Dr. Wood’s Research

Liz 1
Photo 1: Men drawing an empowered woman in Khatlon Province, Tajikistan

This study investigates patterns of rural livelihoods in Khatlon Province, Tajikistan, as it relates to gender roles and responsibilities. Gender equality and empowerment is an issue that should be central to all health, education, and development activities in Tajikistan. Women often face a disproportionate amount of household obligations including the triple burden of agricultural, domestic, and community-managing responsibilities as a result of male-out migration, which creates limited agency over the choices in their lives. Community empowerment drawings (CED) is an innovative tool that was developed by a UF researcher to capture sensitive information that may not be shared using traditional research methods such as interviews or surveys. This study utilized CEDs to both acquire information related to violence and abuse, while also testing the instrument for future use. During the CED, participants were asked to draw an empowered woman and a disempowered woman side by side. The aims of this study were to understand patterns of rural livelihoods in Khatlon Province, gender roles and responsibilities, and the implications of male migration on domestic violence. Through the Ecological Framework, researchers examined how specific cultural narratives and local beliefs about violence determined whether it was recognized and/or if help was sought. Educational support was provided through training local in-country agriculture extension and community health partners that work with village women and men, specifically focusing on gender transformative participatory approaches.


Liz 2
Photo 2: Dr. Wood with an undergraduate student in rural Haiti

In Haiti, water and sanitation services are fundamental in preventing the spread of waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. In 2018, Dr. Wood and eight undergraduate students carried out a study to assess water insecurity among adults in Gressier and Leogane, Haiti. This involved using an adapted household water insecurity experiences survey in order to fully capture and understand the narrations around water. Qualitative data in the form of semi-structures interviews was also carried out. UF students partnered with Haitian enumerators and translators for data collection within this project. Through understanding the local Haitian perspective and practices that surround water insecurity, we can better tailor public health interventions to improve access to water, female hygiene practices, and ultimately lower and prevent disease transmission.

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