Culture And Gender Relations In The Societies
The most outstanding gender concept among other include the following
Gender discrimination ;It is the situation in which one kind of the sex in the society is denied of its right and opportunities simply because of belong to that sex category.
Gender oppression;- It is the situation whereby a certain sexual category is treated harshly or oppressed simply because it belong to that category for example giving heavy tasks and depriving of their important social needs.
Gender gap;-It is an inequality in job accessibility between two different sexes. culturally ,some societies give men the first priority to job opportunities than women. This situation prevails in both public and private sector in many developing countries, including Tanzania where whereby most attractive and highly paying job are occupied by men.
Gender inequality;- Is a situation whereby a certain kind of sex in a society is given priority in all aspect of life at the expense of another sex. For example in most African societies women are marginalized in all sphere of life while men are favored.
Gender equity;- This is the principle of fairness and justice that advocate gender equality such as principle include making of laws which prevent men from undermining and denying them of their rights.
Gender equality;-This refer to a situation whereby there is no kind of practice which undermines a certain sex. It is the situation whereby there is equal treatment of both male and female in all aspects of their lives.
Gender analysis; – It is the systematic efforts to identify ,analyze, document and understand the roles of men and women within a given context. It is about who does what’s ,who has access to and control over what’s ,benefits from what etc.
Gender sensitive planning; – It is the planning that consider both women and men in term of needs. These needs are planned equally. Generally, there are has been some effort for discouraging bad cultural practices that undermine women worldwide. Due to these efforts, the people consciousness about gender equality have been raised hence ,made to see the importance of analyzing gender, formulation principle of enhancing gender equality and waged war against the multicultural practices such as child labor and female Genital Mutilation.
Gender Main Streaming;- This refer to ideas about a given gender that are considered ordinary or normal ,hence ,accepted by most people in societies. It is a global strategy for promoting gender equality .Main streaming involves insuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities ,policy development ,research ,resource allocation ,planning implementation and monitoring of programmers and project.
Gender stereo typing; This refer to people perception and attitudes create by the socialization institution
CUSTOMS WHICH LEAD TO GENDER DISCRIMINATION
> Are those which have their origin from the patriarchal societies
1. Patriarchal societies are those societies which are organized and run by men;-In these societies it is only men who are the decision maker and holder of the power over the women and resources. Patriarchal system are common in many African societies including those of Tanzania .The system are now worldwide strongly discourage because they favor males over females, and thus perpetuate gender discrimination
2. Exclusion of women from decision making;- In many patriarchal societies there has always been a common practices to exclude women from making decision on important social ,economic , political issues right from the family level to national level .This practices has greatly affected women as most of the decision made by men lead to favor them at the expense of women.
3.Paying of bride;-The practices of paying bride price to the parents of the girl to be married is considered by men as the condition for buying that girl/ women .Hence the fulfilling of this condition means that the women is put under the control of that mantises.
4.Denial of the right to property ;- In many societies women and girls are not allowed to own property or to inherit any property after the death of their of their husband or parents .As a result women and girl are left with no economic base ,hence became dependents to men.
5.Initiation ceremonies;- Include “Jando” and “Unyango” for men and women .In these ceremonies base the teachings provided to boy are quite different from those given to girls. For example among other things taught to boys one of them is to educate them how to exhibit masculine behavior such as dominance ,confidence, strength ,competition and rationally while girls and women are taught to exhibit feminine behavior such as submission ,caring nurturing ,sensitivity and emotionally .As a result ,these behavior are used to justify men holing most power position and women reaming in subordinate position
6.Habit of food eating;- In some tribe ,women are forbidden from eating certain types of food . They are not allowed to eat chicken meat, eggs, liver etc. when they are pregnant .This was due to the fear .that the child to be born will grow too big to born in in a normal way .The effect of this was that , the health of the pregnant women and eventually that of the expected baby was affected.
INSTITUTION WHICH PERPETUATE GENDER DISCRIMINATION
1. The family;- At the family level there is belief that boys will propagate lineage and support the family ,while girls have to get married .Due to this belief many families prefer to educate boy spend more money on them at the expense of the girls ,when a choice has to be made between the two As a result girls have been marginalized in may issues.
2.Religious institution;- Some religious doctrine and leader reference to the bible or qur-an on the submissive nature of women .tend to deny them of the opportunities to hold position of the leadership and decision making in various levels ,For instance in some mosques and to churches decision made by men usually discriminate women.
3.Learning institution;- In these institution it is common practice to find that boys are More intelligent than girls, hence offered science subject and mathematics while girl are forced to study subject such as homes economic subject and typing, while are not encourage to work hard.
4. Traditional initiation institutions;- Play a major role in perpetuating gender discrimination .Girl who have undergone initiation ceremonies become passive school. This is because the traditional counsel and elder who initiate girls have always put more emphasis on sub submissiveness of women to men .Because of that women are therefore do not fully take part in decision making at home and in other placed.
5. Work places;- The socialization process in the community has effects on the gender division of labour between men and women .At work placed ,employment of men is given more emphases in other places.
MAJOR EFFECTS OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION
1. There is unequal distribution of power in all sphere of life such in political, economic ,social sector
2. Women continue to be left out in various area of development.
3. Women continue to face violence and aggression as they do not have any economic power base to support themselves. As result, majority of women live in extreme poverty.
4. Girls lack the spirit of competition in class, leading to poor performance in school work.
5. Women are badly affected by beliefs in witchcraft, poor nutrition and ignorance about health care.
6. Unequal distribution of property and wealth between men and women has totally ignore women contribution this economic harassment.
7. Women are adversely affected by both early and forced marriages.
8. Teaching of initiation which very often urge girls to be submissive to their future husband (boy) and men in general have greatly made girly and women passive to take part in various issues.
9. Many women are ignorant of laws and procedure of claiming for their right. This problem has contributed to their discrimination and violence in different Ares.
10. There are very few women in managerial and decision making level .
CUSTOMS AND CULTURAL PRACTICES THAT LEAD TO SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STI’S)
HIV stand for human immunity deficiency virus and aids stand for acquired immune deficiency syndrome .Getting HIV infection leads to weakening of immunity system .This make a person with HIV vulnerable to illness HIV/AIDS is a killer disease which has no cure or vaccine
The following are customs and cultural practices that lead to spread of HIV/AIDS and STI’S
1. Female genital mutilation; – (Women circumcision) can lead to the spread of HIV if the instrument used are not sterilized and are used by the group being circumcised. Most of the instrument used are knives razor blades pair of scissor and any other sharp tool. Some tribes do cut tribal marks on bodies of. Sm kinds claiming that they want to shed off dirty bloods .Since the instrumental used are not sterilized this practice can lead spread of HIV/AIDS to the kids.
2. Widows inheritance;– may contract or spread HIV from or to man who inherit them
3. Traditional dance;-certain traditional dance are accompanied by alcohol drinking which always tend to draw men and women into sexual intercourse.
4. Use of traditional midwives;-who are not well trained may lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS to both mother and the newly born baby due to using of unsterilized instruments.
5.Polygamist;- may also be a potential cause of HIV/AIDS.Once one the of them gets HIV/AIDS all will also get
6.Early and forced marriages;- can create problems when someone is forced to be married to a certain man and woman Who has HIV/AIDS.
IMPACTS OF NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF CULTURAL VALUES
In brief each negative aspect of cultural values that have been discussed above and may other can leads to the following;-
1. Spread of sexual transmitted infections (STI’s), HIV/AIDS. Such as Widow inheritance, Forced Marriages and FGM because the instruments used are not sterilized and are used by the whole group being circumcised.
2. Complication during child delivery and unnecessary death due to Prolonged breeding during and after the mutilation
3. Marital conflicts (Family conflicts) due to wife battering, widow inheritance, may lead to divorce hence street children
4. Problem of Orphans and street children due to loss of parents because of HIV/AIDS.
5. Illiteracy due to Early marriage hence young girls forced to drop out from school.
6. Violation of human rights to women who are sometimes treated as bought objects, due to bride price, as well as widow forced marriage, early marriage etc.
7. Lack of sprit of competition hence Women being left out in areas of development, Few women in managerial and decision making levels.
8. Violence and aggression. Due to Gender biases
9. Deterioration of health due to food taboos.
10.Crimes, like beating of the bride women when she refuses to obey.
MEASURES / WAYS OR ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AGAINST NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF OUR SOCIO-CULTURAL VALUES
(a) The strategies to liberate women (women empowerment)
women empowerment can be improved if the following things are considered;
1. The formation of women’s social organizations. E.g. WAMA (Wanawake na Maendeleo), TAWLA, TAMWA, etc. This will help them to have a collective bargaining power for their deprived rights. Through these organizations, women can ask for assistance from the government or donors in order to enable them to open various projects. Women’s social organizations in Tanzania are like;.
2. The governments have to ensure that women receive equal opportunities as men in all social, political and economic issues.
3. The government should commit itself to the prohibition of all cultural practices and customs that oppress women like the female genital mutilation, polygamy, forced and early marriage etc.
4. Educating men to put off / to abandon the idea that they are created superior to women.
5. To establish special programs for improving life standards of women especially in the rural areas.
6. Improve the rural technology. To provide women with modern working facilities ploughs, milling machines.
7. To inculcate a sense of awareness to all members of society that, women are able people and can do everything like men. Therefore, they have capabilities of thinking and performing like men. This will stop old perceptions of looking women as enabled people.
8. To improve and increase the education opportunities to women. If education opportunities will be improved to women, the development of the country will increase. Also the whole society will be almost educated if we refer to the slogan that says “When you educate women, you educated the whole society” To date, education opportunities to all in Tanzania is positively implementation , since the government has increased the chances for girls and women in education sector. For example there is a programme of enrolling more women students at the University of Dar es salaam who have been learning science subject when they were at secondary school (Advanced level).
9. To improves access to the resources such as land, the situation which is still difficult to some societies in which women have no right to inherit resources such as land? However some societies have managed to reduce this problem. For example, in many tribes of Tanzania women have now rights to own property and equal access to natural resources.
10. To participation in political matters and other economic activities. To justify this, the government has added more than 15% special seats in parliament for women in order to bring about gender balance and equal control of resources.
11. To make people aware with all things which cause gender inequality. In general, the world is still emphasizing much on women empowerment through different forums and organization which try to defend the rights of people such as human rights.
(b) Strategies to liberate the entire society
1. To educate the people on the impacts of negative aspect of cultural value.
-The entire society should be enlightened on the bad impacts of the negative aspects of our socio-cultural values.
2. Improving women access to resources such as land cattle and forms of property.
3.The government should enact strict Laws against those who entertain the negative cultural values like the practice of witchcraft, the killing of twins, the handicapped and albinos.
4.Equal participation in political matters. This will enable women to participate in decision making in various, especially at the village government level, where problem related to the socio-cultural values are mostly experienced.
5. The community should be aware of all things which cause gender inequality