Obstacles to the realization of women’s reproductive health rights in Zimbabwe

Leah Gwatimba, Nanga R Raselekoane, Anthony O Nwafor

Abstract

Improving the sexual and reproductive health of young women allows them to reap the personal, social and economic benefits through making informed decisions on their health. Restrictions on the sexual and reproductive health rights of young women are discriminatory because they relegate women to a state of being less valuable than their male counterparts. This study explores the obstacles that women face in asserting their reproductive health rights in Zimbabwe. For this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was analysed using narrative analysis techniques. The study found that polygamy and wife inheritance were among the challenges women faced that kept them from exercising their reproductive rights. Other forms of gender inequality also reduces the autonomy of women. Gender norms have an effect on the health seeking behaviour of women within the sexual and reproductive health ambit. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[3]: 146-153).

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