Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Challenges and opportunities for male involvement in reproductive health in Cambodia
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADD199.pdf
Abstract
Increasingly, recognition is growing on a global scale that the involvement of men in reproductive health
(RH) policy and service delivery offers both men and women important benefits. Cambodia has
acknowledged these benefits and is one of the first nations to promote male involvement at the policy and
service implementation levels.
Involving men in reproductive healthcare could help Cambodia achieve some major development goals,
such as a decreased maternal mortality rate and an increased contraceptive prevalence rate. Involving men
could also help reduce the overall prevalence of HIV/AIDS—an outcome possible only if men are
involved not just as clients of RH care but also as partners, service providers, policymakers, teachers, and
project managers.
Until today, male involvement in RH in Cambodia has been relatively underdeveloped. Despite the
availability of a few contraceptive methods for men, maternal and child health (MCH) programs provide
most RH care, strategic plans and services lack indicators for men, and most service providers are not
equipped or trained to accommodate male clients. RH facilities tend to be female-oriented; as a result,
men are often reluctant to avail themselves of services. Men’s reluctance to access RH care can also mean
that barriers to accessing health, such as distance and cost, which affect both men and women, are even
more influential in preventing men from seeking RH counseling or treatment or even seeking services as
partners.
Gender differences in Cambodian society appear to have a profound effect on male involvement in
reproductive health, which is usually assumed to be a woman’s concern—at the household, service
provision, and policy levels. Cultural expectations also make it difficult for women to discuss RH issues
with men.

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