The role of culture in maintaining post-partum sexual abstinence of swazi women

Zinhle Shabangu, Sphiwe Madiba*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Eswatini is one of the countries in the African continent where post-partum sexual abstinence is practiced. Beside scarcity of research exploring sexual abstinence in Eswatini, there are only a few studies that explore post-partum abstinence across HIV-positive and negative women in sub-Saharan Africa. The study explored the practice of post-partum sexual abstinence in Swazi women and examined how cultural beliefs influence and promotes the perpetuation of the practice. The study population consisted of post-partum women who were selected, using purposive sampling. Thematic approach was used for data analysis. Despite feeling that the period for post-partum, sexual abstinence was long; the participants adhered to the practice as prescribed by their culture. Nevertheless, they felt that the practice is imposed on women only because while they are observing post-partum abstinence, their partners get to sleep with other sexual partners. They raised concerns that the practice increases the risk of acquiring HIV and sexually transmitted infections. There is an element of coercion to the practice of post-partum abstinence, the myths and misconceptions around the early resumption of sexual intercourse forces the practice on women. At the family and community level, the discussions to change the way sexual abstinence is viewed and practiced are crucial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2590
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2019


  • Cultural beliefs
  • Eswatini
  • Post-partum
  • Practices
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Social norms
  • Theory of Planed Behaviour


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of culture in maintaining post-partum sexual abstinence of swazi women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this