Online Program

Unplugging the Gender and Cultural Norm Bottleneck to MNCH

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Lori Pappas, Global Team for Local Initiatives, Global Team for Local Initiatives, Minneapolis, MN

Pastoralist Dasenech and BenaTsemay women (67,210 women) living in remote southwest Ethiopia are constrained by adverse gender norms, cultural beliefs and traditions and as a result, they cannot make decisions about their own health and well-being. The goal of this holistic integrated approach was to blend traditional wisdom with modern thinking in order to transform the cultural belief that large families mean wealth into healthy families mean wealth, by leveraging their traditional desire to have enough children to work. The initiative tested the impact of integrating adult literacy classes (women gain confidence to self-advocate) with livelihood activities (women contribute to household assets) with a series of structured discussions where the community discovers that in order to have enough healthy children, they need to practice healthy timing and spacing of births. The ability to access health services was improved by the establishment of community-owned and -operated “donkey ambulances.”

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the need to elevate the status of women so they gain voice in decision-making Demonstrate how to increase maternal and neonatal health-seeking behavior Identify the importance of improving community access to remote health facilities

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Lori Pappas has thirty years’ experience of helping small businesses become more productive and cost-effective by founding Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) with the express purpose of understanding the critical factors necessary to help people adapt to their changing environment. Specializing in multi-sectoral, integrated, holistic community engagement initiatives, GTLI has helped over 75,000 people in community health. She helped develop the strategy, technical approach and evaluation criteria used in this project.
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.