Accepted paper:

Considering the gender narrative in the mirror of reality: how women consider and manage their right to health in some pastoralist tribes of South Omo Zone (Ethiopia).


Ilaria Micheli (University of Trieste)

Paper short abstract:

This paper concerns a development project carried out by CUAMM in the Dhaasanach and Hamar woredas of South Omo (Ethiopia). Through the analysis of the case study, the opposition between women's wishes, and their translation in their daily life and expectations will be discussed.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is one of the outcomes of the International Cooperation project "Mothers and Children First: newborn, children and women's health care among the pastoralist communities of the South Omo Zone, Ehtiopia" funded by AICS and carried out by the Italian NGO Doctors with Africa CUAMM in 2016-2017. Despite the project's main objective was the implementation of the primary health care services delivered to women and children in the Hospitals and HCs of the Zone, it included a preliminary socio-anthropological investigation in the Hamar and Dhaasanach woredas, where the women's response to the services offered was much lower than in the other areas of the Zone. The research was carried out during two periods and with two different approaches: 2) the first one, in August 2016, visiting 5 households and 5 villages respectively in the Hamar and Dhaasanach woredas, doing observation and carrying out lexical mappings and semi-structured interviews with young wives, widows, husbands and elders focussing on maternal and newborn care and health 2) the second one, in December 2017, carrying out an extensive survey based on the outcomes of the previous year. The data emerged from the comparison of the two parts of the research revealed that, despite women are aware of their unfair conditions with respect to their husbands, their need of support based on social/family ties seems to be still so strong to generally prevent them from taking public positions and stand up for their rights.

panel Anth23
Sexual and reproductive rights: conflicting narratives and the future of gender in Africa