Friday sermons, family planning and gender equity attitudes and actions: evidence from Jordan

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Abstract

Background

To assess the effects of a communication intervention designed to enhance Jordanian religious leaders' (RLs) communication about family health.

Methods

Programmatic effects on RLs were evaluated with a panel study design; 245 male and 145 female RLs participated in both baseline and end-line surveys in 2011. To assess effects on mosque attendees, a nonequivalent, post-intervention only with control group design was utilized; 431 intervention and 426 control respondents were interviewed in 2012.

Results

Although RLs in the intervention site reported higher levels of preaching and teaching about the family health topics at end line than at baseline, their congregants were no more likely than control congregants to report having heard such messages over the previous 6-month period, contrary to the anticipated outcome. Yet, intervention congregants compared with controls were more likely to take action related to the topics to which they were exposed.

Conclusions

Despite the mixed findings, intervention mosque goers who recalled messages were more likely to report taking relevant actions. These findings suggest that trained RLs compared with their counterparts were more effective in message dissemination. Thus, the findings support broader implementation of this type of intervention once the programmatic changes recommended in this article are made.

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