Exploration of the meaning of menopause among Ghanaian-Canadian women
Donkor, Fidelia Nana Akom
Master of Arts
SubjectMenopause (Cross-cultural studies)
Menopause (Canada Sociological aspects)
Menopause (Social aspects Canada)
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In spite of its biological universality, menopause is a complex phenomenon influenced by gender, identity and culture. The meanings of menopause and what it signifies for women vary considerably. They are shaped by social attitudes about aging and women’s roles over the life course. Utilizing in-depth interviews, this study examines the meanings and experience of menopause for ten Ghanaian-Canadian women living in the city of Toronto. For these women, the understanding of menopause transcends the narrow biomedical definition of menopause as a deficiency disease requiring pharmaceutical intervention. Instead, they view it as part of a normative aging process and recognize that it is accompanied by changes in health, social role and status. This research contributes to the growing body of literature on women’s health and aging as well as to our understanding of culturally-diverse approaches to menopause and midlife.