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Traditional Male Leaders Helping To Change Cultural Practices That Damage Health

The Atlantic examines how traditional male leaders are playing a role in reversing “‘harmful traditional practices’ — social mores that have been instilled over centuries and continue to be carried out in some regions despite their danger to health,” such as child marriage, home birthing and female genital mutilation. “Traditional male leaders are typically the ones who protect ancestral ways, so they may not seem like natural vanguards of change. But across the developing world, increasingly more and more tribal chiefs and other leaders are becoming essential to ending harmful practices — in large part because of how central they are to the village’s life and beliefs,” the magazine writes, adding, “To improve the lives of women, some aid organizations are finding, you must first change the minds of the men in charge” (Khazan, 6/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.