"The pregnancy is ours" A Participatory Action Video Project
Currently male involvement during pregnancy is very limited in rural Mozambique and health promotion materials related to maternal health with male role models are highly needed if we aim to include men in maternal health services. The overall aim of this Fathers Engage Video Project is to improve antenatal care attendance and maternal health knowledge in the community by involving men in health promotion activities. This Video Project is part of a doctoral research study exploring the role of men in maternal health in Mozambique. Engaging men in caregiving and other health-promoting activities can make a powerful contribution to overall well being of the family and gender equality outcomes. Digital health promotion videos can address this problem and their strength lies in the use of participatory filmmaking techniques. This means participants are involved in defining the messages and script of the video. This method of “participatory video” can be a way for people to tell stories about their everyday lives and identify and prioritize local health issues. By using digital storytelling and video interviews personal empowerment can be stimulated which may lead to changes in community norms that reaffirm the traditional values and beliefs.
The project included a workshop and filming phase. During five days ten men from a rural community came together to discuss gender norms and their involvement in maternal health. This workshop was led by a local NGO (HOPEM) working on gender equality and positive male engagement. Afterwards the participants were asked to select the most important messages they wanted to give to other fathers for making a video. Two local film producers made the video based on the stories of the participants. Afterwards the community gave feedback and input for editing and finalizing the film. The results is a 30 min video that will be tested in the communities as a tool to engage men in maternal health. Also a shorter version was made for organisations and dissemination. The project was written and coordinated by Anna Galle, within the context of her doctoral research studies.