Global health anthropology
NRC-NORGLOBAL Research Project 2016-19


The multiple roles of adolescents in realising their rights to fertility control within culture-specific societal contexts of Jimma zone, Ethiopia

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PhD project: In this study, I seek to examine the multiple roles that adolescent girls and boys play in realising their rights to fertility control, including induced abortion, within the culture-specific societal contexts of Jimma town and Tiro Afeta district in Jimma zone, Ethiopia. Rights to fertility control in this sense refers to access to information and services necessary to prevent or terminate unwanted adolescent pregnancy.

In the case of controlling adolescent fertility, gender roles in general and males' collaborative involvement in particular, are among the issues to be examined in this study. However, adolescents will be approached neither as unconstrained free will actors nor as prisoners of prevailing structural and normative conditions of society. Rather than victims of collective interests passively accepting restrictive sexual and reproductive social norms, adolescent girls and boys are viewed as innovatively responding to normative expectations towards realisation of their sexual and reproductive interests. Fertility control is, in this sense, approached as both dynamic and persistent social processes within culture-specific contexts - yet also informed by global discourses.

A qualitative research approach and an ethnographic-descriptive research design with extensive fieldwork based on the triangulation of research methods and data will be employed. Theoretically, the study will be guided by the agency-structure integration framework within an interpretive analytical paradigm. The study will have both academic and policy relevant outputs.

Supervisory team: Getnet Tadele, Mulumebet Zenebe, Haldis Haukanes, Karen Marie Moland, Astrid Blystad