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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender and mental health in Africa
Author:Kisekka, Mere NakatereggaISNI
Book title:Women's mental health in Africa
Year:1990
Pages:1-13
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:women
mental health
Abstract:The field of women's mental health in Africa is practically virgin. This paper examines the scarce studies devoted to this subject. The first section shows that available studies of admissions to psychiatric institutions unequivocally report higher rates for men than for women. It suggests that a different picture of gender variations might emerge from epidemiological surveys. The next section focuses on psychiatrically screened symptoms and their variation in accordance with women's social characteristics. It includes studies on the relationship between women's mental health and pregnancy, psychoneuroses related to women's social problems, and postpartum or puerperal mental illness. Next, psychosocial stress and women's strain are discussed. Feminist researchers are very concerned with at least two sets of stressful events for African women. One set of factors emanates from traditional cultural values, taboos, and prescriptions which are inimical to women's self-concept as well as to their physical health. Of these factors, those concerned with sex and reproduction have aroused most attention. The second set of factors revolves around structural changes resulting from modernization processes, such as the commercialization of land, and the monetization of agriculture, which have marginalized women. Suggestions for further research conclude the article. Bibliogr.
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