoke either English or Spanish were eligible and completed an enrollment questionnaire and individual interview according to language preference. During qualitative interviews, we explored pregnancy intentions, initial reactions to a new pregnancy, and feelings about the impact of this pregnancy on relationships and daily life. Qualitative narrative content analysis was conducted using Atlas.ti software. Results: Among interviews with 31 Spanish-speaking Latina/Hispanic pregnant women, participants’ average age was 28 years old with a mean gestational age of 7 weeks. We identified social isolation as the most common theme, characterized by four interwoven and overlapping subthemes: (1) sola—the experience of feeling alone; (2) familismo cercano—the importance of close relationships; (3) familismo lejano—overcoming long distance relationships; and (4) mi patria—preserving homeland cultural connectedness. Conclusions: Spanish-speaking Latina/Hispanic pregnant women described experiencing multiple aspects of social isolation. Language preference may suggest risk of social isolation, necessitating provider awareness and support initiatives to improve social support and lessen social isolation among newly pregnant, Spanish-speaking Latina women.

2021 ◽  
Jessica Simpson

AbstractThis is a reflexive account of carrying out ‘dirty research’ on cis women’s experiences of working as erotic dancers while at university in the UK. Focusing on the recruitment process, I discuss how universities avoided becoming ‘subjects’ of research by blocking the study and labelling it ‘extremely sensitive’ or ‘inappropriate’. By scrutinising the fieldwork, this revealed the prevalence of whorephobia within Higher Education and the general, rather than idiosyncratic, prioritisation of institutional reputation management at the expense of silencing marginalised voices and experiences. This article adds to scholarship problematising the taken-for-granted, subjective power wielded by research ethics committees which has the potential to curtail academic freedom and the advancement of knowledge and debate within specific fields. By restricting access to potential participants and through delay tactics, this hindered my ability to carry out the initial research design, shaping the type of data gathered and the knowledge I was able to contribute to this already under-researched area of study.

Sexualities ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. 136346072110410
Jessica Påfs

Squirting, or female ejaculation, is the expulsion of fluid during sexual stimulation. The limited scientific literature has focused primarily on clarifying what this fluid contains, while women’s own voices on the experience have received scant attention. This study explores 28 women’s experiences and applies a thematic analysis. The sensation of squirting is individual and sometimes conflicting. Descriptions range from considering it amazing, a superpower and feminist statement to an unpleasant and/or shameful event. Across the board, there is a wish for nuanced information and for the current taboo and mystification surrounding the subject to be broken.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (3) ◽  
pp. 131-144
Ingegerd Hildingsson

BACKGROUNDIn antenatal care, health checkups, information, and support is provided to women. Midwifery continuity models of care provide women access to evidence-based care.OBJECTIVEThe aim of this study was to evaluate women's experiences of pregnancy and antenatal care in a continuity of midwifery care project, as well as to gauge the impact the project had on the women's emotional well-being and satisfaction.METHODThis was a cohort study of 226 women enrolled in a continuity of care project in rural Sweden. Profiles of the women were created based on levels of depressive symptoms, worries, fear of birth, and sense of coherence. Data was collected through questionnaires. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated between the clusters for the explanatory variables.RESULTWomen in the two clusters differed in some background characteristics. Women in Cluster 2 had more visits to a doctor. They also received more counseling due to fear of birth and viewed the number of midwives as “too many.” They were less satisfied with the medical, emotional, and overall aspects of their antenatal care. Perceived health, preparedness for birth, and parenthood were rated lower by women in Cluster 2.CONCLUSIONThis study found that women's assessment of their antenatal care was associated with their emotional health. Negative feelings toward changes in pregnancy were often found in women with poorer emotional health, and these women reported being less prepared for birth and parenthood. Thus, it is important to identify women with emotional distress and to provide them additional support and continuity.

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