An appraisal of the influence of gender on the infertility experience and the subsequent coping strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
(2013) An appraisal of the influence of gender on the infertility experience and the subsequent coping strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa., no. 76.
Infertility is arguably the most neglected reproductive health problem. Notwithstanding, literature demonstrates that the burden of infertility falls heavily upon women, even when they are not the cause. This research aims to unearth the gender inequalities that exist in the experience of infertility in SSA and address how gender equality may be achieved. The region of Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden of HIV/AIDS and STIs, which according to literature are the chief cause of infertility in this area. With poignantly dominant patriarchal societies which appreciate men as the governing beings, the subordination of women in SSA is rampant. Men have definitive authority over women and this has devastating effects for the infertile women, in terms of access to resources and reproductive autonomy. Although there is a diversity of treatment and coping mechanisms available for infertility, in SSA these are elusive, prohibitive due to high costs, inaccessible due to poor infrastructure and social stratification and also unacceptable due to religious and cultural restrictions. Sadly in a place where fertility is held in high esteem these constraints mean a lifetime of misery for those affected, mostly infertile women. This research will employ the Kabeer Social Relations Framework to highlight how infertility not only impacts the individual but also family and wider social networks. Recommendations will be made on how gender parity may be achieved.