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Curationis

On-line version ISSN 0379-8577

Abstract

PHIRI, Salaminah S.; MULAUDZI, Fhumulani M.  and  HEYNS, Tanya. The impact of an indigenous proverb on women's mental health: A phenomenological approach. Curationis [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.2, pp. 1-9. ISSN 0379-8577.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i2.1539.

BACKGROUND: Proverbs and idioms represent cultural and societal beliefs and values inherited from the forefathers. An example is lebitla la mosadi ke bogadi. Over many decades African people have used such ancient instructions to counsel women to be resilient in their marriages thus impacting on their mental health OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article was to explore and describe that proverb and its impact on women's mental health METHOD: Hermeneutic phenomenology was used to explore and describe the proverb and its impact on indigenous women's mental health. The population included married, divorced, widowed and single women who were attending social clubs or networks in the cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg. Snowball and purposive sampling was used to select 57 participants. Five face-to-face interviews and eight focus groups interviews were conducted. Colaizzi's data analysis method was used to analyse data RESULTS: Oppression and stigmatisation of women and their families and harmful effects that may result in death were identified as having an impact on women's mental health. Some women shared that they were oppressed in many ways. In addition, they feared stigmatisation should they wish to divorce. They constantly lived in fear of being harmed or killed by their spouses CONCLUSION: There was a need for nurses to develop awareness regarding cultural issues so that women are better served in primary healthcare settings. Women who are suspected of experiencing abuse, should be screened for abuse so that they can be assisted accordingly.

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