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Book part
Publication date: 18 September 2018

Jessica Liddell and Katherine M. Johnson

There is extensive research documenting the physical outcomes of childbirth, but significantly less on socio-psychological outcomes. Investigating women’s perception of…

Abstract

Purpose

There is extensive research documenting the physical outcomes of childbirth, but significantly less on socio-psychological outcomes. Investigating women’s perception of dignified treatment during birth contributes to a salient, under-examined aspect of women’s childbirth experiences.

Methodology/approach

We use a two-part conceptualization of dignity, respect and autonomy, to understand how birth experiences and interactions either facilitate or undermine women’s perceived dignity. Data came from the Listening-to-Mothers I survey, the first nationally representative study of postpartum women in the United States (n = 1,406). Through linear regression analysis, we separately modeled women’s perception of respectful treatment and women’s perception of medical autonomy during birth.

Findings

Overall women reported high scores for both autonomy and respect. Differences between the models emerged related primarily to the role of interventions and provider support. While women’s perceived dignity is related to elements that she brings in to the delivery room (e.g., birth knowledge, health status), much variation was explained by the medical encounter itself (e.g., type of medical interventions, pain management, nurse support, and number of staff present).

Research limitations/implications

This study is cross-sectional, and required either a telephone or internet access, thus limiting the full generalizability of findings. Two findings have direct practical relevance for promoting women’s dignity in childbirth. First, the number of staff persons present during labor and birth was negatively associated with both respect and autonomy. Second, that women with high levels of knowledge about their legal rights during childbirth were more likely to report high scores on the dignity scale. Limiting staff in the delivery room and including knowledge of legal rights in childbirth education or during prenatal visits may be two mechanisms to promote dignity in birth.

Originality/value

These findings address an important, under-examined aspect of women’s childbirth experiences. This study investigates how different birth experiences and interactions either promote or violate childbearing women’s perception of dignity, and has significant implications for the provision of maternal healthcare. The results reinforce the importance of focusing on the socio-psychological dimensions of childbirth.

Details

Gender, Women’s Health Care Concerns and Other Social Factors in Health and Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-175-5

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2019

Win Win Shwe, Aree Jampaklay, Aphichat Chamratrithirong and Suchada Thaweesit

The purpose of this paper is to understand the effects of the husband’s migration on wives’ decision-making autonomy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the effects of the husband’s migration on wives’ decision-making autonomy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study setting is Magway Region of central Myanmar where poverty has driven adult males to migrate overseas. The study hypothesizes that the absence of husbands due to international migration leads to changes in the roles and decision-making power of left-behind wives. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 22 villages of Pakkoku district, Magway Region, using the multi-stage random sampling method. The study sample included 205 migrant’s wives and 196 non-migrant’s wives.

Findings

The international migration of husbands has a strong and positive impact on left-behind wives’ autonomy independent of individual characteristics and household social and economic status. In addition, the findings show that the number of children and household wealth are positively associated with women’s autonomy, whereas household size shows a negative association.

Research limitations/implications

It is possible that there will be unmeasured selection factors such as unsuccessful migration as it might influence both husbands’ migration status and women’s autonomy. Cross-sectional data also invite a question about the causal relationship. For example, it might be possible that women with high autonomy may be more likely to encourage their husband to work abroad. So, the relationship might be the other way around. A further longitudinal study is also needed to describe detail explanation about the causal influence of left-behind women’s autonomy.

Originality/value

Successful international migration has a impact not only on women’s autonomy but also on household economic status in central rural Myanmar.

Details

Journal of Health Research, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2586-940X

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Kanako Yoshikawa and Yusuke Kamiya

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of married couples regarding women’s autonomy and the association of these perceptions with the subjective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of married couples regarding women’s autonomy and the association of these perceptions with the subjective well-being of wives in Lao PDR.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in semi-urban communities in Vientiane Capital of Lao PDR. Data were collected from 198 matched married couples with children under 12 years of age. Cross-tabulation analysis and multivariate regression analysis were used to assess the association between couple’s perceptions regarding women’s autonomy and the subjective well-being of wives.

Findings

Results from regression analysis revealed a positive association between the self-reported autonomy of wives and their subjective well-being. In contrast, neither the husband’s perceptions nor the couple’s concordance regarding the autonomy of the wife was associated with the level of the wife’s subjective well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was conducted in four small communities in Vientiane Capital. Thus, larger and more representative studies covering the entire country would be preferable for future policy orientation.

Originality/value

The study sites belong to the Lao-Lum group, which follows a matrilineal inheritance system under which wives generally enjoy a relatively higher social status than do women elsewhere in the world. The findings suggest that, even in women-centered settings, interventions aimed at increasing a woman’s perception of her household decision-making autonomy can improve her subjective well-being.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2006

Nicolette M. Priaulx

Can one describe the ‘natural’ process of pregnancy as ‘harm’, even when negligently brought about? What does that harm consist of? Offering a contextual analysis of the…

Abstract

Can one describe the ‘natural’ process of pregnancy as ‘harm’, even when negligently brought about? What does that harm consist of? Offering a contextual analysis of the English judiciary's characterisation of wrongful pregnancy, this paper demonstrates from a feminist perspective that the current construction of pregnancy as a ‘personal injury’ is deeply problematic. Forwarding an alternative account, this paper argues for law to embrace a richer notion of autonomy that will better resonate with women's diverse experiences of reproduction, and articulate the importance of autonomy in the reproductive domain: notably, women gaining control over their moral, relational and social lives.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-387-7

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Colm O'Boyle

The purpose of this paper is to describe what it is like to be a midwife in the professionally isolated and marginalised arena of home birth in Ireland and to explore…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe what it is like to be a midwife in the professionally isolated and marginalised arena of home birth in Ireland and to explore whether the organisation of home birth services and professional discourse might be undermining the autonomy of home birth midwives.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is drawn from auto-ethnographic field work, with 18 of the 21 self-employed community midwives (SECMs) offering home birth support to women in Ireland from 2006 to 2009. The data presented are derived from field notes of participant observations and from interviews digitally recorded in the field.

Findings

Home birth midwives must navigate isolated professional practice and negotiate when and how to interface with mainstream hospital services. The midwives talk of the dilemma of competing discourses about birth. Decisions to transfer to hospital in labour is fraught with concerns about the woman's and the midwife's autonomy. Hospital transfers crystallise midwives’ sense of professional vulnerability.

Practical implications

Maternity services organisation in Ireland commits virtually no resources to community midwifery. Home birth is almost entirely dependent upon a small number of SECMs. Although there is a “national home birth service”, it is not universally and equitably available, even to those deemed eligible. Furthermore, restrictions to the professional indemnification of home birth midwives, effectively criminalises midwives who would attend certain women. Home birth, already a marginal practice, is at real risk of becoming regulated out of existence.

Originality/value

This paper brings new insight into the experiences of midwives practicing at the contested boundaries of contemporary maternity services. It reveals the inappropriateness of a narrowly professional paradigm for midwifery. Disciplinary control of individuals by professions may countermand claimed “service” ideologies.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2020

Gloria Essilfie, Joshua Sebu, Samuel Kobina Annim and Emmanuel Ekow Asmah

This study adopts three dimensions of women’s empowerment: (1) relative education empowerment, (2) women's autonomy in decision-making and (3) domestic violence to examine…

Abstract

Purpose

This study adopts three dimensions of women’s empowerment: (1) relative education empowerment, (2) women's autonomy in decision-making and (3) domestic violence to examine the effect of women’s empowerment on household food security in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed the generalised ordered logit model (GOLM) and dominance analysis using a sample of 1,017 households from the seventh round of Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS7).

Findings

The findings from the study revealed that women’s empowerment proxied by relative years of schooling and women's decision-making were important indicators for improving household food security. Further, there exist varying dimensions of women’s empowerment in households, and these dimensions have a significant effect on the state of food security of households.

Originality/value

There are a number of studies on the effect of women's empowerment on food security. However, this study contributes to the literature by examining the varying effects of different dimensions of women’s empowerment on food security. This provides policymakers with a guide that looks at different levels of women’s empowerment and the combinations of women's empowerment dimensions that contribute for reducing food insecurity.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2014

Kristiano Raccanello

The research aimed at explaining women microcredit repayment delay when loans are not granted on any joint liability group nor any other scheme based on social capital or…

Abstract

Purpose

The research aimed at explaining women microcredit repayment delay when loans are not granted on any joint liability group nor any other scheme based on social capital or financial collateral.

Design/methodology/approach

Previous research showed that greater female autonomy is associated with bearing fewer children and the former could be correlated to a higher loan repayment rate because of social and financial benefits for the household. Female autonomy proxied through the number of children and its square is regressed on the number of weeks of repayment delay in an OLS model as well as in a multilogit model that identifies borrowers according to their credit status (regular, delayed, and delinquent).

Findings

We found that more autonomous women, those bearing less than four children, repay credit more promptly and are less likely to switch into the delinquent credit status.

Research limitations/implications

Economic variables need to be complemented with some specific characteristics of the borrower, as they have a role in explaining women’s repayment delay.

Originality/value

The research provides an alternate explanation about why women repay loans when a microcredit institution does not rely on a lending methodology based on joint liability groups.

Details

Production, Consumption, Business and the Economy: Structural Ideals and Moral Realities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-055-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1997

Michael S. Kimmel

Since the late eighteenth century, American men have supported women's equality. (see Kimmel and Mosmiller, 1992). Even before the first Woman's Rights Convention at…

Abstract

Since the late eighteenth century, American men have supported women's equality. (see Kimmel and Mosmiller, 1992). Even before the first Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York heralded the birth of the organized women's movement in 1848, American men had begun to argue in favor of women's rights. That celebrated radical, Thomas Paine, for example, mused in 1775 that any formal declaration of independence from England should include women, since women have, as he put it, “an equal right to virtue.”(Paine, [1775] 1992, 63–66). Other reformers, like Benjamin Rush and John Neal articulated claims for women's entry into schools and public life. Charles Brockden Brown, America's first professional novelist, penned a passionate plea for women's equality in Alcuin(1798).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 17 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Lynn Westbrook and Ina Fourie

The purpose of this paper is to present a three-part framework of information engagement for situated gynecological cancers. These particular cancers intertwine with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a three-part framework of information engagement for situated gynecological cancers. These particular cancers intertwine with medicalization of sexuality and gender power dynamics, situating information behaviors and interactions in women’s socio-health perceptions. Using Kavanagh and Broom’s feminist risk framework, the framework establishes functional and temporal parameters for sense-making and information engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs a structured, reiterative literature review with emergent thematic analysis. Nine indices from medicine, information studies, and sociology were searched using combinations of five terms on cervical cancer (CC) and 14 terms on information engagement in the title, abstract, and subject fields. Results were examined on a reiterative basis to identify emergent themes pertaining to knowledge development and information interactions.

Findings

Environmentally, social stigma and gender roles inhibit information seeking; normalizing CC helps integrate medical, moral, and sexual information. Internally, living with the dichotomy between “having” a body and “being” a body requires high-trust information resources that are presented gradually. Actively, choosing to make or cede medical decision-making requires personally relevant information delivered in the form of concrete facts and explanations.

Research limitations/implications

The study covers only one country.

Originality/value

This study’s information framework and suggestions for future research encourage consideration of gender power dynamics, medicalization of sexuality, and autonomy in women’s health information interactions.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2018

Katharina Heyer

This paper examines the implications of the disability rights critique of prenatal testing on the development of genetic policy and abortion rights. It traces the…

Abstract

This paper examines the implications of the disability rights critique of prenatal testing on the development of genetic policy and abortion rights. It traces the reappearance of the disabled body in public deliberations over reproductive and genetic politics that use disability to frame arguments about which bodies are worthy of protection, how and why we limit reproductive choices, and what reasons women may use to terminate their pregnancies. The disability critique of prenatal testing and selective abortion finds itself in productive tension with reproductive rights politics, which increasingly features disability in both pro-life and pro-choice messages. The uneasy alliance between disability and pro-life interests has profound implications for both disability legal scholarship and the sociolegal inquiry into the role of rights articulation – and rejection – by social movements.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-208-0

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