If You Are Not Circumcised, I Cannot Say Yes: The Role of Women in Promoting the Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Tanzania


Author: Haika Osaki, Gerry Mshana, Mwita Wambura, Jonathan Grund, Nyasule Neke, Evodius Kuringe, Marya Plotkin, Hally Mahler, Fern Terris-Prestholt, Helen Weiss, and John Changalucha
Language: English


This MCHIP co-authored article presents a detailed analysis of a qualitative study of ways women influence uptake of voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) as reported by men and women from Tabora and Njombe regions in Tanzania in 2014.

The study found both male and female participants had a widely held view that women have an important role to play in men’s decision about whether or not to get circumcised. Most participants reported widespread support among women for VMMC, although some women did report the tendency to become suspicious about infidelity and the rationale for pursuing VMMC.

Married women’s role in decision-making is often indirect, but unmarried women have a direct role by withholding sex or making circumcision a condition for establishing a sexual relationship. Based on their findings, the authors suggest that in Tanzania, and potentially other settings, an expanded role for women in VMMC communication strategies could increase adult male uptake of VMMC services.

To read the full, open access article, click here.


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