METHODS: A qualitative method was employed. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with married men, community health officers, community health volunteers and community leaders. The participants were selected using purposive, quota and snowball sampling techniques. The study used thematic analysis for analysing the data.
RESULTS: The study shows varying involvement of men, some were directly involved in feminine gender roles; others used their female relatives and co-wives to perform the women's roles that did not have space for them. They were not necessarily indifferent towards maternal healthcare, rather, they were involved in the spaces provided by the traditional gender division of labour. Amongst other things, the perpetuation and reinforcement of traditional gender norms around pregnancy and childbirth influenced the nature and level of male involvement.
CONCLUSIONS: Sustenance of male involvement especially, husbands and CHVs is required at the household and community levels for positive maternal outcomes. Ghana Health Service, health professionals and policy makers should take traditional gender role expectations into consideration in the planning and implementation of maternal health promotion programmes.