Women ceremonies and rites as a communication tool for HIV/AIDS information: A Zambian perspective
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Traditional initiation ceremonies and rites are powerful tools that can be used to communicate HIV/AIDS information to women. While a number of studies have examined the relationship between HIV/AIDS and communication, few have investigated the link between women ceremonies and rites and HIV/AIDS information. Women comprise half of the world’s population but are generally excluded from active participation in development plans and policies. In order for women to actively participate in development decisions, they need to be free from diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Traditional women’s ceremonies and rites can be used as a valuable tool to communicate HIV/AIDS information to women. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether women ceremonies and rites are used to communicate HIV/AIDS information in Zambia. The study, largely quantitative in nature was conducted in Lusaka, Zambia. Over 100 women participated in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather primary data. The results are reported and include the kinds of puberty rites and ceremonies women are introduced to; kinds of information women receive during puberty rites and ceremonies; the HIV/AIDS information needs of women; and provision of HIV/AIDS information by elderly women to those who under-go puberty rites and women ceremonies.