When the War Was Over, Little Changed: Women's Posttraumatic Suffering After the War in Mozambique

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This article explores the psychosocial effects of women's prolonged exposure to civil war in the center of Mozambique. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, 91 women were assessed for posttraumatic stress symptoms and psychosocial indicators of ill health. The results indicate that for the majority of the women in this study, traumatic experiences are sequential processes. Their ill health ranges from symptoms of posttraumatic stress to episodes of spirit possession (gamba), affecting women's capacities to conceive and raise children, and marginalizing their social position. A careful analysis of the specific problems and needs of women in postwar contexts is recommended, along with a systematic examination of the effectiveness of the available resources that may play a role in boosting trauma recovery in this group of women.

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