246918 Combating Gender Preference amongst Punjabi Sikhs in California: Research and Lessons Learned from a Community Based Health Education Initiative

Monday, October 31, 2011

Semran Kaur Mann, MPH, CHES , Ladoos: Pink and Blue Program, Jakara Movement, Clovis, CA
Rajwinder Kaur, MPHc , Ladoos: Pink and Blue, Jakara Movement, Clovis, CA
Rajver Kaur Mann, BA , Ladoos: Pink and Blue, Jakara Movement, Clovis, CA
Naindeep Singh Chann, MEd, PhDc , Ladoos: Pink and Blue, Jakara Movement, Clovis, CA
Background: Patriarchy and devaluation of women is rampant within the Punjabi population. While various social and health organizations have been on high alert about the increasingly disproportionate sex ratio in East Punjab, there is very little literature available on gender preference amongst Punjabi Sikhs in the United States. From sex-selective abortions and abuse to double standards, cultural values of male-preference migrate to the United States along with immigrants; the problem is far from limited to Punjab. Objectives: This study aims to assess community perspectives on gender preference amongst Punjabi Sikhs in California and explore best practices for conducting research within this population. Methods: To guide program development, a targeted needs assessment was conducted with young mothers and fathers, physicians, and community leaders. Data collection methods included literature reviews, surveys, key informant interviews, and focus groups. Data were coded, themed, and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Analysis focused on attitudes, beliefs, and social pressures regarding male-preferential practices. Results: Motivating factors towards males included financial stability, social pressures, family legacy, and inheritance. Deterring factors towards females included dowry, marriage costs, and concerns of problems after marriage. Conclusion: This pioneering study is one of the first to provide insight on community perspectives on gender inequality amongst Punjabi Sikhs in the California. The analysis identified key recommendations for future steps for program development and further research. Gender concerns within the community are systemic and a variety of holistic approaches are needed to formulate collaborative, community-based strategies for health promotion interventions. interventions.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify 3 motivating factors towards male preference in the Punjabi Sikh community 2.Discuss 1 gender inequality concern the Punjabi community in California is facing 3.Analyze and describe application of lessons learned to other South Asian communities

Keywords: Ethnic Minorities, Asian Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee health education programs such as, minority womens health, adolescent health,environmental health safety, chronic disease prevention programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.