“How Can I Gain Skills if I Don’t Practice?” The Dynamics of Prohibitive Silence against Pre-Marital Pregnancy and Sex in Zimbabwe

Vanderbilt University, United States of America
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 01/2013; 8(1):e53058. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053058
Source: PubMed


Young people face sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems including Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is critical to continue documenting their situation including the contexts they live in. As part of a larger study that explored perspectives of men to SRH and more specifically abortion and contraceptive use, 546 pupils (51% female; age range 9-25 years) from a rural area in Zimbabwe were invited to write anonymously questions about growing up or other questions they could not ask adults for fear or shame. The pupils were included following descriptions by adults of the violence that is unleashed on unmarried young people who engaged in sex, used contraceptives, or simply suggested doing so. The questions by the young people pointed to living in a context of prohibitive silence; their sexuality was silenced and denied. As a consequence they had poor knowledge and their fears and internal conflicts around sexuality and pregnancy were not addressed. Current action suggests concerted effort at the policy level to deal with young people's SRH in Zimbabwe. It nevertheless remains necessary, as a way to provide support to these efforts, to continue examining what lessons can be drawn from the past, and how the past continues to reflect in and shape present dynamics and relations. There is also need to look more critically at life skill education, which has previously been described as having failed to address adequately the practical needs of young people. Life skill education in Zimbabwe has rarely been systematically evaluated. A fuller understanding is also needed of the different factors co-existing in contemporary African societies and how they have been and continue to be constituted within history, and the implications to the promotion of adolescent SRH.

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    • "It is one of the perceived consequences of not obeying taboos and as such the general people will leave the culprit to deal with his/her problems because they did not obey the values of the society. Silence on HIV issues may also mean lack of understanding, fear, shame or lack of confidence to talk about such issues (Chikovore, et al, 2013). The unwillingness of people and particularly organisations to talk about HIV/AIDS may signal the need to have HIV specialists in organisations to deal with such issues. "
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    ABSTRACT: HIV & AIDS prevalence is causing lots of deaths in the hospitality industry affecting the most productive population. The study was conducted to explore employee perceptions of HIV & AIDS on the hospitality industry. Using qualitative research philosophy data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires from employees at selected hotel establishments. The data was analyzed thematically. Two critical themes emerged from the study. Firstly HIV & AIDS was being treated as a taboo subject and secondly; there are no clear organizational policies on HIV & AIDS. The researchers concluded that hospitality organizations are still ignorant of devastating existence of HIV & AIDS. Three recommendations were made from the study. Hospitality establishments should embrace the fact that HIV & AIDS exist, Organizations should work with employees to produce workable policies and that organizations should take heed of government efforts in tackling HIV & AIDS and do their part in this international cause.