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Title: Girls are people who at least know something : hearing young women's voices and HIV/AIDS
Author: Conn, Catherine Philomena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 4550
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2010
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High rates of HIV/AIDS in young women in Sub-Saharan Africa are a serious health problem. As a result, young women are an important target for HIV prevention. For young women a pre-requisite for preventing HIV/AIDS is having a voice in sexual relations. Yet many face significant barriers to speaking amongst other limitations to agency. This study arose out of concerns for the vulnerability and voicelessness of young women of Busoga, Eastern Uganda, in relation to HIV/AIDS. The research asks: How can young women, who experience multiple vulnerabilities in their lives, have a voice and what might the implications be for HIV prevention? Method was a critical element here, given the focus on young women speaking within voiceless norms. I developed a narrative methodology, expanding on existing critical inquiry and experiences of collaborating with young people, as a safe space for young women to speak about their lives, including experiences of oppression and resistance. The study was undertaken in Busoga, with a group of young women aged 15-19 years, using drawing, stories and drama. Young women portrayed the considerable barriers to their voices because of constraining social structures and norms, and a challenging environment of poverty and educational limitations. Young women’s representations were analyzed using a critical framework of current HIV prevention paradigms. This concluded that these do little to address, and have instead contributed to the limitations faced by vulnerable young women. A substantive contribution of the study is to knowledge about the considerable social, gendered and institutional barriers to young women’s voices and agency in the Busoga context. The contribution to HIV prevention is in adding to the call for alternative approaches, underpinned by empowerment paradigms, which build young women’s voices within wider actions to create receptive social environments, as a means of addressing limits to their agency.
Supervisor: Harding, N. ; Waite, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available