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Gender norms and religion;: A case study of HIV and gender norms among Christian urban youth in Rwanda
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology. SIDA.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


HIV is a real and present problem currently facing Southern and Eastern Africa. Previous research has shown how gender inequality and religion both play a central role in explaining the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. Southern and Eastern Africa has a highly religious population, and since religious communities play an important role in people’s lives, these communities could have the potential to mitigate the currently ongoing HIV epidemic. Youths in urban areas are a key group demographic in stopping the spread of HIV. Rwanda have worked extensively with gender equality and empowering women.

Several studies have examined gender norms in Southern and Eastern Africa, especially in areas with a high HIV-prevalence. However, there is a lack of research examining social structures related to masculinity and femininity among religious urban youth. This study aims to expand our understanding of the gender norms of Christian urban youths in Southern and Eastern Africa, and how the present of the harmful gender norms affects the spread of HIV within this demographic. Urban youths are one of the groups that most affected by HIV in Southern and Eastern Africa, which is why this study relies on a field study is based on qualitative interviews among people between the ages of 18-30 living in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. Results indicate that while young women have begun to challenge the gendered norms attributed to them, and are increasingly encouraged to do so, young men remained confined to more traditional gender norms. Strong masculine gender norms are still present and these norms have a negative impact on health seeking behavior; thus, the spread of HIV is likely to here be a gendered process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 46 p.
Keyword [en]
Masculinities, Femininities, Gender Norms, HIV, AIDS, Gender, Equality, Faith, Christianity, Rwanda, Urban, Youth
National Category
Humanities Other Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305741OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305741DiVA: diva2:1039067
Subject / course
Human Rights
Educational program
Master Programme in Human Rights
Available from: 2016-10-25 Created: 2016-10-21 Last updated: 2016-10-25Bibliographically approved

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