Sunday, January 30, 2011

Family Secrets Risking Reproduction in Central Mozambique

Anne here, I have talented people around me and I am so lucky. Rachel Chapman is a bright light and warm soul. She also happens to be brilliant and compassionate.

She is a friend and neighbor, and has been hard at work on her book about women in Mozambique who refuse to use existing prenatal and maternity services that are available to them. It's called "Family Secrets: Risking Reproduction in Central Mozambique"

Rachel is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington. Besides conducting her ethnographic research in Mozambique, she has also participated in the policy arena, serving as Assistant to the Director of Health Education in Manica Province from 1993 to 1995, and even naming the national brand of condoms in a nationwide contest ("Jeito," which means "knack," as in fixing cars or being a good lover).

Here is the full description of her book:
"Behind a thatched hut, a birthing woman bleeds to death only minutes from "life-saving" maternity care. Chapman begins with the deceptively simple question, "Why don't women in Mozambique use existing prenatal and maternity services?" then widens her analysis to include a whole universe of cultural, political, and economic forces. Fusing cultural anthropology with political economy, Chapman vividly demonstrates how neoliberalism and the increasing importance of the market have led to changing sexual and reproductive strategies for women."

We, as in lot's of mama's, have all been enjoying the wit and storytelling abilities of Claire Dederer & her popular book "Poser".Click here for our mini interview with Claire( turns out the Rachel and Claire know eachother, small world)  Claire's book is about being a mama, wife and daughter here in the good old Pacific NW..and the subtle oppressive rules that bind our generation as we parent.

Interesting for me that these two books should arise at the same time.  I related so well to Claires book, I cried through it. I loved it.  Then I read about Rachel's book (haven't read it yet) and think and ponder that torment of comparing your blessed life with those whose "hard decisions" aren't about organic food vs non-organic food. I figure that when I read Rachel's book, I will be all evened-out with a balanced perspective again, phew.
I was starting to feel sorry for myself and all of my oppression.


Carol said...

Thank you welldoneblog for bringing so many talented people into my life. I love hearing about them. Anne, so happy this amazing woman is your neighbor!

Jessica said...

Thanks for posting this, Anne! I'm really interested in Rachel's book - plus, she was a classmate of mine in college! I haven't seen her since, and never knew she was in Seattle.