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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Post-Marital Return to Natal Home to Have the First Birth: Does This Sociocultural Tradition Disempower Women? Evidence from Gweru, Zimbabwe
Authors:Madebwe, CrescentiaISNI
Madebwe, VictorISNI
Periodical:Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review (ISSN 1027-1775)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:women's health
child health
maternal and child health care
birth rites
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
Women and Their Children
Sex Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Health surveys
Birth customs
reproductive health
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eastern_africa_social_science_research_review/v022/22.2madebwe.pdf
Abstract:In Zimbabwe, the tradition of post-marital return to natal home to have the first birth has been perpetuated from generation to generation. Based on the results of a clinic-based questionnaire survey held among first union post-partum women in Gweru, and focus group discussions, this study analyses aspects of this sociocultural tradition. Does this tradition disempower women? Up to 64.8 percent of first-time mothers surveyed had returned to natal homes to have first marital births. Mean duration of pregnancy at return to natal homes was 6.5 months. In over 60 percent of the cases, the total period of stay at natal homes was five to six months. Return to natal homes is perceived as apprenticing women into motherhood. None of the women surveyed had achieved the optimum 12-13 prenatal care visits. The paper posits that in some social contexts, the tradition undermines the survivorship status of mothers and their babies. Protracted spousal separation reduces partner(s)' involvement in child care, increases vulnerability of women to STDs, HIV/AIDS infection, abandonment and union dissolution. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]