Women’s Participation In Communicating Primary Healthcare Policy
This study set out to explore Women‟s Participation in Commmunicating Primary Health Care Policy in Zuru and Danko-Wasagu Local Government Areas of Kebbi State, with a view to assessing the extent of women‟s participation being that the extent of women‟s participation in Primary Health Care is however, unclear or seems to be lacking. The study is premised on its advocacy to engender policy makers see the necessity of involving women in active participation, communication and formulation of primary healthcare policy.
The study employed the Participatory communication theory which advocates for peoples particpation in development interventions and as such giving voice to the voiceless. Methodology for data gathering included, Focus Group Discussions (FGD), Indepth-Interview (IDI) and Documentary Observation (DO). Furthermore, a total of 138 women and men were sampled using Purposive Sampling Technique to include 100 members of FGD and 38 interviewees.
The findings of this research according to the FGD and IDI revealed that women‟s participation in formulation and communication of primary healthcare policy in Kebbi state is still at its lowest ebb. This is a challenge that has development implications. The study also uncovered factors responsible for women‟s participation to include conservative adherence to customs and traditional beliefs, high rate of illiteracy, as well as communication barrier between women and health workers/experts. The study recommended that for sustainable women participation in Kebbi State, women should take active role and be involved in Primary Health Care Formulation and Communication. Appropriate communication strategies should be intensified as well as geninue women‟s participation should be encouraged by health policy makers.
1.0 Background to the Study
Since the evolution of the concept of development, participation has become a popular discourse in Development communication. Development experts have come to realise the need for the stakeholders to be associated with all phases of development intervention either directly or indirectly. This singular act has necessisated the quest for people to be active participants in development. People‟s participation is at the heart of achieving success in any development effort, either at the primary level or the secondary level. The incorporation of people‟s knowledge and perspectives into development research process could enhance relevance of development effort.
Over the decades, national and international agencies have developed and are still developing programmes to assist in effective communication and participation of people most especially that of women in development intervention. Frantic efforts at different levels have been made to address the marginalisation of women in development
intervention; but unfortunately these efforts have yielded little or no result. Despite the efforts of many agencies and organizations, and numerous inspiring successful story on paper, the picture is still disheartening, as it will take the active participation of women in the decision making environment in health policy formulation and communication to bring about sustainable development.
Even though, the poor and marginalised have always been at the centre of development communication, they are however, most often the subject of communication rather than the originators. Women have poor access to communication and the channels of communication respectively rural women fit into this group.
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