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Violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights in Somalia: Qualitative interviews with Somali born women in Sweden
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. Centrum för klinisk forskning, Dalarna, Institutionen för kvinnors och barns hälsa, Uppsala Universitet. .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1713-6014
Institutionen för kvinnors och barns hälsa, Uppsala Universitet .
Institutionen för kvinnors och barns hälsa, Uppsala Universitet .
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8947-2949
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Political violence is a push factors for migration and social determinants of health among migrants. The Somali migration to Sweden has increased threefold during the latest six years, now comprising refugees with more than 20 years of war experiences. Adverse childbearing health and outcomes are reported among Somali born refugees in high income countries. Health is influenced by earlier life experiences and a link between adverse sexual and reproductive health, violence and mental distress is described in research. Therefore, the aim was to explore experiences and perceptions on war, violence and sexual and reproductive health before migration among Somali born women in Sweden.

 

Method: Qualitative semi-structured individual interviews with Somali born refugee women living in Sweden were conducted, based on personal narratives and a hypothetical case. Thematic analysis was applied.

Results: Escalating violence and power based restrictions permeated gradually all aspect of life and limited both access to and quality of reproductive health services in pre-migration Somalia. Formal societal support for women exposed to violence was absent. This reinforced shame and stigma connected to war related and community based sexual violence and the silence surrounding sexual and intimate partner violence. Women expressed survival strategies in the context of war based on social networks, pragmatism, strength and faith.

Conclusions: Lack of formal structures on community levels has together with collective violence negatively impacted the whole spectra of women’s lives which have undermined the sexual and reproductive and health and rights. Several factors reinforce non-disclosure of violence exposure and can thus hamper health care seeking for violence related illness in the receiving country. Survival strategies shaped by war contain resources for resilience and enhancement of mental, sexual and reproductive health in receiving country.

Keywords: Somalia, war, violence, refugee, sexual and reproductive health and rights, qualitative method, thematic analysis

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Somalia, war, violence, refugee, sexual and reproductive health and rights, qualitative method, thematic analysis
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Hälsa och välfärd
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13613DiVA: diva2:687447
Conference
SVRI FORUM (Sexual Violence Research Initiative), 14-19 October 2013, Bangkok, Thailand
Available from: 2014-01-14 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2015-04-27Bibliographically approved

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Byrskog, UlrikaKlingberg-Allvin, Marie
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Citation style
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