Gender dimensions of the experience of the burden of epilepsy: an example of the Manguissa community in Cameroon

Epilepsy is perceived differently across cultural boundaries. In sub-Saharan Africa, notably in rural regions, traditional belief systems often lead to negative attitudes towards persons with epilepsy. This article examines the effects of gender in the experience of the burden of epilepsy among the Manguissa of Cameroon. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the article explores the dichotomy between the sexes in the relationship with family members and the community; intimacy and relations with the opposite sex; quality of life; and control over life with epilepsy. It suggests that gender determines the extent to which one is rejected or accepted within the family and the community. Women with epilepsy are better off than men; they have relative control over their lives and are better treated than men with the same disease. Male epileptics face greater discrimination and therefore experience more psychological problems. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Title: Gender dimensions of the experience of the burden of epilepsy: an example of the Manguissa community in Cameroon
Author: Ntaimah, Tatah Peter
Year: 2008
Periodical: African Anthropologist (ISSN 1024-0969)
Volume: 15
Issue: 1-2
Pages: 39-59
Language: English
Geographic term: Cameroon
External link: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/aa/article/view/77246/67693
Abstract: Epilepsy is perceived differently across cultural boundaries. In sub-Saharan Africa, notably in rural regions, traditional belief systems often lead to negative attitudes towards persons with epilepsy. This article examines the effects of gender in the experience of the burden of epilepsy among the Manguissa of Cameroon. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the article explores the dichotomy between the sexes in the relationship with family members and the community; intimacy and relations with the opposite sex; quality of life; and control over life with epilepsy. It suggests that gender determines the extent to which one is rejected or accepted within the family and the community. Women with epilepsy are better off than men; they have relative control over their lives and are better treated than men with the same disease. Male epileptics face greater discrimination and therefore experience more psychological problems. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]