Zika virus public health crisis and the perpetuation of gender inequality in Brazil.

Author:

Coutinho, R.Z., Montalvo, A.V., Weitzman, A. and Marteleto, L.J.,

Editor:

Date:

2021

Region:

Theme:

Gender and Pandemics

Language:

English

Publisher:

Full Harvard Reference:



Coutinho, R.Z., Montalvo, A.V., Weitzman, A. and Marteleto, L.J., (2021). Zika virus public health crisis and the perpetuation of gender inequality in Brazil. Reproductive health, 18(1), pp.1-21.

This paper investigates the role of gender in two relational contexts: public health messaging and women’s Zika and pregnancy prevention negotiation with their partners during a public health shock, in Brazil. Combining content analysis of public health campaigns with unique focus group data collected, the paper finds that the government and individual responses to the epidemics reinforced gender roles, emphasizing prevention of both disease and vector among women while excluding men. Furthermore, public health campaigns were found to have contributed to the perpetuation of female vulnerability to infectious diseases and unplanned pregnancy, especially among low socioeconomic status women.