Women wanting sex in malawi

Added: Antjuan Jarnagin - Date: 25.11.2021 06:12 - Views: 46491 - Clicks: 9559

Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. In Southern Malawi, the fishing industry is highly gendered, with men carrying out the fishing and women processing, drying and selling the fish. Research has shown that individuals living in fishing communities in low-income countries are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection.

One of the key drivers of HIV in fishing communities is transactional sex. By controlling the means of production, the power dynamics in these exchanges favour men and can make it more difficult for women to negotiate safe sex. Qualitative methods were used to collect data on gendered drivers of transactional sex in the fishing community and how different groups perceive HIV risk in these transactions.

Observation, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with members of the fishing communities, including men and women directly and indirectly involved in fishing. In fishing communities transactional sex was prevalent across a spectrum ranging from gift giving within relationships, to sex for fish exchanges, to sex worker encounters.

The context and motivations for transactional sex varied and was mediated by economic need and social position both of men and women. Female fish traders new to the industry and boat crew members who travelled for work and experienced difficult living conditions often engaged in transactional sex. Transactional sex is common in Malawian fishing communities, with women particularly vulnerable in negotiations because of existing gendered power structures. Although knowledge and understanding of the HIV risk associated with transactional sex was common, this did not appear to result in the adoption of risk reduction strategies.

Despite successes in the rollout of HIV treatment programmes, HIV prevention programmes have been less successful in lowering incidence rates [ 1 ]. Certain groups, even in countries with generalized HIV epidemics, have been found to have a ificantly higher prevalence of HIV than the general population. Fishing communities have been recognized as a key population at higher risk particularly in sub-Saharan Africa [ 2 ].

In the past decade there has been increased focus on structural factors that influence behaviour and vulnerability to HIV in sexual interactions. These include socio-economic position, gender and age [ 3 ]. Gender differences are fundamentally underpinned by power inequalities in society and can result in the subordination of women and their interests in a manner that favours men.

This paper explores the gendered structural drivers of vulnerability to HIV in fishing communities in Southern Malawi. The data presented are from a qualitative research project based in fishing communities in Mangochi District, on the shores of Lake Malawi. Transactional sex is defined as a relationship that involves the exchange of money or material goods for sex [ 4 — 9 ].

While this transaction has both an economic and sexual component, it is often differentiated from formal sex work. This is because women engaging in transactional sex do not always view themselves as sex workers [ 10 ]. Reflecting economic and social roles within many high HIV prevalence countries, it is predominately men who provide the material benefits and women who receive these material benefits in transactional sexual encounters [ 9 ]. Although there has also been documentation of older women paying younger men for sex, often referred to as sugar mummies [ 11 ], this practice seems to be much less prevalent than men paying women for sex.

In sub-Saharan Africa, as in other parts of the world, strong evidence exists to show that sex in exchange for material benefit can occur in a wide range of relationships [ 6 , 9 , 10 , 12 — 16 ]. Where transactional sex does occur it can take a range of forms from gift giving in long-term relationships as a way of expressing affection, to survival sex where women regularly engage in transactional sex to ensure they are able to meet their daily needs or those of their family [ 14 ]. The context and motivation of engagement in transactional sex is important in understanding risk as well as risk perception in these engagements.

The power dynamics in relationships where there is material benefit can mean women are less able to negotiate safer sex and are more likely to participate in riskier sexual encounters [ 4 , 5 , 10 , 14 , 16 ]. In the past decade there has been increased focus on transactional sex in the academic literature because of the associated risk of HIV infection [ 4 , 5 , 10 , 15 — 17 ]. Where women are motivated by economic vulnerability they are more likely to have more sexual partners or concurrent sexual partnerships, which place women and men at an increased risk of infection [ 18 ].

Although recent research has contested whether having multiple concurrent partnerships increases the risk of HIV infection [ 19 ], is it still clear that having more sexual partners often linked to economic vulnerability can place women and men at an increased risk [ 19 ]. Transactional sex often occurs between couples who belong to groups that are not traditionally defined as high-risk for HIV infection, but are in longer-term, more trusting relationships [ 20 ]. This level of trust in longer-term relationships can mean that condom use is not insisted upon and therefore can increase the risk of transmission.

Farmer et al. Gender power relations are an important driver of structural violence. They influence who has the power and authority to make decisions both within the household and within wider society. Fishing communities in middle- and low-income countries have been identified as being one of the groups at highest risk for HIV transmission [ 22 , 23 ].

Kissling et al. These findings have been corroborated by recent epidemiological research in Uganda [ 24 ] and Kenya [ 25 ]. There are a of risk factors relating to the nature and dynamics of the fish trade and the fishing lifestyle that have been identified as contributing to HIV vulnerabilities. Young men and women between the ages of 15 and 35 make up the majority of people working in the fishing industry, and this group are at the highest risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection including HIV [ 2 ]. There is a high level of mobility and migration involved in fishing. In Malawi many fishers migrate from the Northern part of the country to fish in the Southern part of Lake Malawi and during the course of their work may travel large distances in search of fish catches, sometimes spending months away from their families.

Malawian female and male fish traders also travel long distances to sell their fish at markets in large cities. This high level of mobility can mean that social constraints on sexual behaviour which apply at home, may not apply at fish landing sites and beaches in other areas [ 2 ]. Fish landing sites are often in remote areas and access to healthcare services may be difficult.

Long and unpredictable absences away from home villages can create challenges in offering HIV prevention and treatment programmes [ 22 ]. There are risks involved in fishing, particularly when fishing is undertaken at night, as is common on Lake Malawi. Fisherman may face dangerous conditions such as sudden changes in the weather and risk drowning. These hazards can contribute to a culture of risk-taking and risk-confrontation [ 2 ].

Alcohol use is widespread among fishermen in many parts of the world, and can be used to help cope with the dangers or stresses of their occupation [ 2 ]. Alcohol use has also been linked to risk disinhibition making people more likely to take more risks in their sexual behaviour when they are drunk [ 26 ]. The fishing industry in Malawi, as in many other countries, is highly gendered. In Southern Malawi, men almost exclusively carry out the fishing.

They also own the fishing boats and nets, which are the most profitable part of the fishing. Men dominate the selling of larger, fresher and more profitable fish because they have better access to capital. Women on the other hand are dominant in the drying and processing of smaller fish, which requires smaller capital but also provides smaller profits.

In this gendered division of labour, men are able to make larger profits and dominate the means of production and women have to negotiate access to fish through men. In two recent papers, Merten and colleagues in Zambia presented data on women accessing fish through sex-for-fish exchanges [ 23 , 27 ]. In exchanges, which involve sex-for-fish, female fish traders engage in transactional sexual networks with influential fishermen to ensure access to fish. Although, it is important to note, not all female fish traders enter these exchanges.

However, when they do enter them it can mean that women are either able to buy fish more easily or at a lower price [ 27 ]. By controlling the means of production, the power dynamics in these exchanges favour men and can make it more difficult for women to negotiate safer sex. If these exchanges take place over a period of time with the same partner men and women may not view themselves as at a high risk from HIV.

The objectives of this study were to understand gender power relations and HIV transmission in fishing communities in Southern Malawi; to explore and document the key drivers and facilitators of participation in transactional sex in the study villages and to document individual and community perceptions of HIV risk in transactional sex.

The study was situated in two villages on the Southern arm of Lake Malawi in the Mangochi District, which is situated in the Southern Region of Malawi. Fishing is an important livelihood strategy in Malawi generally, and in Mangochi in particular due to the low social and barriers to entry into the industry for both men and women. Data on poverty rates in Mangochi were difficult to identify. However, Malawi did rank out of countries in the Human Development Index making it one of the poorest countries in the world [ 30 ]. Mangochi also has the lowest rates of educational attainment for men and women in Malawi [ 31 ].

Livelihoods in the Mangochi District are heavily reliant on fishing activities and the two study villages were selected because of the presence of large-scale fishing activities including a large of motor boats and fish drying racks. Both villages were considered rural and were governed by a traditional village chief. The research was nested in a larger research study that was assessing the prevalence and transmission dynamics of HIV in fishing communities in 12 villages in Mangochi.

The initial analysis carried out by the study team of the parent study highlighted transactional sex and gender based violence as two key potential drivers of HIV infection and this study was developed to explore these issues in more depth.

The parent study ran from January to September This study ran from January to November and utilized qualitative research methods, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation and focus group discussions FGDs. Qualitative research methods were selected because they offer the greatest opportunity to elicit concepts and perspectives of different groups, particularly poor and marginalized members of communities, by allowing them to express their lives in their own words [ 32 ]. Two local research assistants one male and one female conducted the interviews and FGDs in Chichewa.

The female research assistant conducted the interviews and focus groups with the female participants and the male research assistant conducted the interviews and focus groups with the male participants. Interviews and focus groups covered key themes including: the motivations and expectations in sexual relationships by both men and women; position of men and women in the fishing industry; how fish is accessed by both men and women; mobility; the challenges of working in the fishing industries and how these have changed over time; violence, leisure time activities including alcohol use and sex work; and how people viewed risk in their lives as well as in the wider community.

A purposive sampling frame based on maximum variation was used [ 33 ].

Women wanting sex in malawi

email: [email protected] - phone:(338) 282-2648 x 1417

Transactional sex and HIV: understanding the gendered structural drivers of HIV in fishing communities in Southern Malawi