Evaluating Roma women’s knowledge of reproductive health within the Roma community of the City of Rijeka - a cross-sectional study
A cross-sectional study
Due to an ever increasing pressence of uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as breast cancer in both Croatia and the world, the health of reproductive organs is of great importance in every woman’s life. The incidence of illenesses of reproductive organs in Roma women is often conditioned by a lifestyle defined by reduced emancipation and neglect for women caused by cultural differences and being closed off toward their surroundings. The aim of this paper is to evaluate Roma women’s knowledge about the health of the reproductive system. 62 female members of the Roma community in Rijeka over the age of 30 have agreed to partake in this crossectional study that was conducted using an anonymous questionnaire that participants consented to. The results indicate that Roma women are not informed well enough, i.e. that their knowledge of reproductive health, the prevention of illnesses of reproductive organs, the importance of regular gynecologic visits, the importance of preventing STI’s and of birth control is lacking. The results also show that younger, more educated and employed participants knew more than older participants who didn’t graduate and are unemployed. The results point to the fact that the participants couldn’t answer most key questions, but their desire to learn and increase their knowledge on this topic gives hope for further cooperation in this field. Considering the results of the research, it is important to work on work on raising awareness regarding the prevention and protection of Roma women’s health, as well as raising self-awareness and self-respect.
Keywords: reproductive health, Roma women and health, Roma women, education, national minority.
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