Women from developing countries like Zimbabwe, are more vulnerable to developing common mental health issues.

Patel, Araya, de Lima, Ludermir, and Todd [1999] who studied four low and middle-income countries (Zimbabwe, Chile, Brazil and India), found that common mental disorders were significantly associated with the female gender.

Globally, poverty disproportionately affects women who account for 70% of the world’s poor (UNDP, 1997, cited in WHO, 2000).

The side-lining of women’s mental health has meant that there is a paucity of reliable gender disaggregated prevalence and incidence rates available in developing countries (WHO, 2000).

The determinants of mental illness in women have remained unexplored, and gender sensitive mental health services and interventions underdeveloped in these regions (Patel et al., 2006; Sellers, 2004).

Hence our pioneering work on women’s mental health in Zimbabwe, aims to explore ways of bringing awareness and action into supporting women with illness.

We note that, ‘health research amongst women in low and middle income countries, particularly in Africa, has tended to focus primarily on maternal and reproductive health issues, with the neglect of mental health concerns’ (Avotri & Walters, 1999, 2001; Moultrie & Kleinjes, 2006).

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