Women's perceptions of reproductive health in three communities around Beirut, Lebanon

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The aim of this study was to elicit definitions of the concept of reproductive health among women in three communities around Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the reproductive health component of a larger Urban Health Study. The communities were characterised by poverty, rural-urban mobility and heterogeneous refugee and migrant populations. A random sample of 1,869 women of reproductive age completed a questionnaire, of whom a sub-sample of 201 women were randomly selected. The women's understanding of good reproductive health included three major themes, which were expressed differently in the three communities. Their understanding included good physical and mental health, and underscored the need for activities promoting health. Their ability to reproduce and raise children, practise family planning and birth spacing, and go through pregnancy and motherhood safely were central to their reproductive duties and their social status. Finally, they saw reproductive health within the context of economic status, good marital relations and strength to cope with their lives. These findings point to the need to situate interventions in the life course of women, their health and that of their husbands and families; the importance of reproduction not only from a health services point of view, but also as regards women's roles and responsibilities within marriage and their families; and taking account of the harsh socio-economic conditions in their communities. © 2005 Reproductive Health Matters. All rights reserved.




Kaddour, A., Hafez, R., & Zurayk, H. (2005). Women’s perceptions of reproductive health in three communities around Beirut, Lebanon. Reproductive Health Matters, 13(25), 34–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0968-8080(05)25170-4

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