Thesis Defence: “Exploring the Experience of Mothers Who Have Children with Albinism in Tanzania: A Critical Ethnography”
Emma Strobell, “Exploring the Experience of Mothers Who Have Children with Albinism in Tanzania: A Critical Ethnography”
Supervisor: Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, PhD (MSN)
Second Reader: Barb Astle, PhD (MSN)
Third Reader: Sonya Sharma, PhD, University of Kingston
Exam Chair: TBD
Little is understood about the everyday lives of mothers of children with albinism, in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Tanzania. This region has a harrowing history of discrimination and violent attacks against persons with albinism, largely rooted in cultural/spiritual beliefs and practices, and perpetuated by layers of myth about albinism. A focused critical ethnographic study, through the lens of Hudson-Weems’ (2019) Africana Womanism, explored the experiences of mothers of children with albinism in Tanzania, addressed the gendered nature of this condition, and considered human rights and resilience of the mothers. One participant’s story illuminated human rights and resilience from a mother’s standpoint, which was the backdrop for the presentation of findings that included stories of other mothers with albinism and the perspectives of key stakeholders. These findings highlighted the social ecological nature of resilience for these mothers. Recommendations focus on policy, advocacy, and research related to health and social services and education.