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Roads to agency; Effects of Enhancing Women’s Participation in Rural Roads Projects on Women’s Agency

World Bank Group
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Working Paper; Publications & Research :: Working Paper; Publications & Research
ENGLISH; EN_US
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55.8%
Infrastructure projects, and more specifically, roads construction, and maintenance are one of the core operations of the World Bank. However, despite the increase of gender mainstreaming efforts in transport projects little is known about the effects of these interventions on women’s agency defined as the ability to make effective choices and transform these choices into desired outcomes’. This study aims to bridge this knowledge gap. The study looks at the effects of women’s participation in roads construction and maintenance and rural economy promotion activities on women’s agency, which has recently become a focus of study at the World Bank. Through individual interviews and focus groups the study assesses the effects of women-targeted interventions in three rural transport projects in Argentina, Nicaragua, and Peru. By focusing on agency, the study sheds light on effects of gender mainstreaming interventions that have more lasting effects on gender equality given the catalytic value of agency on other gender outcomes such as economic opportunities and endowments. The report is structured as follows: section one gives introduction. Second section describes the gender dimensions and agency-enhancing approaches in transport projects and the gender approaches in project implementation in the selected case studies. The third section provides a summary of the methodology of the study. The fourth section describes the key findings of the qualitative research. The fifth section presents the lessons learned to inform future rural transport interventions. The sixth section provides concluding remarks.

India : Women, Work and Employment

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Economic & Sector Work :: Women in Development and Gender Study; Economic & Sector Work
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.82%
Since economic liberalization in the early 1990s, India has experienced high economic growth and made considerable progress in gender equality in areas such as primary education. However, it fared poorly on gender-parity in labor force participation (LFP). During the period between 1993-94 and 2011-12, female labor force participation rate (LFPR) remained consistently low as compared to male participation. More alarming is the fact that female participation rate declined steadily during the same period, particularly in rural areas. The low level along with declining trend in rural female LFP poses a serious threat of 'missing gender' in the labor force. Although economic growth added jobs for both men and women in India till 2005, Indian women lost jobs in the next seven years, while men continued to gain, thereby widening the gender gap. The actual figures in 2012 suggest that approximately 35 to 40 million women are 'missing' from the labor force, had female LFP grown at the same rate as it had between 1999 and 2005.1 This represents a troubling trend considering the potential of these women to contribute to the country's productivity. To better understand the existing situation...

Gender and Economic Growth in Uganda : Unleashing the Power of Women

Ellis, Amanda; Manuel, Claire; Blackden, C. Mark
Fonte: Washington, DC: World Bank Publicador: Washington, DC: World Bank
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Publication; Publications & Research :: Publication
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.87%
Uganda is a leader in Sub-Saharan Africa, in recognizing linkages between economic growth and gender issues. These linkages are critical for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The study assesses the legal and administrative barriers faced by women, as identified by the Bank's Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) and the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Gender-Entrepreneurship-Markets Unit. The structure of the report mirrors that of the FIAS 2003 Administrative Barriers to Investment Report, and is designed to highlight the gender dimensions of that research to encourage further replication. The findings of this report indicate the considerable potential for economic growth that exists, if Uganda is to unleash the power of women, and support their full economic participation in the private sector. This assessment considers the relationship between gender and economic growth in Uganda in the context of promoting women's participation in business and entrepreneurship. Men and women both play substantial...

The Status of Yemeni Women : From Aspiration to Opportunity

Krishnan, Nandini
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Brief; Publications & Research
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.8%
Yemen is on a path of transformation, one that can open opportunities for more inclusive societies and economies, or for greater risk and regression. This transition period will be especially vital for Yemeni women. As Yemen moves forward, it should strongly prioritize gender equality as an important goal in its own right but also because doing so will be vital to lay the foundations of a more inclusive country and society. The objectives of a new report on the status of gender equality in Yemen are two-fold: first, to take stock of the status of gender outcomes in Yemen and understand the forces that are driving the strong gender inequalities; and second, drawing on these insights and outcomes of the study, to highlight promising areas for policy action in this crucial transition period. The report explores how individual aspirations and opportunities in the areas of education, family formation, and labor force participation are constrained by the severe gender gaps in Yemeni society. The report's analytic approach is unique in threading together three bodies of evidence and analysis to shed new light on significant trends and causes underpinning Yemen s large gender disparities. The report presents: (i) a fresh look at available survey data on human development and socio-economic indicators; (ii) a brief history and in-depth analysis of the most critical legal barriers to women's and girl's full participation in Yemeni society; and (iii) insights from a rich qualitative dataset collected in January 2011. The findings highlight the powerful roles of social norms and legal rights and entitlements in placing women and girls at a disadvantage and constraining not only faster progress on gender equality but also on economic development.

The Status of Yemini Women : From Aspiration to Opportunity

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Economic & Sector Work :: Women in Development and Gender Study; Economic & Sector Work
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.81%
The report draws on the conceptual framework of the world development 2012: gender equality and development, and the regional report on gender equality, opening doors: gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa. The report's analytic approach is unique in threading together three bodies of evidence and analysis to shed new light on significant trends and causes underpinning the large gender disparities in the country. The report presents: i) a fresh look at available survey data on human development and socio-economic indicators in the country; ii) a brief history and in-depth analysis of the most critical legal barriers to women's and girl's full participation in Yemeni society; and iii) insights from a rich qualitative dataset collected in January 2011.The findings especially highlight the powerful roles of social norms and legal rights and entitlements in placing women and girls at a disadvantage and constraining not only faster progress on gender equality but also the country's economic development. The objectives of this report are two-fold: first...

Ready for Growth : Solutions to Increase Access to Finance for Women-Owned Businesses in the Middle East and North Africa

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research; Publications & Research :: Working Paper
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.93%
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is at one of the most critical turning points in its modern history. The Arab spring was driven by the desire for economic opportunity and justice in the face of poverty and unemployment. The development of strong economies that enable both women and men to enhance their livelihoods is crucial for the future of the region. The growth and success of women-owned businesses is one of the most profound changes in the business world today. There is no doubt that women are an emerging market force. However, many businesswomen are not accessing commercial credit, an essential driver of business success. Lack of access to finance and financial services is repeatedly identified as the major constraint for women business owners. This report 'ready for growth: solutions to increase access to finance for women-owned business in the Middle East and North Africa', is designed to shed a light on those barriers. It is the result of a unique International Finance Corporation (IFC) partnership with vital voices and the Middle East and North Africa Businesswomen's Network (MENA BWN). Its purpose is to fill a critical gap in our knowledge of what women-owned businesses need in terms of financial products and services. Building on our knowledge of how commercial banks currently reach the women's market...

Women in Vanuatu : Analyzing Challenges to Economic Participation

Bowman, Chakriya; Cutura, Jozefina; Ellis, Amanda; Manuel, Clare
Fonte: World Bank Publicador: World Bank
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Publication; Publications & Research :: Publication
ENGLISH
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.95%
Women's contributions to poverty reduction, economic growth, and private sector development are increasingly recognized globally. A growing amount of research demonstrates the link between women's empowerment and societal well-being. Yet research also indicates that woman's economic contributions continue to lag behind their achievements in health and education, and a variety of barriers still prevent women in many parts of the world from fully contributing to the economy. Women in Vanuatu: analyzing challenges to economic participation is a step toward filling this gap, spurred by the growing recognition in Vanuatu and the broader pacific region of the need to better address gender inequalities. The publication presents a comprehensive analysis of institutional, legal, and regulatory barriers to women's full economic participation in Vanuatu and proposes measures to address these to ensure a level playing field for both women and men. This work has been a collaborative effort between Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the World Bank's Gender Group...

Women's Role in Afghanistan's Future : Taking Stock of Achievements and Continued Challenges

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Economic & Sector Work :: Women in Development and Gender Study
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.91%
This report assesses the overall situation of women in Afghanistan across key sectors, acting as a follow-up to the report published by the World Bank in 2005 entitled, Afghanistan: National Reconstruction and Poverty Reduction-Role of Women in Afghanistan's Future. What can be seen from the sectoral chapters (namely in health, education, work and employment, and legal rights and voice) included in this report is that, in sectors where concerted and coordinated efforts have been made among a collection of key actors (including the Government of Afghanistan, the donor community, NGOs and civil society, significant improvements have been achieved. Where well-planned systems have been designed and consensus has been garnered for the support of these systems, services are indeed reaching more women and girls, and communities are becoming more accepting of these services. What is also shown in the report is the innovative function that NGOs and civil society actors have played in some of the sectors discussed...

Gender and Economic Growth in Kenya : Unleashing the Power of Women

Ellis, Amanda; Cutura, Jozefina; Dione, Nouma; Gillson, Ian; Manuel, Clare; Thongori, Judy
Fonte: Washington, DC: World Bank Publicador: Washington, DC: World Bank
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Publication; Publications & Research :: Publication
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.97%
This report examines the legal, administrative, and regulatory barriers that are preventing women in Kenya from contributing fully to the Kenyan economy. Building on the 2004 Foreign Investment and Advisory Service (FIAS) report, "Improving the Commercial Legal Framework and Removing Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Investment," this study looks at the bureaucratic barriers facing women in Kenya through a gender lens. The report makes specific recommendations to address gender-related barriers in the context of ongoing government and donor initiatives to encourage private sector development as the key driver of poverty reduction and economic growth, in line with Kenya's Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation 2003-2007 (ERS). Addressing these constraints will not only allow women to make a full contribution to the economy but also improve their livelihoods and those of their families and help create a more enabling environment for all businesses in Kenya.

Jordan Country Gender Assessment : Economic Participation, Agency and Access to Justice in Jordan

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Economic & Sector Work :: Country Gender Assessment (CGA); Economic & Sector Work
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.83%
Over the last three decades Jordan has made substantial investments in its human resources, spending more than 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health and education. Like their male counterparts, women and girls have benefitted from these policies and their quality of life has improved. The Jordan Country Gender Assessment (CGA) has two primary objectives. The first is to assess gender imbalances in the areas of economic participation in the labor market, agency, and access to justice; provide a framework for policies or interventions to the Government of Jordan (GoJ) on addressing imbalances; and provide a basis for implementing the activities included in the Gender Action Plan (GAP). The second objective is to develop and strengthen partnerships with GoJ agencies, Civil Society Organization's (CSOs), and academic institutions to promote collaboration on addressing gender-related issues impacting development, and in particular to develop mechanisms for cooperation on implementation of the GAP. This CGA will further explore...

Egyptian Women Workers and Entrepreneurs : Maximizing Opportunities in the Economic Sphere

Nasr, Sahar
Fonte: World Bank Publicador: World Bank
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Publication; Publications & Research :: Publication
ENGLISH
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.83%
Women are a powerful force for sustainable economic growth. A growing body of microeconomic empirical evidence and emerging macroeconomic analysis shows that gender inequality limits economic growth in developing economies. Research also shows that considerable potential for economic growth could be realized if countries support women's full economic participation. Increases in women's income tend to correlate with greater expenditure on family welfare and children, because women often spend a greater share of their income on their children's nutrition, health care, and education. From an economic perspective, removing gender biases and maintaining a level playing field reduces possible market distortions or malfunctioning. Moreover, promoting women's participation in business may bolster women's overall participation in the labor market, because women-owned businesses are more likely to employ other women. This report analyzes the main reasons for this disparity in the Arab Republic of Egypt and proposes solutions to level the playing field and enable women's full economic contributions. The Investment Climate Survey (ICS) of 1...

Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific region

Ellis, Amanda; Kirkwood, Daniel; Malhotra, Dhruv
Fonte: World Bank Publicador: World Bank
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Publication; Publications & Research :: Publication
ENGLISH
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.86%
East Asia and the Pacific is a region of dynamic growth. Women have contributed significantly to this growth and have benefited from it through active participation in the labor market. However, women are still disproportionately represented in the informal sector and in low paid work. Efforts to identify barriers to women's business and entrepreneurial activities in the region are critical not only to facilitate inclusive growth in a national context but also to counter the increasing trend of female migratory flows in the region. This report highlights' both the challenges and the economic opportunities for businesswomen in the region offers some useful potential pointers for reform.

Women as Agents of Change : Having Voice in Society and Influencing Policy

Markham, Susan
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Working Paper
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.82%
The World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) on gender equality and development identified women's voice, agency, and participation as a key dimension of gender equality and as a major policy priority. Agency, as defined in the WDR2012, is the ability to use endowments to take advantage of opportunities to achieve desired outcomes. In particular, WDR2012 focused on five expressions of agency: women's access to and control over resources; freedom of movement; freedom from the risk of violence; decision-making over family formation; and having voice in society and influencing policy. An important expression of women's agency is women's political participation and their ability to fully engage in public life. This background paper focuses on women s ability to play a public role in politics and to influence policy-making. Using the data available, it examines the current status of women in politics and makes the case for the full and equitable participation of women in public life. It reviews the direct and indirect barriers that exist to prevent women's political participation and analyzes strategies that have been used to increase it. Finally...

Impact of compliance with different guidelines on physical activity during pregnancy and perceived barriers to leisure physical activity

Santos, Paula Clara; Abreu, Sandra; Moreira, Carla; Lopes, Diana; Santos, Rute; Alves, Odete; Silva, Pedro; Montenegro, Nuno; Mota, Jorge
Fonte: Instituto Politécnico do Porto Publicador: Instituto Politécnico do Porto
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2014 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.81%
The aims of the this prospective study were to analyze physical activity (PA) engagement during the first and second trimesters, considering the different guidelines published on PA, to document the individual characteristics associated with the accomplishment of these guidelines and to examine pregnant women’s perceived barriers to leisure PA, using a socioecological framework. A sample of 133 pregnant women in two stages – at 10–12 weeks’ gestation (T1) and 20– 22 weeks’ gestation (T2) – were evaluated. PA was assessed by accelerometry during the T1 and T2 evaluation stages. Socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors and barriers to leisure PA were assessed via questionnaire. A large proportion of women (ranging from 32% to 96%) did not reach the levels of PA recommended by the guidelines. There were no significant differences between T1 and T2 with regard to compliance with PA recommendations. A decrease in PA levels from T1 to T2 was noted for all recommendations. No associations were found between participants’ characteristics and adherence to the recommendations in T1 and T2. No significant differences were found in barriers to leisure PA between T1 and T2. The most commonly reported barriers to leisure PA were intrapersonal...

Overcoming Access Barriers for Facility-based Delivery in Low-income Settings: Insights from Bangladesh and Uganda

Parkhurst, Justin O.; Rahman, Syed Azizur; Ssengooba, Freddie
Fonte: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh Publicador: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em /12/2006 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.89%
Women in both Bangladesh and Uganda face a number of barriers to delivery in professional health facilities, including costs, transportation problems, and sociocultural norms to deliver at home. Some women in both the countries manage to overcome these barriers. This paper reports on a comparative qualitative study investigating how some women and their families were able to use professional delivery services. The study provides insights into the decision-making processes and overcoming access barriers. Husbands were found to be particularly important in Uganda, while, in Bangladesh, a number of individuals could influence care-seeking, including unqualified local healers or traditional birth attendants. In both the settings, cost and transport barriers were often overcome through social networks. Social prohibitions on birth in the health facility did not feature strongly in women's accounts, with several Ugandan women explaining that friends or peers also used facilities, while, in Bangladesh, perceived complications apparently justified the use of professional medical care. Investigating the ways in which some women can overcome common barriers can help inform policy and planning to increase the use of health facilities for child delivery.

Percepção de gestantes do Programa de Saúde da Família em relação a barreiras no atendimento odontológico em Pernambuco, Brasil; Pregnant women's perceptions of the Family Health Program concerning barriers to dental care in Pernambuco, Brazil

Albuquerque, Olga Maria Ramalho de; Abegg, Claídes; Rodrigues, Cecile Soriano
Fonte: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Publicador: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: application/pdf
POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.84%
Este artigo enfoca, numa abordagem qualitativa, o problema das barreiras ao atendimento odontológico de gestantes inscritas no Programa Saúde da Família no Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brasil. Para tal, trabalhou-se com três grupos focais compostos por quatro a nove gestantes. Os dados foram analisados usando a técnica de análise de conteúdo. As principais barreiras concernentes ao indivíduo observadas foram: crenças populares que desaconselham a busca do atendimento odontológico na gravidez, baixa percepção de necessidade e medo de sentir dor. Além disso, as gestantes relataram a dificuldade de sair de casa de madrugada para marcar a consulta, salientando a questão social da violência urbana, um aspecto das barreiras ao serviço odontológico que não foi mencionado anteriormente na literatura. O artigo conclui apontando a importância da educação em saúde para as usuárias gestantes, da humanização do atendimento e da educação continuada dirigida aos profissionais em exercício.; This study focused on barriers to dental care for pregnant women registered with the Health Family Program in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brazil. A qualitative approach using three focal groups was adopted. Each focal group included four to nine pregnant women. The information was analyzed by means of content analysis. The main individual barriers were folk beliefs that discouraged dental care during pregnancy...

Knowledge of, beliefs about, and perceived barriers to the use of the emergency contraception pill among women aged 18-51 in Nova Scotia

Whelan,Anne Marie; Langille,Donald B.; White,Samantha J.K.; Asbridge,Mark; Flowerdew,Gordon
Fonte: Pharmacy Practice (Internet) Publicador: Pharmacy Practice (Internet)
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article; journal article; info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion Formato: text/html; application/pdf
Publicado em 01/09/2011 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.89%
Objectives: To investigate women in Nova Scotia (NS), Canada with respect to their knowledge of, beliefs about, and perceptions of barriers to accessing emergency contraception pills (ECP). Methods: A random digit dialing approach was used to survey a representative sample of NS women aged 18-51. Analyses described the knowledge, beliefs, and perceived barriers associated with ECP access among participants. Particular focus was given to differences between younger (age 18-31) and older (age 32-51) women. Results: The survey response rate of 49% achieved the desired sample size of 770. Overall, women in NS appeared to be poorly informed about ECP with regards to effectiveness, proper timing of administration, how it works, as well as how to access Plan B®. Younger women (age 18-31) were significantly more likely than older women (age 32-51) to know that ECP does not always prevent pregnancy (p<0.01), that it can be taken more than 12 hours after unprotected intercourse (p<0.01), and that it is available without a prescription in pharmacies (p<0.01). Thirty percent of women agreed that ECP will cause an abortion, with older women (p<0.01) being more likely than younger women to agree. Cost and lack of privacy in pharmacies were identified as potential barriers to access. Conclusions: Lack of knowledge and the perception that ECP causes an abortion may influence a woman´s ability to consider ECP as an option should she find herself at risk of an unplanned pregnancy. To address this...

Acceptability and barriers to treatment for perinatal depression: An exploratory study in Mexican women

Lara,Ma. Asunción; Navarrete,Laura; Nieto,Lourdes; Berenzon,Shoshana
Fonte: Instituto Mexicano de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Publicador: Instituto Mexicano de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/08/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
65.91%
Background Depression is frequently experienced during the perinatal period. In Mexico, it has received very little attention from researchers and health service providers. It is well known that untreated depression is one of the leading causes of disability in women. Objective This study seeks to explore: 1. the recognition of perinatal depression among pregnant and postpartum women; 2. the acceptance of various modalities of treatment for depression, and 3. the perception of the barriers to receive treatment. Material and methods For this descriptive, exploratory study, 41 women in the third trimester of pregnancy and 30 women between the fourth and sixth postpartum weeks were interviewed. The study was conducted at a health center and a general hospital. The interview included demographic and obstetric data; depressive symptomatology (PHQ-2); open questions on the recognition of perinatal depression and scales relating to the acceptance of treatment modalities and barriers to access health services. Results Almost all the women had heard of the term postpartum depression, while one quarter did not know the causes of this disorder, which was attributed to an inability to face new challenges, emotional and hormonal changes, and lack of social support. The majority considered that it is not easy to speak about their unhappiness or discomfort...

Antenatal voluntary counseling and testing for HIV in Barbados: success and barriers to implementation

Kumar,Alok; Rocheste,Elizabeth; Gibson,Michelle; Gibson,Taniya; Robinson,Heather; Forde,Sheila
Fonte: Organización Panamericana de la Salud Publicador: Organización Panamericana de la Salud
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/04/2004 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.79%
OBJECTIVE: To determine the success of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV and to identify the barriers to implementation when VCT is offered as a package integrated with antenatal care. METHODS: In this descriptive study we investigated antenatal VCT and HIV testing in all post-parturient women at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bridgetown, Barbados, who gave birth between April and September 2002. Data were collected retrospectively from the antenatal care record and by recall during one-on-one interview. RESULTS: Of 1 342 women surveyed, 954 (71.1%) received antenatal counseling and were offered an HIV test. Of the 954 women offered HIV test after counseling, 914 (95.8%) agreed to have the test. Among the women surveyed, 1 106 (82.4%) had a documented HIV test, 914 (85.7%) were tested after documented pretest counseling, and another 192 (14.3%) were tested without documented pretest counseling. Overall, 822 of the 1 342 women surveyed (61.2%) had a documented HIV test result in their antenatal case record at the time of delivery. Of the 1 106 women who had a documented HIV test, the test results were unavailable at the time of delivery in only 284 (21.2%). Among the reasons for unavailability of a documented HIV test result...

"Siempre me critican": barriers to reproductive health in Ocotal, Nicaragua

Luffy,Samantha M.; Evans,Dabney P.; Rochat,Roger W.
Fonte: Organización Panamericana de la Salud Publicador: Organización Panamericana de la Salud
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/05/2015 PT
Relevância na Pesquisa
55.78%
OBJECTIVE: To identify perceived barriers to accessing reproductive health care according to the women of Ocotal, Nicaragua; describe their understanding of their reproductive rights; and document their opinions about Nicaragua's total ban on abortion. METHODS: From May to June 2014, three focus group discussions were held in Spanish with 17 women from two different neighborhoods (barrios) in the city of Ocotal, Nicaragua. A semi-structured discussion guide with open-ended questions was employed to elucidate local perspectives regarding the focus group discussions themes. RESULTS: Serious obstacles including 1) violence against women, 2) machismo, 3) criticism from others, and 4) lack of communication and education limit women's ability to make their own reproductive health decisions. Women had a pervasive lack of knowledge about reproductive rights and the international human rights documents that define them. In addition, due to religious and cultural ideologies, most women supported the country's total ban on abortion in most circumstances, with the possible exception of rape. CONCLUSIONS: Both men and women in Ocotal should be encouraged to participate in community-level programs designed to reduce the impact of the following obstacles to receiving reproductive health care: 1) violence against women and machismo; 2) insufficient...