Comparing the Experiences of Refugee Women, Unwed Mothers, Sex Workers, and Women Living with HIV Accessing Healthcare in Morocco: Narrating Citizenship and Health

Nasha Lina Khan, 2018
Vol. 24 No. 2 ISSN 1702-3548

Although research on women’s health has been conducted throughout Morocco there are still significant gaps that require our attention. This is a result of the ever changing political, physical, and social environment in Morocco and across the world. Furthermore, the majority of emerging literature from Morocco with a focus on women's health has traditionally been conducted in silos focusing on women from very specific social locations. Intersecting factors impact health for women in Morocco, and this study hopes to bridge some of the existing gaps and speak to women’s health in Morocco beyond the identity specific silos while also acknowledging nuances and differences in lived experiences amongst women. This research investigates, compares, and contrasts four groups of women and their experiences accessing healthcare, specifically: 1) unwed mothers 2) women who are HIV positive 3) sex workers and 4) Syrian refugee women. The data was collected using semi-­structured interviews and critical narrative methods. Furthermore multiple bodies of work in the fields of public health, community health, gender studies, narrative theory, and refugee and forced migration studies were examined to supplement this research. The data was coded three times using open coding and then coded using axial coding. The results of this small qualitative study illustrate that much of the previous literature provides a good foreground for research in this field, however, the results also disrupts notions perpetuated by siloed research of the past. By examining the four groups identified together, counter-­narratives are formed that illuminate new findings and challenge older ones. For instance, some studies conflated the experiences of some of the groups of women I interviewed when in fact their experiences are diverse and should be complicated. The results will be shared back with community partners, non-­governmental organizations, and published in both print and digital forms that are academic and nonacademic with the goal of enhancing health outcomes for women in Morocco.