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"Who Will Marry a Diseased Girl?" Marriage, Gender, and Tuberculosis Stigma in Asia

Hatherall, B. ORCID: 0000-0001-8114-9648, Newell, J. N., Emmel, N. , Baral, S. C. & Khan, M. A. (2019). "Who Will Marry a Diseased Girl?" Marriage, Gender, and Tuberculosis Stigma in Asia. Qualitative Health Research, 29(8), pp. 1109-1119. doi: 10.1177/1049732318812427


In a qualitative study on the stigma associated with tuberculosis (TB), involving 73 interviews and eight focus groups conducted in five sites across three countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan), participants spoke of TB’s negative impact on the marriage prospects of women in particular. Combining the approach to discovering grounded theory with a conceptualization of causality based on a realist ontology, we developed a theory to explain the relationships between TB, gender, and marriage. The mechanism at the heart of the theory is TB’s disruptiveness to the gendered roles of wife (or daughter-in-law) and mother. It is this disruptiveness that gives legitimacy to the rejection of marriage to a woman with TB. Whether or not this mechanism results in a negative impact of TB on marriage prospects depends on a range of contextual factors, providing opportunities for interventions and policies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher Keywords: tuberculosis, stigma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, qualitative research, grounded theory
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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