“We Worry Too Much!” Ghanaian Women’s Own Accounts of their Health Problems
Joyce Avotri, Ph.D. – College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Honggang Yang, Ph.D. – College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Women’s voices are usually absent in the literature on women’s health in developing countries. As a consequence, we know little about women’s own concerns about their health, the ways in which they understand the problems they experience, how they cope and what changes they feel would help to improve their health. The information on women in developing countries is typically provided by academics, health professionals, non-governmental organizations and policy makers. We do not know whether this captures the views of women themselves. Moreover, explanations of women’s health often rely on biomedical and cultural/behavioral models and we do not know whether these reflect women’s own approaches to understanding their health. Drawing largely on their own voices, this manuscript documents the health problems and concerns of women in Ghana, more specifically women in Kpando, a town in the Volta region of Southern Ghana. The manuscript builds on the concept of the social production of illness, to show how the women of Kpando traced their health problems to the social and material conditions under which they lived.