International Journal of Research in Nursing

Healthcare Experiences of Zabbaleen Women in Cairo, Egypt

Andrea Fortson Knopp

DOI : 10.3844/ijrnsp.2015.1.9

International Journal of Research in Nursing

Volume 6, Issue 1

Pages 1-9


The current political instability in the regions of North Africa and the Middle East threaten the safety of disenfranchised, vulnerable populations and the knowledge of health determinants in these people groups. Gender roles and cultural norms of the region place women in a marginalized position resulting in isolation and disconnection from society and the information or resources regarding healthcare. The women of the Zabbaleen community are a unique population in Cairo, Egypt with multiple factors known to contribute to inequities in healthcare. This study reveals barriers that affect healthcare related to issues of cultural behaviors and social determinants of health for the Zabbaleen women. The results provide insight into the perceived and actual barriers to health the women experience. This study reveals information critical to developing interventions in healthcare delivery and services during tumultuous times and future peaceful times. A qualitative constructivist design with personal interviews, participatory observation and field notes was used for this study. Internal barriers of cultural norms of gender, religion and isolation alongside external factors of environment, unique economic conditions and health resources shape the women’s experiences.


© 2015 Andrea Fortson Knopp. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.