JOURNAL ARTICLE

From sunrise to sunset: an ethnography of rural Ecuadorian women's perceived health needs and resources

Naomi Schoenfeld, Teresa C Juarbe
Health Care for Women International 2005, 26 (10): 957-77
16263665
In this ethnographic study, we describe the perceived health needs and resources of women in two rural Ecuadorian communities. Nineteen women participated in semistructured interviews. Women worked 3 to 30 hours outside the home each week but described their financial resources as insufficient. Most participants perceived their health as fair to poor. Four themes emerged related to the participants' health needs: (1) lack of money, (2) "it's better to be alone," (3) the physical burden of women's roles, and (4) suffering/self-sacrifice. Traditional medicine, local experts in traditional remedies, and nutrition emerged as resources to prevent illness. We believe our results offer valuable information in facilitating participatory health projects for social change.

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