The Innovative and Collective Capacity of Low-Income East African Women in the Era of HIV/AIDS: Contesting Western Notions of African Women

Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, Peninnah Kako, Jennifer Kibicho, Patricia E. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Historically, African women have been viewed through a colonizing and Eurocentric lens emphasizing poverty, oppression, and suffering. A postcolonial, feminist approach to our two qualitative studies with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women in Malawi and Kenya led us to depart from this discourse, highlighting women's capacity. Through this article, not only is a forum created for African women's voices to be heard as subaltern knowledge leading to transformational change, but also health care providers are made aware, through women's words, of how they might capitalize on grassroots women's movements, particularly in resource-poor communities, to implement effective HIV prevention and treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-350
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Volume34
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the women in Kenya and Malawi who took the time out of their busy days to share their experiences of living with HIV and what these experiences meant to them and to their families. Our gratitude also goes to Patricia D. Lofton for her assistance in formatting this manuscript for publication. Funding for the research for this article was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Growth Initiative (RGI) 3 to Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, and from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee RGI 4 to Peninnah Kako. The write up of this article was made possible partly from an award from the University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity to Peninnah Kako (2011). This article was first delivered as a paper presentation at Columbia University at the conference entitled “Towards an Intellectual History of Black Women,” April 28–30, 2011.

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