Tag Archives: Mozambique

Introduction of culturally sensitive HIV prevention in the context of female initiation rites: an applied anthropological approach in Mozambique

LMEJ Afr AIDS Res. 2009;8(4):491-502.

Introduction of culturally sensitive HIV prevention in the context of female initiation rites: an applied anthropological approach in Mozambique

Kotanyi S, Krings-Ney B

ABSTRACT

In Mozambique, initiation rites represent the most appropriate socio-cultural context for dealing with sexuality for a large part of the population. As the group most vulnerable to HIV exposure, HIV-prevention counselling could be ideally introduced to young women during initiation rites. This article demonstrates how interventions can take advantage of the positive aspects of this tradition. We discuss local notions of social ‘contamination’ versus biological ‘contamination,’ and we present a culturally sensitive communication strategy to bridge the divergent paradigms around AIDS-similar symptoms. Because of the emotional importance of the initiation rites, the suggested approach goes far beyond cognitive knowledge. After training, the godmothers in initiation rites became highly motivated to teach novice girls about HIV prevention and they trained other elderly women as well. Thus, the initiation rites turned into a process of empowerment for women in their own communities. A central agenda of the female initiation rites in Mozambique is to inculcate respect towards ancestors, elders, authorities and others; however, this respectful attitude between genders and between generations is disappearing due to factors like warfare and the cash economy. HIV-prevention counselling may be successfully introduced into initiation rites because of the unconscious, emotional impact of the process on the initiates’ behaviour. Other studies have shown that cognitive knowledge is not enough to lead to behavioural changes. Without changing the traditional initiation rites for females, which in Mozambique includes no genital cutting, a complementary approach introduces HIV-prevention counselling during ritual counselling moments, thereby motivating godmothers and novice girls and young women to be more aware and take precautions to prevent HIV infection.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Determinants of Elongation of the Labia Minora in Tete Province, Central Mozambique Findings of a Household Survey

African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2016; 20(2): 111-121.LMEFREE

Determinants of elongation of the labia minora in Tete Province, Central Mozambique: Findings of a household survey

Martínez Pérez G, Bagnol B, Chersich M, Mariano E, Mbofana F, Hull T, Martin Hilber A

ABSTRACT

A WHO-supported provincial-level population-based survey was conducted in 2007 to understand the determinants and implications forhealth of vaginal practices. A total of 919 women aged 18-60 were selected randomly for enrolment. This is the first population-based study of females in Tete Province, Mozambique. At some time over their lives, 98.8% of women had practiced elongation of their labia minora and a quarter (24.0%) had done so in the past month. Currently practicing women were more likely to have engaged in sex recently, and used contraceptives and condoms at last sex than women who had stopped labial elongation. Younger age, residence in rural areas and having two or more male partners were also determinants of current practice. Women commonly reported they practiced for no specific reason (62.8%). Discomforting itchiness and lower abdominal pain were more frequent in women who had stopped labial elongation than in women who were currently practicing. Although women may not report current vaginal ill health, it is possible that prospective cohort studies could uncover alterations in genital vaginal flora or other indicators of impact on women’s health. The findings of this study do not suggest that labial elongation is linked with high-risk behaviors for HIV transmission. .

This article can be accessed in this LINK

The Practice of Puxa-Puxa among Mozambican Women: A Systematic Inventory of Motives.

J Sex Res. 2013 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print] LME

The Practice of Puxa-Puxa among Mozambican Women: A Systematic Inventory of Motives.

Vera Cruz G, Mullet E.

Department of Psychology, Eduardo Mondlane University.

ABSTRACT

Puxa-puxa is the elongation of the labia minora of the genital organs. It is one of the most widespread genital practices among women in Mozambique, and the practice seems to be specific to this country. The motives underlying this practice and its abandonment were examined in a theory-driven way. A total of 616 women currently living in the provinces of Maputo, Zambezia, and Nampula, aged 18 to 62, were presented with one of two questionnaires that contained items about possible motives for practicing puxa-puxa or possible motives for not practicing it. Seven separable motives for practicing puxa-puxa were found, and the most highly rated were “Having a satisfying sexual life”; “Satisfying my sexual partner”; and “Gaining self-control.” Five separable motives for not practicing puxa-puxa were found, and the most highly rated were “Disliking a painful practice”; “Affirming one’s value as a person”; and “Avoiding contamination.” The main findings of the study are that the practice of puxa-puxa is associated with deep psychological motives common to most women in most cultures, namely having a satisfying sexual life with a reliable partner, creating the conditions for having children, and being able to care for them. The abandonment of this practice is largely the result of personal decisions, which are not taken under constraint and which are not exclusively taken from fear of illness.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Vaginal practices: eroticism and implications for women’s health and condom use in Mozambique.

Cult Health Sex. 2008 Aug;10(6):573-85. doi: 10.1080/13691050801999071.LME

Vaginal practices: eroticism and implications for women’s health and condom use in Mozambique.

Bagnol B, Mariano E.

Department of Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. bagnolbrigitte@icon.co.za

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses two female sexual practices in Tete Province, Mozambique: (1) the practice of elongating the labia minora and (2) what is sometimes called ‘dry sex’ involving the insertion of natural and/or synthetic products into the vagina or the ingestion of these products orally. These practices are fundamental to the construction of female identity, eroticism and the experience of pleasure. Notions such as ‘closed/open’, ‘dry/damp’, ‘hot/cold’, ‘heavy/light’, ‘life/death’, ‘wealth/poverty’ and ‘sweet/not sweet’ are central to local understandings of sexual practices and reproduction. These notions may affect the women’s sexual health because they influence preferences for sex without a condom. These practices may also be associated with the alteration of the vaginal flora and vaginal lesions that may make women more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

A cross cultural study of vaginal practices and sexuality: Implications for sexual health

Soc Sci Med. 2010 Feb;70(3):392-400. Epub 2009 Nov 10.LME

A cross cultural study of vaginal practices and sexuality: Implications for sexual health

Martin Hilber A, Hull TH, Preston-Whyte E, Bagnol B, Smit J, Wacharasin C, Widyantoro N; WHO GSVP Study Group

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Burn, Finkenhubelweg 11, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. amartinhilber@ispm.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT

Between 2005 and 2006, we investigated vaginal practices in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Tete, Mozambique; KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and Bangkok and Chonburi, Thailand. We sought to understand women’s practices, their motivations for use and the role vaginal practices play in women’s health, sexuality and sense of wellbeing. The study was carried out among adult women and men who were identified as using, having knowledge or being involved in trade in products. Further contacts were made using snowball sampling. Across the sites, individual interviews were conducted with 229 people and 265 others participated in focus group discussions. We found that women in all four countries have a variety of reasons for carrying out vaginal practices whose aim is to not simply ‘dry’ the vagina but rather decrease moisture that may have other associated meanings, and that they are exclusively “intravaginal” in operation. Practices, products and frequency vary. Motivations generally relate to personal hygiene, genital health or sexuality. Hygiene practices involve external washing and intravaginal cleansing or douching and ingestion of substances. Health practices include intravaginal cleansing, traditional cutting, insertion of herbal preparations, and application of substances to soothe irritated vaginal tissue. Practices related to sexuality can involve any of these practices with specific products that warm, dry, and/or tighten the vagina to increase pleasure for the man and sometimes for the woman. Hygiene and health are expressions of femininity connected to sexuality even if not always explicitly expressed as such. We found their effects may have unexpected and even undesired consequences. This study demonstrates that women in the four countries actively use a variety of practices to achieve a desired vaginal state. The results provide the basis for a classification framework that can be used for future study of this complex topic.

This article can be purchased in this LINK