Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 153–159 | Cite as

Developing a Culturally Competent Faith-Based Framework to Promote Breast Cancer Screening Among Afghan Immigrant Women

  • Mehra ShiraziEmail author
  • Aida Shirazi
  • Joan Bloom
Original Paper


For the tens of thousands of Afghan immigrant women currently living in the USA, religious and cultural beliefs can act as a barrier to health care access. Islamic frameworks and men’s gatekeeping roles often control women’s decision-making power about their health care needs. Gatekeepers, however, can be reconceived as facilitators empowered to protect the well-being of the family, and positive messages within Islam can foster collaborative investment in women’s health. Drawing upon a pilot study utilizing community-based participatory research involving the largest Afghan community in the USA, this paper documents the need for culturally sensitive faith-based education to promote breast cancer screening among this growing population.


Faith-based Community participatory research Breast cancer screening Afghan immigrant Islam 



This research was funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women, Gender and Sexuality StudiesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Afghan Women’s Breast Health ProjectFreemontUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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