Quantifying the Interview Questions

At this point in my project, I am looking at the data by quantifying the answers to the questions I have posed in the interviews. What I have learned from the community is that women do attend the community meetings. I posed this question, in the last 6 months have you attended a community meeting? 77.77% of women said that they had attended a community meeting. 66.66% of women attended a community meeting in the last 6 months. Attendance is not the same as participation. I have defined that participation entails an active role . In the questions I posed, I asked if the women had spoken at the community meeting. Of the women who said that they had attended a community meeting in the last 6 months, 22.22% of them said that they did not speak because they did not feel comfortable/confident. The theme of conversation is an influence on whether or not the women speak at the community meeting. Additionally, women think that the theme of the conversation influences if other women speak at the community meeting. In regards to women having more influence over issues in the community, 70.37% said that women have more influence over issues pertaining to health or education. The last questions concerned with women gender roles are still to be analyzed and quantified, however, I am satisfied with the progress so far. In my next post I will talk more specifically on what the answers to the questions mean in a qualitative sense.

Conducting Interviews

Conducting the interviews went for the most part, as planned. I gathered the sample necessary, 27 interviews from women of varying ages across the five focus groups of the community. One thing that could have been a barrier was the difference in language and colloquialism. I speak Mexican Spanish, which at the core is very similar to the rural Nicaraguan Spanish, however, there are words and pronunciation that are different. It was difficult at times for me to understand fully what the women were saying and vice versa. Conducting this research and speaking to these women has been one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences. I have learned so much about how the community is organized and how the women take care of their families and live in this part of Nicaragua. I am hoping that the data that I have collected and the conclusions that I draw can further help the community and enrich the partnership that I have started to develop with the women of the community. The next step in my research is the analyze the responses to the questions and compare them to the responses of other questions. In the next two weeks I will be working closely with Professor Aday who will assist me in analyzing the data. I am excited to see what I can learn from the interview responses!

Preparing to Conduct Research in Chaguite, Nicaragua

In the past month I have been working closely with Professor Aday drafting and finalizing interview questions and creating the Women Focus Group Protocol. My goal is to facilitate a conversation at the informal level through the focus group to learn more about women’s roles and utilize the interview questions to ask about women’s involvement and level of participation at the community level. Additionally, I have reviewed pertinent literature about other researchers who have conducted research on women’s participation and involvement at the community level. The literature review on the history and role of women in Nicaragua has also helped situate my research and expand my knowledge on the customs and culture of the Nicaraguan women.
I arrived in Managua yesterday and took the drive to Octotal that same night. Today was prep, I reviewed of the interview schedule and planned for the rest of the week. Tomorrow is when I will be going up the mountain to Chaguite to conduct interviews and meet with the community members. I am excited to get in the field and learn more about women in Nicaragua!

Abstract: Gender Roles and Community Participation in Chaguite Nicaragua.

Hi my name is Cait, and I am a Freshman here at William and Mary pursuing a double major in Sociology and Government. I am very excited to have the opportunity to conduct research in my first year here at the college and I look forward to traveling to Nicaragua this May. Using the Community-Based Participatory Model, I will be partnering with the community of Chaguite Nicaragua to understand more about gender roles and the characteristics of those roles in regards to the level and quantity of community participation. Through prompt dialogue and interviews I will ask the women in the community questions centered around women community participation and decision-making, health concerns, and comparisons in leadership and authority they see or experience between men and women in the community. In a three stage process, beginning with a focus group activity, then household interviews, and lastly personal interviews, my goal is to understand and record how gender and gender roles influence the decision-making process in community activities and the level and quantity that women participate in those activities. Through the CBPR method, I will then be able to work with community members to formulate questions and address concerns that women have in the community. In the long term my goal is to understand gender roles in the community to promote inclusiveness between the community members, increase solidarity in the decision-making process, and increase community participation.