Women Bargaining to Seek Healthcare: Norms, Domestic Practices, and Implications in Rural Burkina Faso
Summary Based on a qualitative study contrasting a gender-relationally restrictive socio-cultural setting with a rather liberal one, we explain how social norms shape resource negotiation for women seeking modern healthcare. A system of "protection and dependency" covers them in principle for obviously serious illness, as far as household resources permit. In both settings, however, women must have "well behaved" and justify less-obvious needs in an unequal bargaining process with ambivalent recourse opportunities. Consequently, women may suffer delays in or exclusion from healthcare. Moreover, their self-esteem may lower and the domestic power imbalance may increase. The results suggest sectoral and sector-crosscutting solutions.
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