empowerment; gender power inequity; qualitative research; grounded theory; Nicaragua; cultural bias


This qualitative, descriptive study investigated how working with Health Brigades influenced a sense of empowerment and a resultant shifting of gender-power relationships for women in a rural Nicaraguan community. A convenience sample of 10 women aged 18 to 65 years who had worked with the Brigades were interviewed. Open and axial coding were used to determine core categories and theoretical concepts. From this emerged a grounded theory of contextual empowerment. Key findings included that within this collectivist culture, the concept of contextual empowerment includes psychosocial and structural dimensions. Implications for nursing practice include the impact of unintentional role modeling.


Original Citation: Jewell, Gayla. "Contextual Empowerment: The Impact of Health Brigade Involvement on the Women of Miraflor, Nicaragua." Journal of Transcultural Nursing 18, no. 1 (2007): 49-56.