Victor Agadjanian, a social demographer and professor of sociology at UCLA, has been awarded a $2.7 million grant by the National Institutes of Health’s branch on aging. He and colleagues will study older women’s health and well-being in Mozambique in a five-year study based at the UCLA California Center for Population Research.

Agadjanian, who is also a member of the UCLA International Institute, is one of two principal investigators of the study. His partners are from Ohio State University and the Centro de Pesquisa em População e Saúde (Center for Research on Population and Health), a Mozambican nonprofit.

The project builds on a previous investigation of the impact of male labor migration on rural women’s lives in the south of Mozambique, which included five waves of surveys and in-depth interviews from 2006 through 2018 with rural women who were married when the study began.

The new project will conduct two additional waves of surveys and qualitative data collection three years apart. Both large-scale and standardized surveys with be taken of roughly 1,850 women, as well as ethnographic interviews with a subsample of survey participants.
“In this new project, we will be looking at how women navigate the challenges of midlife, which is not just a matter of growing health issues, but of economic and social security,” said Agadjanian, whose research focuses on the nexus of health, migration, family and well-being in countries around the world. “They live in a highly patriarchal setting where women may have nominal rights to own land and assets, but in reality, have little control over them.”

As was the case with Agadjanian’s previous projects, findings from the new study will be shared with local and national government bodies, as well as nongovernmental organizations in Mozambique, in the hopes that they will inform future social policies aimed at protecting and enhancing the well-being of rural women.