AFGHANISTAN/SERBIA – `”When a story gets a face…”: Visual elicitation of Serbian perspectives on Afghan refugee women’s maternity experiences in Serbia

by Esther Sharma, Rebecca Laban-Sharman, Baharak Javazian, Natasha Howard, Diane Duclos.

PLOS Global Public Health. 15 February 2024.


Serbia is a country through which many Afghans pass, en route to the European Union. Pregnancy and birth continue for Afghan women while journeying. This study aims to examine the understanding and attitudes of Serbian health professionals and members of women’s civil society organisations (CS0) about the perinatal experiences of Afghan women in Serbia, using a webcomic to elicit responses. A total of 38 respondents completed the questionnaire, including health professionals (n = 10), women’s CSO members (n = 6), and others (n = 10). The majority had little awareness of the experiences of Afghan women around the childbearing time and for most respondents, viewing the webcomic raised their awareness. Qualitative questionnaire data were analysed thematically, and four inductive themes developed: (1) maternal health provision as inadequate; (2) Afghan women face difficulties in Serbia; (3) solidarity with Afghan women; and (4) the webcomic raises awareness. Webcomics, as a visual modality, may play a valuable role in increasing empathy and awareness of refugee women’s perinatal experiences among citizens.

SOURCE: RAISE/IAWG Literature Review, 8 April 2024