Experiences of Household Food Insecurity and Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Colombia: Qualitative Analysis of Female Smallholder Farmers Open Access

Burkhardsmeier, Britni (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/v405sb12n?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract

Experiences of Household Food Insecurity and Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Colombia: Qualitative Analysis of Female Smallholder Farmers

By Britni Burkhardsmeier

Introduction: Globally, 793 million people experience food insecurity and one third of women who have ever had a partner, experience physical and/or sexual forms of violence perpetrated by a partner. In Colombia, food insecurity is experienced by 42.7% of households. Similarly, 26% of women experienced verbal abuse by a husband or partner, 35% were threatened by a husband or partner, and 37% experienced physical violence at the hand of their husband or partner. With large proportions of the Colombian population experiencing household food insecurity and intimate partner violence, it is important to understand ways in which the two phenomena might be associated. Consequently, the purpose of this thesis is to understand Colombian women's experiences with household food insecurity and intimate partner violence. Additionally, it aims to identify ways in which household FI and IPV lead to and/or exacerbate each other.

Methods: A cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted. 22 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with Colombian women from smallholder farmer's associations. To participate, the women had to be between 18 and 60 years old, an active member of an association participating in WFP's market intervention, and currently married or living with a partner. Interviews took place in two Colombian departments, Cauca and Caquetá, and were conducted in Spanish. Six interviews were transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analyzed using a grounded theory approach.

Results: All women reported experiencing food insecurity and discussed coping strategies and the effects it has on their households. Three women reported past experiences of intimate partner violence. All the women discussed additional stressors their households experience, communication with their partners, and household decision making practices. A cross-comparative analysis looked at how past experiences of intimate partner violence impacted the women's experiences of food insecurity, communication with their current partners, and their inclusion in household decision making.

Conclusions: The findings provide the Colombian perspective of female smallholder farmers experiences of intimate partner violence and food insecurity, coping mechanisms for food insecurity, and additional household stressors. Additionally, they suggest a potential relationship between food insecurity and intimate partner violence, with women experiencing more severe forms of food insecurity during times of abuse. Similarly, past experiences of intimate partner violence influence women's communication style, particularly during arguments, with new partners. The findings also provide evidence of a nutrition transition from undernutrition to overnutrition related health concerns (i.e. obesity, non-communicable chronic diseases).

Key words: Food security, intimate partner violence, nutrition, Colombia, qualitative research,

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Introduction and Rationale

Purpose

Objectives

Significance

Definition of Terms

Chapter 2: Comprehensive Review of the Literature

Introduction

Defining Food Insecurity and Intimate Partner Violence While Reviewing Risk Factors and Consequences of Each

Pathways Between Food Insecurity and Intimate Partner Violence

Gaps in Research

Chapter 3: Methodology

Study Design

Data Collection Sites

Participant Selection and Recruitment

Sample Sizes and Stratification

Data Collection Tools and Piloting

Conducting In-Depth Interviews

Observations

Ethics and Informed Consent

Transcription / Translation

Iterative Process

Data Analysis

Chapter 4: Results

Introduction

Experiences of Worry, Food Insecurity, Intimate Partner Violence, Communication between Partners, and Household Decision Making

Cross-Comparative Analysis

Summary

Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations

Discussion

Conclusions

Recommendations

References

Appendices

Appendix 1: Spanish In-Depth Interview Guide

Appendix 2: English In-Depth Interview Guide

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