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Researching AIDS, Sexuality and Gender

Case Studies of Women in Kenyan Universities

Nyokabi Kamau

Publication Year: 2013

The current HIV and AIDS regime has opened up unknown vistas in intellectual pursuits and knowledge creation. One such newly opened up area of research is studying HIV and AIDS in relation to gender issues. However, owing to the devastating nature of the epidemic, most studies tend to focus on women merely as an "at risk" population leaving aside the wider sociological dimensions that pertain to women's sexuality in general, issues of AIDS related stigma and discrimination and how it impacts on women's careers as economic contributors to society. The uniqueness of the present study lies in the fact that it embodies the author's triangulated research into the tripartite dimensions of HIV and AIDS, women's sexuality, and gender-sociology, all against the backdrop of analysing actual experiences of career women in Kenyan universities.

Published by: African Books Collective


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xvi

The real, unspeakable tragedy of the AIDS epidemic is the destruction of people through the infection, illness or death of individuals. We must never overlook all that is going on at this individual, personal level. Behind all the mind-boggling AIDS statistics are men, women and children, experiencing a heartbreaking mixture of fear and anxiety, bodily pain and physical disability, isolation ...

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Preface to the Second Revised Edition

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pp. xvii-xx

It has been eight years since this research was carried out and six years since the first edition of this book was issued. The first edition, which was published under the title AIDS, Sexuality and Gender: Experiences of Women in Kenyan Universities (2009), has been read widely by many graduate students and colleagues working in the area of HIV and AIDS around the world.

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pp. xxi-xxii

To complete this work I received love and support from very many people, all of whom I am deeply indebted. My most sincere gratitude goes to the Gender Equity in Commonwealth Higher Education (GECHE) project headed by Prof. Louise Morley for funding my doctoral studies which culminated in this book. ...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xxiii-25

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1. Background and Setting the Scene

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pp. 1-20

According to Stephen Lewis, the UN envoy to Africa, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is viewed as the ‘biggest practical and moral challenge facing the world’ (Lewis, 2003). The 3rd and 6th Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focus on promoting gender equality, women’s empowerment, and halting and reversing the spread of HIV and AIDS, malaria and other ...

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2. The Situation of Women in Kenya: Framing the Context

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pp. 21-36

Experiences of senior university women, which form the backbone of this study, need to be understood within the women’s wider social, economic and political context. Individual women’s experiences are intertwined with their social-cultural and political environment. I focus this chapter on issues that affect women, in order to ...

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3. Methodology and Research Design

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pp. 37-72

The importance of describing the methodology is to make known the mechanism applied in producing knowledge and locating the position of the knower. Methodology is the theory of methods which informs the researcher on a range of issues to adopt in a study (Skeggs, 1997). These issues range from ‘who to study, ...

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4. Researching a Sensitive Topic: Ethical Issues and Other Challenges

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pp. 73-98

Research on a sensitive topic like HIV and AIDS confronts researchers with many difficult ethical questions. Ethical issues in research are concerned with rights and welfare of all those included in a study. ...

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5. The Feminist Perspectives and Concepts Used in this Study

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pp. 99-124

The present study utilises a feminist perspective, which stresses that the relationship between men and women is that of inequality. The perspective connects the various elements of women’s position in society (Leonard, 2001). It acknowledges that the power, which operates in personal relationships of parenthood and marriage, ...

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6. The Status of Women in the Sampled Universities

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pp. 125-144

The purpose of this chapter is to address the question: What is the status of women in the management of the two universities in the study and how can their positions explain their silences and invisibilities in relation to university AIDS policies and programmes? ...

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7. Women’s Experiences with HIV and AIDS: ‘Back into the Personal’

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pp. 145-164

Stanley and Wise (1983), from whose article the second part of the title of this chapter is derived, note that they carry out research and write in a feminist way. A feminist way, according to them, is one that recognises the need to incorporate personal issues into the public domain. ...

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8. ‘Maybe Next Year’: Impact and Responses to HIV and AIDS in the Sample Universities

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pp. 165-194

I derived the phrase, ‘maybe next year’ from a chapter by Treichler and Warren (1998). They note that feminists were silent about the impact of HIV and AIDS on women during the early years of the pandemic. The attitude held by feminists towards AIDS, as noted by Treichler and Warren (1998) is similar to what this study found in the two universities. There is evidence that HIV and AIDS ...

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9. Sexuality, Silence and Stigma

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pp. 195-214

Sexuality is intricately linked to practically every aspect of people’s lives; from pleasure, power, politics and recreation, to disease, violence and war, among others (Tamale, 2005). One of the factors that have been found to be driving HIV and AIDS stigma is its sexual nature (Campbell et al., 2006). The present chapter explores ...

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10. Summary, Conclusion and Suggestions for Good Practice

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pp. 215-242

The present study has sought to explore the situation in two Kenyan universities where it seemed as if AIDS and gender issues, especially as they affect senior women staff, have not received much attention. The study utilised a feminist perspective, feminist methodology and qualitative methods of data collection. ...

Appendix 1 - Kenyan Universities and their Status as at 2012

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pp. 243-244

Appendix 2 - Researching a Sensitive Topic – Some Field Guidelines

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pp. 245-246

Appendix 3 - Introduction letter to the Vice Chancellor of HG University

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pp. 247-272

Appendix 4 - Introduction Letter for the Focused Interview

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pp. 248-273

Appendix 5 - Introduction Information to the Women

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pp. 249-274

Appendix 6 - A Guide to the Conversational Interviews with Women Staff

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pp. 250-251

Appendix 7 - Guide to Focused Interviews

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pp. 252-253

Appendix 8 - An Example of a Transcribed Conversational Interview

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pp. 254-260


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pp. 261-262


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pp. 263-293


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pp. 295-300

Further Reading, Back Cover

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pp. 326-330

E-ISBN-13: 9789966040541
Print-ISBN-13: 9789966040299

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2013