Gender Roles and One Health Risk Factors at the Human–Livestock–Wildlife Interface, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Allison H. Coyle, Amanda M. Berrian, Jacques van Rooyen, Brigitte Bagnol, Martin H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gender sensitivity in health promotion has been widely recommended, yet attention to gender roles and gender-disaggregated studies is often lacking in disease research and public health intervention planning. In the rural Mnisi community of Mpumalanga, South Africa, where zoonotic pathogens are known to contribute to acute febrile illness, community and household tasks may increase an individual’s risk of exposure, and these tasks are likely to be influenced by gender. This study described the roles and responsibilities of community residents, specifically those that have been identified as critical control points for infectious pathogen exposure, by gender. Male gender-typed tasks included those associated with livestock and poultry husbandry, hunting and slaughtering wildlife, and rodent control. Female gender-typed tasks included animal-sourced food preparation, domestic cleaning and maintenance, and caregiving to children and ill family members. Given the gender-specific nature of these tasks, potential pathogen exposure and transmission patterns of infectious diseases may be also gender specific. These data can inform the development and revision of health promotion strategies, such as the community-based One Health Training and Leadership program, prioritizing outcomes for male and female participants alike. Gender-disaggregated analysis is recommended for effective risk mitigation and community-wide health promotion using a One Health approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Gender
  • Mixed methods
  • One Health
  • Risk factor
  • Survey
  • Zoonotic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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