FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH MALE PARTNER PARTICIPATION AT PARTICIPATORY LEARNING ACTION MEETINGS IN MALGA DISTRICT IN SIDAMA OF ETHIOPIA
This study investigated factors associated with male involvement in Participatory Learning Action(PLA) program in Malga district, Sidama zone, SNNPR. A qualitative data collection design was employed in this research. Accordingly, three focus group discussions, each comprising 10 to 12 persons, were conducted. Two groups, one female and another male focus discussion groups, included persons who were members of the PLA program. The third group, a male focus discussion group, was a non-PLA male focus discussion group. The data was analyzed qualitatively and thematically. The study revealed that although there is an increase in knowledge and understating of the community in reproductive health, maternal and child care, and family planning issues, still various factors discourage the participation of men in the district. Traditional cultural norms, amongst others, remain to be the main factor discouraging the participation of men, especially adult men. On the other hand, distance from the program center and households' labor availability are other common factors that discourage program participation. Moreover, age and sex, and differences are other important factors that mostly affect males’ participation in the program. Generally, cultural norms must be addressed properly to increase male participation.