Traditional cultural practices are found in every social unit, in all societies. They stem from values and beliefs intrinsic in the cultural fabric of any given society. Such beliefs lead to certain practices in the area of health that can be a detriment or a benefit to a segment of a population. Examples in Africa range from FGC (female genital cutting); preadolescent or early adolescent marriage; nutritional taboos; social, cultural, and educational preference for male children; pregnancy practices and taboos, dowry-related mistreatment and enslavement of wives; abuse related suicides; etc. In all these examples, it is women who are affected by the traditional cultural practices. Some of these harmful traditional practices contribute to the high rate of mortality in women and children in Africa (United Nations, 1998). By healthfully influencing these traditional and cultural practices, the mortality rate could be reduced. Following from this, the purpose of this study was to describe harmful traditional marriage and family health practices of women in Ghana, West Africa, assess their current attitudes and beliefs about these practices, and make recommendations for culturally respectful alternative approaches to family life and health.
International Journal of Global Health
© Copyright 2003 by the International Journal of Global Health
Msengi, Clementine M.
"Impact of Traditional Practices on Women's Health in Africa: Research Conducted in Cape Coast, Ghana, June 2001,"
International Journal of Global Health, 2(2), 37-43.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ijgh/vol2/iss2/4