Reproductive Health Working Group > Safe sex in Mozambique
Safe sex, gender and responsible youth in Mozambique
Project period: 2007-2011
- Christian Groes-Green, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen
- Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, US
- University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
It is widely documented that the large majority of youth in sub-Saharan Africa practice unsafe sex despite high risks of infection with HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the majority of youth underlie these constraints there is also a minority who challenges them and to different degrees practices safe sex. This study argues for shifting the focus towards this minority in order to understand how, against all odds, some youth develop identities and gender notions that are less constraining and different from those that lead to unprotected sex. In terms of policy the assumption is that a detailed understanding of the factors that facilitate safe sex will lead to new ways of targeting the large majority who practice unsafe sex despite high knowledge of HIV transmission.
The project aims to explore how emerging masculinities and femininities enhance safe sex practices among secondary school youth in Maputo, Mozambique. Among factors favoring alternative gender notions are exposure to school based peer education about sexual and reproductive health through a national program supported by Danida as well as the influence of national laws and global discourses promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.
- To develop an understanding of the ‘positive' or ‘responsible' practices of youth by exploring gender notions and external influences which motivate safe sex, in order for donors to improve future interventions in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention in Mozambique.
- To enhance the theoretical understanding of alternative femininities and masculinities by identifying why some youth groups develop alternative gender notions favoring safe sex and in order to suggest new ways to empower women/girls and educate men/ boys in safe sex.
- To suggest new methods of targeting adolescents through education by investigating to which extent peer education in Mozambique provides adolescents with a critical consciousness enabling them to oppose prevalent sexual norms and gender inequalities.
Budget: DKK 1.780.000