The intersectionality of women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services and information in Ismailia, Egypt
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Background: Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a right that should be guaranteed to every woman worldwide in order to have a healthy and safe sex life. In most Arab countries, including Egypt, there are different cultural, political, and religious factors that have contributed significantly to the manner that the society views and treats women’s bodies and sexuality. As a result, it is difficult to provide solid data and information to guide policymakers, policies, and to implement awareness and preventive programs. This thesis sought to address this gap by conducting a study looking at the intersectionality of women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services and information in Ismailia, Egypt. Methods: The relevant information was collected using qualitative methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve married women and two key informant interviews with health professionals in the study area. Results: Intersectional theory was used to critically examine the various interacting factors such as gender, patriarchy, economic disadvantages, and other discriminatory systems that that can undermine women’s access to SRH information and services. The study revealed that married women suffer from the lack of access to proper SRH services and information. Conclusion: Married women’s experiences of accessing SRH services and information were affected by different intersecting factors. These factors are socio-economic, policy, cultural norms, power structure contexts, and privilege structures, and religious institutions. Recommendations were drafted to add more information and evidence related to Egyptian women and their SRH rights.