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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234On-line version ISSN 1980-220X

Rev. esc. enferm. USP vol.51  São Paulo  2017  Epub Mar 15, 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s1980-220x2016041603279 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Gender norms among “Landless” youth: evidence for the social practice of nursing*

Luiz Fabiano Zanatta1  2 

Maria Tereza Ruiz-Cantero3 

Elisa Chilet-Rossel3 

Carlos Álvarez-Dardet3 

José Roberto da Silva Brêtas2 

1Universidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná, Bandeirantes, PR, Brazil.

2Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

3Universidad de Alicante, Grupo de Investigación de Salud Pública, Alicante, Spain.


ABSTRACT

Objective

Analyzing the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics of youth from the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement in Brazil (MST) regarding the prevalence ratio being in accordance with gender norms.

Method

A cross-sectional study conducted during a Journey of Agroecology carried out in the State of Paraná with young people (15 to 29 years) of both genders. Data collection was conducted through questionnaires. Data analysis compared variables regarding gender norms with sociodemographic variables, and a Prevalence Ratio (PR) was calculated with a confidence interval (CI) set at 95% in order to determine this relationship.

Results

The study sample was comprised of 147 young people. A higher prevalence was found in accordance with gender norms (PR with CI at 95%) among women compared to men, and that sociodemographic characteristics (lower education level, those living in occupation camps, who do not have white skin and with religious belief) were social indicators for such positioning among both genders.

Conclusion

The byproduct of a patriarchal gender system has led more young girls to internalization and a reaffirmation of gender norms, highlighting an important field for social nursing practices in order to contribute to the transformation of this reality.

Key words: Gender Identity; Gender and Health; Rural Health; Nursing Care; Public Health Nursing

RESUMEN

Objetivo

Analizar la relación entre las características sociodemográficas de jóvenes del Movimiento de los Trabajadores Rurales Sin Tierra en cuanto a la razón de prevalencia para estar de acuerdo con la normas de género.

Método

Estudio transversal, realizado durante una Jornada de Agroecología celebrada en el Estado de Paraná, con jóvenes (15 a 29 años) de ambos sexos. La recolección de datos fue conducida mediante la aplicación de cuestionario. El análisis de los datos comparó las variables sobre normas de género con relación a las sociodemográficas y, para evaluar dicha relación, se calculó la Razón de Prevalencia (RP) con Intervalo de Confianza (IC) a los 95%.

Resultados

La muestra del estudio estuvo compuesta de 147 jóvenes. Se observó mayor prevalencia para la conformidad con las normas de género (RP con IC a los 95%) entre las mujeres en relación a los hombres y que las características demográficas (menor escolarización, que viven en campamento, de piel no blanca y con creencia religiosa) fueron indicadores sociales para dicha postura entre ambos sexos.

Conclusión

El subproducto de un régimen de género patriarcal está llevando cada vez más a las jóvenes a la interiorización y la reafirmación de las normas de género, evidenciando un importante campo de actuación para las prácticas sociales de enfermería, con vistas a contribuir a la transformación de esa realidad.

Palabras-clave: Identidad de Género; Género y Salud; Salud Rural; Atención de Enfermería; Enfermería en Salud Pública

RESUMO

Objetivo

Analisar a relação entre as características sociodemográficas de jovens do Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra quanto à razão de prevalência para estarem em acordo com as normas de gênero.

Método

Estudo transversal, realizado durante uma Jornada de Agroecologia sediada no Estado do Paraná, com jovens (15 a 29 anos) de ambos os sexos. A coleta de dados foi conduzida por meio da aplicação de questionário. A análise dos dados comparou variáveis sobre normas de gênero em relação às sociodemográficas e, para avaliar tal relação, calculou-se a Razão de Prevalência (RP) com Intervalo de Confiança (IC) aos 95%.

Resultados

A amostra do estudo foi composta por 147 jovens. Observou-se maior prevalência para o acordo com as normas de gênero (RP com IC aos 95%) entre as mulheres em relação aos homens, e que características sociodemográficas (menor escolarização, que vivem em acampamento, de pele não branca e com crença religiosa) foram indicadores sociais para tal posicionamento entre ambos os sexos.

Conclusão

O subproduto de um regime de gênero patriarcal tem levado mais as jovens à interiorização e à reafirmação das normas de gênero, evidenciando um importante campo de atuação para as práticas sociais de enfermagem, com vistas a contribuir para a transformação desta realidade.

Palavras-Chave: Identidade de Gênero; Gênero e Saúde; Saúde da População Rural; Cuidados de Enfermagem; Enfermagem em Saúde Pública

INTRODUCTION

Gender norms are understood as a set of requirements, beliefs and social rules that determine behaviors, actions in everyday life and in exercising and expressing sexuality. It is under this regulatory and prescriptive context for masculinity or femininity which gender norms operate, formulating stereotypes and gender roles which determine simplified and unequal representations, as well as selective images and patterns to life and relationships between men and women(1).

The product of inequalities and gender norms triggers serious consequences for women’s health during their life cycle in the field of sexual and reproductive health, in the perpetuation of violence, and in accessing the job market and education worlds(2). However, because such inequalities are reproduced and/or supported by cultural and social processes, the impacts on the well-being and lives of these people will vary according to the setting in which they operate, and also possibly affecting men.

The set of economic, social, cultural, political and environmental aspects that makes up the social determinants for the health of rural populations is marked by several health indicators that demonstrate greater social inequality and vulnerabilities when compared to urban areas(3-5). It can also be pointed out that the burden of patriarchal conceptions of being a young rural woman culturally represents a situation of inferiority in the social hierarchy(6). Gender norms in rural areas, as well as in MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – Landless Rural Workers Movement) settlements and (occupation) camps support the stereotypes, roles and gender inequalities with more intensity, promoting negative impacts on the well-being and health of this population(7).

With actions deployed by the Special Secretariat of Policies for Women(8) and the promotion of the National Policy for Comprehensive Health of Settlement Camps and Forest Populations (Política Nacional de Saúde Integral das Populações do Campo e da Floresta)(5), Brazil has been engaged in fighting iniquities that affect the health of settlement populations, in particular those from gender inequalities. However, significant impacts in terms of equality, comprehensiveness, universality in health and gender violence are not fully consolidated(9).

Considering this scenario, it can be understood that social nursing practices directed at the transformation of this context contribute to sustainable and equitable development(10-11), ensuring direct impacts on health indicators. Specifically considering the gender category, understanding how these “norms” are maintained in communities of the Landless Rural Workers Movement in Brazil (MST) would be a possibility to accurately and adequately target care actions and health promotion.

From this perspective, Nursing advances on an important gap existing in the acting profession, as acting guided by social practice means overcoming technical and operational dimensions resulting from the direct application of biotechnological knowledge, beyond the traditional knowledge and institutionalized practices(12). Thus, the present study aims at analyzing the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics of MST youths regarding the prevalence ratio for being in accordance with gender norms.

METHOD

This is a cross-sectional study supported by the theory of gender category(1,13), developed during the XIV Journey of Agroecology, carried out in the municipality of Irati, Paraná state, in July 2015. As inclusion criteria, MST youths of both genders of the state of Paraná were considered, aged between 15 and 29 years, and who freely consented to participate in the study after signing the terms of assent (under 18 years of age) and consent, and who gave a response rate higher than 40% of the questionnaire.

The study was composed of a non-probabilistic random sample of youths who responded positively to the invitation from the investigator to participate in the study. The young people were invited to participate in the study during the event in between the breaks in the activities schedule. Two hundred and ten (210) youths responded to the data collection instrument; however, 63 had to be excluded according to the exclusion criteria; 29 of the participants responded to less than 40% of the questions; 24 did not sign the consent or assent form; and 10 young people did not lived in the state of Paraná. Therefore, the sample of the study consisted of 147 young people.

The International Men and Gender Equality Survey instrument (IMAGENS) Survey Questionnaires was used for data collection(14), and specifically its third section, which addresses “the attitudes about relationships between men and women”. Seeking to prove the content validity and the construct validity of the questionnaire regarding social and cultural particularities of the MST youth, a Face validity(15) evaluation was conducted with 12 young leaders of the Landless Rural Workers Movement in the state of Paraná during the first stage (02/15) of the MST Youth State School in Paraná.

At this moment, adequacies regarding language and sociodemographic characteristics had to be included. The draft version of the questionnaire was submitted to a pre-test, with 48 young individuals during the second stage (04/15) of the MST Youth State School in Paraná.

The questionnaire consisted of 11 sociodemographic variables: gender, age, sexual orientation, education level, religion, marital status, with whom they reside, where they reside, skin color/race, employment, and monthly income; and 13 on gender norms. An evaluation of the variables on gender norms consisted of categories composed of a Likert scale, with 5 degrees of agreement where: 1 to 2 – I agree; 3 to 4 – I disagree and; 5 – No opinion. Due to the limited number of cases, “No opinion” answers were considered as losses. In order to study the relationship between gender norms and sociodemographic variables, a Chi-square independence proof was carried out with statistical significance at p ≤ 0.05.

If the relationship was not statistically significant, variables were not considered for the next analysis. Thus, the rest of the analyses were performed with 9 of the 13 variables for gender norms and five of the sociodemographic variables, as will be presented in this study. An analysis comparing gender norms in relation to sociodemographic variables was subsequently performed to verify the prevalence among the participants of being in agreement with the gender norms. Such an assessment was carried out between women and men, men in relation to men, as well as women in relation to other women. In order to measure this relationship, the Prevalence Ratio (PR) was estimated with the Confidence Interval (CI) at 95%.

The study fully complies with Resolution CNS 466/12 and was evaluated by the Ethics and Research Committee of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, with favorable opinion number 1.052.036/2015. Data analysis was performed using the programs Excel, Epidat 3.1 and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 20.0.

RESULTS

One hundred forty seven (147) young people participated in the study. Table 1 shows the sociodemographic characteristics of the study participants, in which 51.7% were men and 48.3% were women. A statistically significant difference was observed only for monthly income between men and women in the category from R$789.00 to R$1,575.00 (p=0.001).

Table 1 – Sociodemographic characterization of the study participants – Paraná, Brazil, 2017. 

Category Variable N 147 Men Women P

n % n %
Religious belief Yes 130 64 86.5 66 94.3 0.1
No 14 10 13.5 4 5.7 0.1
Skin color Non-white 86 48 64.9 38 53.5 0.2
White 59 26 35.1 33 46.5 0.1
Marital status Single 118 64 85.3 54 79.4 0.2
Stable union 25 11 14.7 14 20.6 0.4
Education level Lower education level* 36 22 57.9 14 48.3 0.2
Higher education level** 31 16 42.1 15 51.7 0.9
Age (group) 15 – 19 72 31 41.9 41 57.7 0.04
20 – 29 73 43 58.1 30 42.3 0.1
Living with With parents or guardians 77 39 55.7 38 55.9 0.8
Without parents or guardians 61 31 44.3 30 44.1 0.8
Type of residence Occupation camps*** 77 40 52.6 37 52.1 0.9
Settlements**** or other forms***** 30 36 47.4 34 47.9 0.9
Formal working bond Yes 7 5 7.5 2 4.0 0.3
No 110 62 92.5 48 96.0 0.1
Monthly income More than R$1,576.00 6 5 7.5 1 2.0 0.1
R$789.00 to R$1,575.00 20 17 25.8 3 6.0 0.001
Up to R$788.00 53 30 45.5 23 46.0 0.4

Legend: N – total number of participants. n – number of participants who responded to the variable. * Inferior or equivalent to incomplete secondary education. ** Secondary or higher education. *** Families that are still waiting for rights to the land. A period marked by the precariousness of housing conditions, tension (risk of expropriation) and high collectivity of the subjects. **** Families who have received the rights to the land. Dilution of the collectivity can be noticed in some areas due to individual concerns such as the productivity of the land and the distance between the housing due to the geographical distance of the lots. ***** “Other forms” included young people living in MST training centers, or those working in the State Department.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

Table 2 points out that women are generally more in agreement with gender norms than men (p<0.005), especially among those with lower education level, non-white skin, those with a religious belief, living without their parents/guardians and in (occupation) camps/settlements.

Table 2 – Percentage of men and women in accordance to gender norms, according to sociodemographic characteristics – Paraná, Brazil, 2017. 

Sociodemographic characteristics Gender norms Men % Women % P


n (N) n (N)
Lower education level There is equality for socializing and fun 26 (37) 70.3 38 (43) 88.4 0.04
There is equality for expressing sexuality 25 (31) 80.6 21 (38) 55.3 0.02
Girls should be more reserved 16 (34) 47.1 25 (35) 71.4 0.03
Women are the ones responsible for the family 13 (35) 37.1 23 (36) 63.9 0.02
Higher education level Women are the ones responsible for the family 05 (32) 15.6 11 (33) 33.3 0.09
Living in occupation camps Guys are responsible for use of the condom 21 (38) 55.3 28 (36) 77.8 0.04
There is equality for expressing sexuality 27 (35) 77.1 19 (35) 54.3 0.04
Women are not the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy 08 (38) 21.1 15 (33) 45.5 0.02
Living in settlements There is equality for socializing and fun 19 (32) 59.4 27 (30) 90.0 0.006
Women are the ones responsible for the family 05 (34) 14.7 16 (29) 55.2 0.001
Living without their parents/guardians There is equality for socializing and fun 16 (30) 53.3 22 (27) 81.5 0.02
Women are the ones responsible for the family 06 (28) 21.4 16 (27) 59.3 0.004
Girls should be more reserved 08 (27) 29.6 15 (25) 60.0 0.02
Equal control over sexual-affective behavior 05 (26) 19.2 13 (26) 50.0 0.02
Living with their parents/guardians There is equality for expressing sexuality 24 (32) 75.0 14 (31) 45.2 0.01
Non-white skin There is equality for socializing and fun 32 (44) 72.7 33 (35) 94.3 0.01
Women are the ones responsible for the family 12 (42) 28.6 21 (35) 60.0 0.006
Women are responsible for preventing pregnancy 11 (46) 23.9 19 (37) 51.4 0.010
White skin Women are the ones responsible for the family 06 (23) 26.1 13 (24) 54.2 0.05
Have a religious belief Women are the ones responsible for the family 15 (56) 26.8 34 (54) 63.0 0.000
Girls should be more reserved 23 (55) 41.8 34 (54) 63.0 0.02

Legend: N – total number of participants. n – number of participants who responded to the variable.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

According to Table 2, only the gender norm related to gender equality for expressing their sexuality are men more in agreement than women, especially: those who have lower education levels (80.6%), those who live with their parents/guardians (75.0%) and in occupation camps (77.1%). The biggest difference between young individuals of both genders lies in the fact that the woman are considered as being the main person responsible for the family, and women were more in agreement with this norm than men. The most noticeable differences in magnitude for the agreement in relation to gender norms are observed between those who live without their parents/guardians [59.3% women and 21.4% men (p = 0.004)], in settlements [55.2% women and 14.7% men (p=0.001)], do not have white skin [60.0% women and 28.6% men (p=0.006)], with lower education levels [63.9% women and 37.1% men (p=0.02)] and with religious belief [63.0% women and 26.8% men (p=0.000)].

Table 3 shows the agreement prevalence of one gender over the other. We found that women have a higher prevalence according to gender norms compared to men, except for the agreement that there is equality for expressing sexuality on a daily basis, in which there is a greater prevalence of disagreement among women who live in occupation camps (PR=0.62, CI=0.40-0.97).

Table 3 – Prevalence ratio between men and women for being in accordance with gender norms, according to sociodemographic characteristics – Paraná, Brazil, 2017. 

Variable Lower education level Higher education level

PR (95%CI) PR (95%CI)
Women are the ones responsible for the family 1.72 (1.05-2.82) 2.26 (1.26-3.79)

Living in occupation camps Living in settlements

There is equality for expressing sexuality on a daily basis 0.62 (0.40-0.97) NSS
Women are the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy 1.74 (1.09-2.79) NSS
There is equality for socializing and fun on a daily basis NSS 3.13 (1.10-8.93)
Women are the ones responsible for the family NSS 2.46 (1.48-4.10)

Living without their parents/guardians Living with their parents/guardians

Women are the ones responsible for the family 2.18 (1.26-3.77) NSS
Girls should be more reserved in order to ensure their morality 1.89 (1.05-3.39) NSS
Control over affective-sexual behavior is equal 1.89 (1.13-3.16) NSS
There is equality for expressing sexuality on a daily basis NSS 0.54 (0.33-0.89)

Non-white skin White skin

Women are the ones responsible for the family 2.00 (1.21-3.31) 1.80 (1.03-3.15)
Women are the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy 1.86 (1.17-2.97) NSS

With Religious Belief Without Religious Belief

Women are the ones responsible for the family 2.12 (1.41-3.17) NSS
Girls should be more reserved in order to ensure their morality 1.55 (1.03-2.32) NSS

Legend: N – total number of participants. n – number of participants who responded to the variable. * NSS - Not statistically significant.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

The major difference in the prevalence between both genders according to gender norms is that the woman is considered to be the main person responsible for the relationship and the prosperity of the family, with a higher difference between those living in settlements PR=2.46 (1.48-4.10), and women are more in accordance with such standards than men. The same is true for the rule that there is equality for socializing and fun on a regular basis, among those who live in settlements PR=3.13 (CI=1.10-8.93), and always in the sense that women agree more than men.

Table 4 shows that among men the agreement with the gender norm that affirms that male infidelity is somewhat acceptable is higher among men with lower education levels (PR=2.25, CI=1.52-3.34). While the norm regarding equality for expressing sexuality has greater agreement among men living in occupation camps (PR=1.69, CI=0.94-3.04) and with lower education levels (PR=2.13, CI=1.04-4.38).

Table 4 – Prevalence ratio among young people for being in agreement with gender norms, according to sociodemographic characteristics – Paraná, Brazil, 2017. 

Variable Occupation camps Settlements PR (95%CI) P

N n (%) N n (%)
Control over the circulation of girls in public spaces is stricter 32 18 (56.3) 32 26 (81.3) 0.58 (0.37-0.92) 0.03
There is equality for expressing sexuality on a daily basis 35 27 (77.1) 28 15 (53.6) 1.69 (0.94-3.04) 0.04
Women are the ones responsible for the family 34 13 (38.2) 34 5 (14.7) 1.72 (1.11-2.65) 0.02

Lower education level Higher education level

There is equality for expressing sexuality on a daily basis 31 25 (80.6) 31 16 (51.6) 2.13 (1.04-4.38) 0.02
Infidelity committed by men is acceptable 29 10 (34.5) 29 1 (3.4) 2.25 (1.52-3.34) 0.003

With Religious Belief Without Religious Belief

There is equality for socializing and fun on a daily basis 57 43 (75.4) 10 3 (30.0) 1.40 (1.03-1.92) 0.004

Legend: N – total number of participants. n – number of participants who responded to the variable.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

Regarding equality for socialization and fun, men with religious belief (PR=1.40, CI=1.03-1.92) show greater agreement. However, men living in occupation camps are less likely to be in agreement with the norm “control over circulation of girls in public spaces is stricter” (PR=0.58, CI=0.37-0.92).

With regard to the agreement among women on gender norms, Table 5 shows that those with lower education levels have a lower prevalence of being in agreement with the norm “control over the circulation of girls in public spaces is stricter” (PR=0.67, CI=0.48-0.93). On the other hand, agreement regarding the norm that women are the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy is higher among women with lower education levels (PR=2.27, CI=1.55-3.33) and non-white women (PR=1.74, CI=1.19-2.56). Similarly, women with lower education levels are also more in agreement with the gender norm that men are responsible for using the condom (PR=1.75, CI=1.04-2.95) and also that girls should be more reserved (PR=1.71, CI=1.02-2.88).

Table 5 – Prevalence ratio among young women for being in agreement with gender norms, according to sociodemographic characteristics – Paraná, Brazil, 2017. 

Variable Lower education level Higher education level PR (95%CI) P

N n (%) N n (%)
Guys are responsible for using condoms 42 33 (78.6) 23 11 (47.8) 1.75 (1.04-2.95) 0.01
Girls should be more reserved 35 25 (71.4) 24 10 (41.7) 1.71 (1.02-2.88) 0.02
Control over the circulation of girls in public spaces is stricter 39 23 (59.0) 21 18 (85.7) 0.67 (0.48-0.93) 0.03
Women are the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy 38 22 (57.9) 23 1 (4.3) 2.27 (1.55-3.33) < 0.001

Non-white skin White skin

Women are the ones responsible for preventing pregnancy 37 19 (51.4) 24 4 (16.7) 1.74 (1.19-2.56) 0.006

Legend: N – total number of participants. n – number of participants who responded to the variable.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

DISCUSSION

The results show a higher prevalence for women being in agreement with gender norms in relation to the men participating in this research. Female subordination is structured by a patriarchal gender regime, which has internalized the reproduction of conservative thoughts, norms and actions in young people to which they are subjected(1,7). In addition, sociodemographic characteristics that express inequalities such as lower education level, living in occupation camps, having non-white skin and also the influence of a religious belief were social indicators for more agreement with gender norms.

This means that even though the MST is a progressive social movement and that they ideologically fight for the construction of a new subject through equality opposing capital social power, social class determinants and a deep-rooted patriarchal gender regime are the main factors that have imputed reaffirmations to agreement on gender roles, stereotypes and inequalities among the investigated youth.

Yet, it should be pointed out that this patriarchal gender system is not exclusive to the MST(7); its population experiences ways of life in the rural context, historically marked by this gender order(3,6). We must also consider that class inequalities present in the social condition of women interact in this context, and that they inevitably determine gender relations and social control in capitalist society, which underlies unequal power relations(3,13).

Nevertheless, as a product of a social, historical, and cultural construction, these gender norms in the investigated MST occupation camps and settlements are being interpreted and internalized by “men” and “women” individually, although with a greater impact on women. Such norms are more evident in occupation camps when compared to settlements, and they may be sustaining gender inequalities in social and occupational positions, power status, access to resources and services, and health-related behaviors(2,7).

Young women with lower education levels in comparison to those with higher education levels presented higher prevalence of agreement with gender norms regarding the roles of men and women in contraception and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and AIDS, since they claim that the use of the condom is a man’s responsibility, and birth control is the woman’s(9). The study shows that the higher the education level, the greater the emancipation process and the empowerment of young women to position themselves in disagreement with gender norms.

Therefore, if the very fact of being formally educated already contributes to the emancipatory processes, we believe that the inclusion of sexual education as transversal content in all curricular components would guarantee even more freedom, respect, equality, breaking of taboos and prejudices, good practices, autonomy and democracy on affective sexual and gender issues(16). In contribution to this context, social nursing practices guided by actions of education in health promotion along with methodological framework of Popular Education in Health have been shown to be an important tool for promotion of affective-sexual and reproductive health, well-being and gender dialogue between men and women(17).

There is greater agreement on gender norms that reaffirm stereotypes among young women, such as women’s responsibility for family unity, or that girls should maintain good behavior to ensure “good morals”. Such a positioning may be a result of the participants not being aware of the patriarchal order present in the society that they live in, or by understanding such processes as natural to biological sex(1,13).

It is important to point out men’s higher prevalence of agreement that there is equality in relation to women. Among regimes of patriarchal genres, men do not perceive their condition of superiority(13), which leads to “difficulties” in recognizing gender inequalities(3-4). However, this higher perception of equality is not exclusive to men from rural areas, as 58% of urban men in Brazil also agree that there is high gender equity(18).

Considering the 33 years of history of the MST, we emphasize that the Movement was and still is the possibility for many women to break free from various forms of oppression and to affirm themselves as working women, fighting for land, for the agrarian reform and for social transformation. In contrast, according to this study for the women living in the investigated occupation camps and settlements, these premises have not yet become fully materialized, even after the implementation of Public Policies with specific guidelines towards rural women(5,8), and the sum of the struggles and demands of the women in the MST in their own life space or those articulated by the Sector of Gender and Collectives of Women, at state and national levels.

Considering that this study found that inequality and subjective oppression is dominant among the participating young women, the present study evidences an important field for nursing practice, mainly with regard to contributing to achieving the fifth objective of the 2030 Agenda(19), which seeks to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

However, in order to make the effective contribution of nursing to the aforementioned goal possible, it is imperative that the proposed actions go beyond the dimension of the body and view women as subjects; the result of a social, historical and cultural process. To do so, broadening the perspective of care beyond its technical-operative dimensions is necessary(12). It is fundamental to adopt social nursing practices that meet the needs of these young women, so that they are seen as social beings in the amplitude of their relationships and interactions.

CONCLUSION

The study with youth of this Movement advocates the construction of a new subject, equality and opposition to the social power of capital, and has shown that its members are not free from influences of the patriarchal gender order and from class social interferences; which are the main promoters of inequalities present in Brazilian society.

Thus, sociodemographic characteristics that indicate inequalities such as lower education level, living in occupation camps, having non-white skin and having the influence of a religious belief were social indicators for more agreement with gender norms. The end product of norms that reaffirm gender roles, stereotypes and inequalities can negatively impact the health of this population, not only making women’s affective-sexual and reproductive health vulnerable, but also their empowerment and emancipation.

In order for nursing to intervene effectively on such a complex phenomenon as gender norms, it is necessary to develop a critical and reflexive attitude in the sense of implementing socio-political actions that express responsible and committed participation with social development of the attended population. Such actions in the contexts of MST occupation camps and settlements must be articulated intersectorally, involving Family Health Strategy Teams that serve the communities, local organizational sectors, field/itinerant schools, and indisputably youth groups with male and female representations.

It is suggested that the interventions be guided by health promotion and education actions, keeping the category of gender in mind; that they are actions which promote knowledge formation and critical-reflexive consciousness, aiming at the empowerment of women to confront and deconstruct gender norms. It is also necessary that nursing social practices contribute to political articulation and collective self-organization in these spaces, so that young women can build political, economic and personal autonomy, which are fundamental conditions for breaking free of gender norms and inequalities, and promoting women emancipation.

As the main scientific contribution of this study we can highlight the fact that it has evidenced the possibility of making a quantitative characterization on the presence of gender norms in specific organizations, which contributes to the formulation of a plan for social practices which are empirically adjusted and directed to the population to whom the intervention is proposed.

The small sample related to the great refusal of the youth to participate in the study is pointed out as a limitation of the study. However, it was possible to reach the proposed objectives and understand the gender norms among this population, which were unknown until now. In addition, since this is a cross-sectional study, it was not possible to establish causal relationships as our objective was to establish the prevalence ratio for individuals in agreement with gender norms, and in relation to the sociodemographic characteristics.

In this sense, we suggest that further qualitative studies are carried out in order to deepen the social and cultural relations that sustain these norms. Finally, we emphasize that the results of this study cannot be generalized or understood as common characteristics to all MST youth.

REFERENCES

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Received: October 20, 2016; Accepted: August 17, 2017

Corresponding author: Luiz Fabiano Zanatta, Rua Manoel de Freitas Aguiar, 448. CEP 86385-000 – Barra do Jacaré, Paraná, Brazil. lfzanatta@uenp.edu.br

*

Extracted from the doctorate project “Assimetrias de gênero entre a juventude do MST no Paraná”, Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 2016.

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