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UNDERSTANDING GENDER By Efiritha Chauraya and Tenson Mugodzwa

1. 1 Introduction Although women have made important gains in terms of accessing vital resources useful for social mobility in Zimbabwe and the world over, they are still socially disadvantaged as men continue to hold positions of relative privilege. This inequality is often thought to reflect innate differences between the sexes but it is actually a creation of society itself. Research has revealed that sex is a pervasive element in the structure of society and in the lives of people. It shapes other people’s views of us as well as our own self- concepts. This module is an ‘introduction to gender studies’ hence an understanding of the term gender is important. In gender studies we are neither interested in women as a group nor with men as a group but in the social relations between them. In this unit we make you have an understanding of gender as a concept. We also clarify some selected concepts central to the study of gender. The explanations offered are neither comprehensive nor definitive. They are only intended to help you explore key ideas about the concepts. You will develop a deeper understanding when you read about them in the subsequent chapters. The unit also covers how gender is socially constructed through the family, the school, the peer group and the mass media. Although there are many types of gender socialisation, in this unit we focus on Oakley’s types of gender socialisation. 1.2 Unit Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to: · Define and explain gender · Differentiate between gender and sex · Define and explain some key concepts in relation to gender · Discuss how gender is socially constructed, maintained and perpetuated · Examine the various types of gender socialisation


1.3 Gender and related concepts. To best understand the term gender it is essential to first understand the term sex as these two terms are often confused and sometimes used interchangeably. Sex According to Macionis (1989), sex refers to the division of humanity into biological categories of male and female. As a biological distinction, sex is determined at the moment a child is conceived. Sex is also defined as the biological differences between men and women, that is, “…their physical characteristics: external genitalia, internal genitalia, gonads (the organs which produce sex cells), hormonal states and secondary sex characteristics.” (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004: 94). Sex is therefore a fact of biology, which is the physiological distinctiveness or state of being male or female. Gender Gender refers to human traits linked by culture to each sex (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004).Within a society; males are socialized to be masculine as females are taught to be feminine. Walter and Manion (1996) maintain that gender is the difference that sex makes within a society, guiding how we are to think of ourselves, how we interact with others, the social opportunities, occupations, family roles and prestige allowed males and females. “Gender can also be defined as a set of characteristics, roles and behaviour patterns that distinguish women from men which are constructed not biologically but socially and culturally” (Gita Sen in Towards Earth Summit 2002:1). Like the variable concepts of class, race, ethnicity, culture and economics, gender is an analytical tool for understanding social processes that affect human beings. The following table1.1 helps you differentiate between gender and sex. Table 1.1 Differentiating gender from sex. · Sex Is in born · Gender Starts the moment the sex is known.


· ·


Is biologically determined Is exclusive to a particular sex and is fixed. It does not change over time, once born male always male and once born female always female. Is universal, that is, the organs that determine a male or a female are uniform the world over for example the penis for the males and the vagina for the females.

· ·

Is socially constructed. Varies within and among cultures. Different individuals and societies give different meanings to maleness and femaleness. The attributes, expected roles, expected behaviours and expected responsibilities that go with maleness and femaleness differ from society to society, community to community and from individual to individual. Is learnt



Is natural.


Activity 1.1 · What is your understanding of gender? · Why do you think ‘gender’ is a contemporary issue in your country today? Sex roles Sex roles are duties, activities, tasks or responsibilities that males and females perform or undertake that are an inevitable product of one’s biology, for example, breastfeeding for females and impregnating for the males. Like sex, these assignments are biologically determined, fixed, universal and exclusive to a particular sex. Gender roles Gender roles are duties, chores, tasks, responsibilities or assignments that a particular cultural group consider appropriate for its males and females on the basis of the meaning attached to their sexual identity. These roles are not a direct or an inevitable product of males’ or females’ biology e.g. caring for children by females and mending a puncture for males. They are learnt, vary within and among cultures, dynamic, interchangeable and can be affected by factors like class, religion, age, race, education, geographical location and ethnicity.


power. Gender bias Gender bias is the tendency to be in favour of. Gender equality is therefore not only the absence of discrimination and bias. In gender equality. we are interested in the same valuation of men and women and sameness of enjoyment of rights. like what some teachers do when they take only females for fashion and fabrics because of their stereotypical belief that women are better at sewing than men. We are also interested in the sameness in enjoying of the benefits from resources. recognizing their different needs and interests and requiring a redistribution of power and resources” (Bridge Report No. But they will have same opportunities in life.Status of Women Canada page 5). 55:10). responsibilities and resources as well as in accessing and controlling the benefits from the resources. Gender equality. No. the composition of males and females at all levels should closely represent the general population. measures must often be made available to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from operating on a level playing field” (Gender Equality Analysis Policy.Gender Equality When we say 2+2=4. or against males and females on the basis of their gender rather than on anything else. The fairness and justice is in relation to distribution of opportunities. but “… the equal valuing by society of both the similarities and differences between women and men and the varying roles that they play” (Gender Equality Analysis Policy-Status of Women Canada page 5). we mean that the value of 2+2 and the value of 4 are the same. opportunities. What we mean here is that. treatment and control of resources between males and females in society. if we are practicing gender equity. An example of practicing gender equality is according men and women enjoyment of same voting rights. 4 . say in our enrolment of male and females into university then the ratio of males to females should be commensurate with the national population ratio of 48:52. Gender Equity Gender equity is a process of achieving fairness and justice among men and women.It does not mean that men and women will become the same. as well as proportional representation of men and women in the development process. therefore. “To ensure fairness. “denotes the equivalence in life outcomes for women and men. that is. Gender equity also entails proportional distribution of social resources and services. Gender equity leads to gender equality.

Gender Blindness When one is blind one cannot see. out of sheer gender ignorance. Gender Sensitivity 5 . The toilets in these hostels had urinals and the administration did not see anything wrong with that. Gender blindness is total failure. “It is premised on the theory that all people are already equal.An Overview St Johns. It is a characteristics feature of conservative societies. p. This is gender blindness.14) like what most universities do when they give one tissue roll to every student in residence for a specified period of time. therefore treating all people the same way is fair.Gender Discrimination Gender discrimination is an act of unfair treatment directed against an individual or a group on the basis of their gender which denies them rights. The school administration made girls stay in hostels that were previously boys’.” (Women’s Policy Office. Gender blind people fail to realize that policies. by virtue of their biology require more tissue paper. opportunities or resources. A good example is what happened at a certain school which had been originally a boys’ only school and then decided to become co-educational. to recognize the differences between males and females and subsequently leads to failure to provide or cater for the differences. When universities lower entry points for only female students. Gender discrimination can be positive or negative and whether positive or negative. Gender Inclusive Analysis…. where gender bias and discrimination is orchestrated on ill knowledge and innocence. Gender Neutrality This is the claim that one is indifferent to issues of gender as he/she has no ultimate gender practice. differential treatment is given to males and females on basis of their gender. Government of Newfound land and Labrador (undated) Facilitator’s Guide. hence it replicates stereotypes and restrictive views of males and females. Female students. NF. It assumes that all people are affected by programmes or polices in the same way. (whatever the reasons may be) they will be discriminating against the male students. programmes and activities can have different effects on men and women and this often leads to rigidity and unchanging attitudes. It thus may not allow for sensitivity to disadvantages.

You are now becoming gender-aware. What is it that you are sensing? You are right!-that. what do you think is the cause of the problem given that the passengers in the bus were self drawn from a population of equal numbers between males and females? You are now searching for the possible gender problems. It is gender perceptiveness or gender consciousness. It is both a cause and a result of the changing positions of women in society. Feminism Feminism is a social and political movement aimed at defending and expanding the rights of women. it starts from gender sensitivity to gender awareness then to gender responsiveness. 2004). Gender sensitivity is the mere ability to perceive existing gender inequalities. You will obviously sense a gap of something between male students as a group and female students as a group.Imagine entering a bus which is ferrying students from your university home and you find that 90% of the bus load is males and the majority of those that failed to enter the bus are females. which recognizes the systematic discrimination against women on the grounds of their gender. there is a gender gep between men and women. It is the beginning of gender awareness. For detail we refer you to Unit 7. Gender awareness is.It is the ability to visualise and practicalise gender equity and gender equality. Gender Awareness In the example of the bus situation given immediately above. the ability to identify problems arising from gender discrimination and bias which affect men’s and women’s ability to access and control resources and /or even access and control of benefits from the resources is gender awareness. Gender responsiveness mainly constitutes responding to gender issues with a view to eradicate the bias and discrimination in order to ensure equality and equity (FAWE. It is still gender awareness even when and where the problems are disguised and defended as culture and tradition. which is. looking at an issue with a gender eye. It is also an ideology. You see. therefore. whatever the reason. Feminism gives commitment to work towards correcting the 6 . You see. you are becoming gender sensitive. Gender Responsiveness What solutions would you offer in the transport problem above so that females are not discriminated against? You are now becoming gender responsive.

a means to the bigger end of attaining gender equality.. implementation. “systematic societal structures that institutionalize male physical social and economic power over women” (Bridge Report No..” (Towards Earth Summit. It oppresses exploits and subordinates women. For detail we refer you to Unit 2.. and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. setting their own agendas.. Patriarchy draws a clear demarcation line between males and female. It is in short. at understanding of the causes of powerlessness.It is a strategy to achieve gender equality that was universally adopted at the fourth world conference on women in 1995. building self 7 . taking control over their own lives. Patriarchy Patriarchy is a social system that propagates male superiority. the process of assessing the implication for women and men of any planned action. It also creates a social stratification with males always on top. recognizing systematically oppressive forces and acting individually and collectively to change the conditions of life” Basically. even the weakest man has a woman to oppress and exploit. means. In patriarchal societies leadership roles. control of valuable resources and decision making is a male preserve. Meena (1992) says that. 55:29). In patriarchy women are perceived as perpetual minors who cannot take independent decisions. power and control over women as natural. Babikwa (2004:72) says “empowerment does not mean individual self assertion. policies or programmes. it is to do with one’s participation in decisions and processes affecting one’s life. Gender Mainstreaming “…. For detail you go to Unit 7. It is a process about people. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design. upward social mobility or increased disposable income or when psychological experience of feeling self realized…. in any area and at all levels. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality. 2002: 2). For detail we refer you to Unit 2. Gender Empowerment This is one of the words that are difficulty to define because of taking different forms in different people and different contexts.undesirable situation of women. including legislation. in patriarchy. monitoring and evaluation of the policies and programmes in all political. It challenges the idea that gender like sex is natural.

for example. initiated. For detail you go to Unit 7.For detail you go to Unit 9. religion.25). Gender Affirmative Action Gender affirmative action is a corrective or compensatory measure for past injustices or gaps and an accelerator for the process of equitable development. They are maintained. perpetuated and transmitted from generation to generation by social institutions like the family. 1999:. males are aggressive while females are affectionate · Personality.confidence. (1994) in March et al 1999:25] “Empowerment cannot be given. for example men are cheerful while women are nervous · Age. and directed by those whose interests it is meant to serve. Gender Stereotypes Gender stereotypes are socially constructed ideas or beliefs about men and women which are not necessarily true but taken as truth by society. the media. for example. though justifiable. advantage to the once discriminated sex group. for example. It is therefore positive or reverse discrimination. It entails gender discrimination because it gives unfair. An example of gender affirmative action is the practice done by most universities when these institutions lower their entry points for female students only. young men are rebellious while older women are conservative · Ethnicity. it must be self generated” because such change must be believed in. It is an intended justice measure through deliberately according the previously excluded or disadvantaged sex group preferential treatment to increase the group’s representation in areas of education. Gender affirmative action is meant to redress the effects of past discriminations rather than discriminate. business and politics among others. 8 . the culture among others. in March. for example male nurses are kind and loving while female nurses are rude and short hearted with women in labour. What other external forces like education can do is to provide those who need empowerment with an enabling environment and resources which will allow them to take greater control of their lives. determine what relations they would want to live within and devise strategies to help them get there (Naila Kabeer. Ndebele women are good home managers while Shona women are good fieldworkers · Class for example upper class men are playful while lower class men are ambitious · Occupations. Smyth and Mukhopadhyay. the school. Most common gender stereotypes are based on: · Sex. employment. solving problems [Kabeer.

They work in most cases to subordinate and discriminate against women. They are often less visible than the practical ones and are long term.htm page 2) Gender Relations These are “the range of gendered practices. ’ (Http: // www. Gender Identity ‘….” It has a dual significance for these children. it provides them with models for present behaviour and it prepares them for adult life (Dekker and Lemmer. 1993:9). These expectations are often based on stereotyped beliefs.They are simply the social relationships between men as a sex group and women as a sex group. Gender Socialisation Gender socialisation “refers to the means whereby social expectations regarding genderappropriate characteristics are conveyed to the child.gender. The men and women survive better in their socially accepted roles. Gender strategic needs These are human requirements which when met challenge and change power relations between men and women.2 9 .it is how an individual adapts the prescribed sex role to his or her individual identity. 55:18. that is.Stereotypes can be positive or negative. such as the division of labour and resources and the gendered ideologies such as ideas of acceptable behaviour for men and women” (Bridge Report No.). Gender practical needs These are the concrete. They determine what is socially accepted and what is socially inappropriate. Practical gender needs include food and shelter among other things. immediate and often essential needs/wants for human survival. within their gendered power about gender definitions. one example being access to decision making Activity 1.

The family. pastors. The Family The family constructs gender through the way family members: · interact with and treat the child · talk to the child · dress the child. the language. the school. The social institutions that are responsible for gender construction are called socialisation forces like the family. Some institutions like the family are primary in the sense that they are the first that any child comes into contact with. reinforcers and perpetuators.· · In your own words define and explain. says the family is the child’s first window to the world and no other gender socialisation institution rivals it in gender socialisation. music religion among others. the peer group and the mass media are going to be discussed briefly here though other agents of gender socialisation are just as important. 1. maintain and perpetuate gender but the primary forces are the chief creators. Differentiate between: a) gender equity and gender equality b) gender blindness and gender neutrality c) gender sensitivity and gender awareness d) gender roles and sex roles e) feminism and patriarchy f) gender affirmative action and gender empowerment g) gender mainstreaming and gender empowerment. The people who carry out the socialization are socialisation agents like the parents. Murdock in Haralambos and Holborn (2004). peers and many others. while those institutions that the child comes in contact with after primary socialisation are called secondary socialisation forces like the school. The social construction of gender is the social making of gender.4 Social Construction of Gender To construct is to build or to make. Such prime gender socialisation institutions are called primary socialisation forces. Both the primary and secondary forces create. each of the terms given above. · give the toys and types toys they give to the child · assign roles and the roles they give 10 . Gender is constructed by society through the process of gender socialization. reinforce. and others. the media. the teachers. while the secondary forces are the chief maintainers. the school. using examples where necessary. the peer group.

Therefore you see that. the intentional and official and the unintentional and none examined both of which gender differentiated (Dekker and Lemmer 2003. The School The school is a secondary socializing force and the teachers are the chief socialising agents. The school operates on two levels. what their ears hear and what their minds in turn believe in through: · the school management structure · the ways teachers talk . but gender emerges on its own in the curriculum. influences multiple facets of a person’s life. that is. discerns a gender social code on the pupils.)Gordon (1995) says that teachers don’t explicitly teach gender.organize and treat the pupils · the portrayal of men and women in the texts and reading books · the learning media · the subject allocations · the teachers’ teaching methodologies · the teachers’ attitudes and expectations · the extra curricula activities the sort of carrier guidance offered among other things. What the school pupils’ eyes see. The answer ‘boy or girl’ carries significance in the child’s entire life in terms of the individual’s: · opportunities · associations and relationships · benefits · societal roles and responsibilities · value in society · social identity · expected behaviour 11 .· accord the child benefits and opportunities and the type of benefits and opportunities they accord · position the child within the family · give the child the name and the name given and even the other pseudo names given among other things. the exclamations ‘it ’s a boy! Or it’s a girl!’ upon delivery sets a course of action that from that moment on.

The Peer Group On reaching school age, children begin to interact more intensively outside the family, especially with others of their age (the peer group).Within the peer group, the blue and pink worlds are further developed. Children’s games provide important cultural lessons. Lever cited in Macionis (1989) concluded that the peer group activities of boys and girls differ considerably, providing in each case a distinctive type of socialization. Lever found out that boys engage in team sports that involve many roles and complex rules, and clear objectives like scoring a goal. These games are almost always competitive, producing winners and losers. Such activity among boys reinforce s the characteristics of masculinity, notably aggression, competition, and remaining in control. Girls on the other hand, tend to play games such as jump rope in small groups, or simply sing or dance together. Such activity tends to be spontaneous, involving few simple rules. Just as important, since these games rarely have ‘victory’ as their ultimate goal, girls rarely oppose one another. However, female peer groups do serve to teach the interpersonal skills of communication and cooperation that are the basis for life within the family. Gilligan cited in Giddens (2004), noted that boys and girls learn to use distinctive patterns of moral reasoning. Boys tend to reason according to rules and principles, that ‘rightness’ is largely a matter of ‘playing by the rules’. Girls however, understand morality more in terms of responsibility to other human beings, so that ‘rightness’ lies in maintaining close relationships with others. Clearly then, these distinctive patterns of moral reasoning are encouraged by the different kinds of peer group activity common to boys and girls. ACTIVITY 1.2 1. Which games do young boys and girls in your community play? 11. How do the different games reinforce the traditional gender stereotypes?


The Mass Media Mass media are channels of communication directed to vast audiences within a society (Macionis, 1989).The mass media include both electronic and print media such as the television, radio newspapers, and magazines. All of these constantly present us with information of all kinds and, as a result, have an enormous effect on our attitudes and behaviour. The mass media are a powerful force in the socialization process. Films, magazines, literature and especially the television, have a significant effect on the ways we think and act. ACTIVITY 1.3 1. Think of a novel you have read. 11. Identify the main actors, their sex, their roles in driving the play towards its climax. 111. Identify the gender issues in your chosen novel. 1v. How can literature be turned into a gender responsive environment?

From the above activity, we may note that beyond the inclusion of both sexes in the mass media, the issue is how they are portrayed. In most instances, males play the brilliant detectives, fearless explorers, skilled surgeons, and interesting conversationalists. Males take charge; they give orders and are portrayed as competent and capable. Females on the other hand, are mostly portrayed as reliant on males, less competent and more often the targets of comedy (Busby, cited in Haralambos and Horlborn, 2004). Women have also long been portrayed as sex objects important for little other than their physical attractiveness (Macionis, 1989). These negative stereotypes continue to persist in modern day programs, although admittedly there is more programming with interesting and responsible women in major roles.

ACTIVITY 1.4 Choose a current television program. Identify the gender stereotypes in the program. Discuss giving examples, how the mass media can be turned into a gender responsive environment.


Although gender stereotypes in the mass media have lessened recently, commercial advertising has changed less. This is because advertising sells the most products by conforming to widely established cultural patterns. Haralambos and Horlborn (2004) maintain that television and magazine advertising presents women in the home far more often than in occupational role. In most cases, women are found primarily in adverts for household items such as cleaning products, foods, clothing, and domestic appliances, while men predominate in adverts for cars, travel, banking and finance, industrial appliances, and alcoholic beverages. Goffman, cited in Macionis (19890, similarly concluded that advertising conveys cultural ideals of each sex. In his study of advertising in magazines newspapers, Goffman found that men were typically placed in photographs to appear taller than females, implying social superiority. In addition, women were far more likely than men to be shown lying down on sofas and beds, or, like children, seated on the floor. The music industry is also no exception in portraying females as sex objects .Good examples are productions by the late ‘Dr Love’ Paul Matavire, the ‘Lonely Lover’ Gregory Isaacs, and in some cases the late Simon ‘Chopper’ Chimbetu, Dr Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo and many others. ACTIVITY 1.5 Compile a list of some musicians of your choice and their songs where females are portrayed as sex objects. Suggest measures that may be adopted in the music industry to create a gender responsive environment.

TYPES OF GENDER SOCIALISATION There are many types of gender socialisation. Oakley in Haralambos and Holborn (2004) talks about the types discussed below.


Canalisation Canalisation is gender socialization through interaction with toys and objects. Toys align children play to behavior expected of them when they graduate to be men and women and again through interacting with these toys children develop different sets of aptitudes and attitudes. Verbal Appellations These are the differential use of descriptions and labels among boys and girls like, what a “good boy!” or “nice girl!” or reprimands like, ‘oh! Boys don’t cry.’ This makes the children want to keep up gender appearances as the children internalize the label(s) and start to act and operate according to it. Manipulation Manipulation is the differential attention and valuing given boys and girls like, mothers paying attention to girls’ hair. Soon boys and girls learn that different things are expected of them through the different treatment accorded them and engrave a deep sense of what it is to be a boy or girl (that is, a deep sense of their self concept.) Imitation Imitation is when children observe their parents or other elders within and try to be like them. They, thus, learn how local governance operates through observing its officers at work. N.B However, though the argument here is that gender is PURELY a social construct, other scholars explain gender differences as partly products of Brain lateralization and hormonal variations, (Haralambos and Holborn 2004). For detail on both the socio-generic and the bio-generic sources of gender turn to Unit 2. Activity 1.6 Critically discuss the notion that gender is a social construct. Illustrate your response with concrete examples.



and Holborn. (2004) Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. Haralambos. the peer group and the mass media. ( 2004) Modernity and Self Identity Cambridge: Polity Press.This part of the unit has tried to show that gender is a product of gender socialization. J (2004) ‘Tensions.’ in Southern African Journal of Environmental Education VOL. 1981 Chalfant and LaBeff. M. culture and the work place. These will be discussed in unit 5. London: Collins Educational. 1966) Macionis (1989 Walter and Manion.21 (2004) pp 61-80 (Bem. This is largely achieved through social institutions such as the family. A. Kohlberg. M. 1988). Contradictions and Inconsistencies in Community-Based Environmental Education Programmes: The role of defective educational theories. Giddens. the school. References Babikwa D. 1996). Other important socializing agents are religion. 16 .

1999 A Guide to Gender Analysis Frameworks. 1992 Gender in Southern Africa. Harare. R (1991) Social Foundations of Education. Conceptual and Theoretical Issues. Oxford.Gender Equality Analysis Policy-Status of Women Canada. Monitoring and Evaluating Gender Responsive EFA Plans Van Scotter D. Sapes Books.1 Introduction In unit 1 we defined and explained gender concepts. UNESCO (2004) Guidelines for Implementing. Prentice Hall. Oxfam. Mukhopadhyay M. Unit 2 deals with theories of gender inequalities. New Jersey UNIT 2 THEORIES OF GENDER INEQUALITIES By Winfridah Matsa 2. Gender Inclusive Analysis An overview St John’s NF March C. Smyth I. Meena. R. Theories of Gender Inequalities do not only offer explanations of gender differences but also help to clarify differences between gender and sex as well as gender 17 . Towards Earth Summit 2002 Social Briefing Paper number 2. Women’s Policy Office Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (undated) Facilitators’ Guide.

2 Unit Objectives By the end of the unit you should be able to: 1.and feminism which are often misconstrued and confused. Gender from sex b. 2. Macro theories tend to be comprehensive and include a variety of factors while micro theories centre explanations on individual aspects like environment. Outline origins and major expositions of each theory 3. 2006). culture or ecology.) This chapter covers both macro and micro theories of gender inequalities. economic and social spheres of life (Different Types of Feminist Theories. Haralambos and Holborn (1990:8) define a theory as a set of ideas which claim to explain how something works: it provides a logical explanation for why things happen the way they do.3 What is a theory? Henslin (1999) defines a theory as a general statement that explains how two or more facts are related to one another. Feminists focus on why and how women are oppressed in different spheres of life and work for their liberation.4 What is Feminism? According to Magezis’ (1996) feminism is a broad social movement which allows different points of view that work for women’ rights. Origins. biological theories that explain gender differences in terms of natural biology and innate abilities which were dominant theories before the rise of gender and feminism. Differentiate: a. Also activities are provided at the end of each theory to enhance your understanding of it through interaction. 2. 4. Gender from feminism 2. 5. Gender theories view and locate differences between males and females in social constructs (created by society. Evaluate the applicability of each theory especially to your country situation. Answer questions that relate to the activities at the end of each theory. This unit discusses first. biology. 2. It is the organizational movement which promotes equality for both men and women in political. A theory therefore defines the causal factors of a relationship and explains the nature of that relationship. Explain limitations of each theory. major expositions and applicability of each theory are discussed in this chapter. Feminism can be viewed in the following three ways: 18 .

4. Gender is not natural but a social construct. · The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up. 2. (Sandi.2 Common aspects shared by Feminists 1. The theory is not unified but is made of a variety of theories that focus on women though differing in causes of subordination and strategies of women’s liberation. Strategies can be developed to make the world a better place for women. 3. To Henslin (1999:292) Feminism is the view that.1. 1) The feminist movement gave rise to a body of theory which attempts to explain discrimination of women. imagination or merely the use of senses and hands( Charles Darwin). They take the position that women are unfairly treated in all spheres of life. Biology is not destiny and therefore stratification by Gender is wrong and should be resisted. 2. As a social and political movement that fight for the rights of women and their equality with men in all spheres of life.1 Rise of Feminism It rose as a challenge to functionalism which is conservative and views sexual division of labour and the subordinate position of women as functional for the stability of society. 2. 1992). 19 . Feminism also questioned the dominant views or philosophies that viewed women as les human than males. met with strong opposition both by men who have privileges to lose and by women who accepted their status as normally correct. As an ideology or philosophy or way of thinking that questions oppressive relations of men and women using women’s perspectives. 1997.4. reason. 2. 3. than women can attainwhether requiring deep thought. It was also a reaction to the biological theories that viewed the position of women as natural. A theory that questions relations of men and women and aims at transforming them (Mannathoko in Meena. Examples of these philosophies are: · The female is female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities( Aristotle) · A woman is an imperfect man (St Thomas Aquinas).

patriarchy. responsibilities. attitude and likely behaviour of men and women. Though gender theories do not differ much from feminist theories. while feminist theories centre on women.5. biology. Areas of focus e. 2.g. 3. Gender.3 Feminist Differences 1. identities and treatment of males and females in society. Gender depends on the culture and history of a particular society and differs from culture to culture (Refer to unit 1). cultural stereotypes. capitalism. Table 2. roles. 2. What is Gender? Sifuniso et al (2000:2) define gender as: The social meanings given to being either a man or a woman in a given society and the expectations held as to the character. Explanations of women’s oppression.6 Both feminist and gender theories agree on the following: 20 . they focus on both males and females. unlike sex which is biological. Direction of change or what constitute women’s liberation. class etc.4. is socially constructed.2. Gender influences the different behaviours.1 Differences between Feminist and Gender Theories Feminist Theories Are women centered Focus on experiences of women View issues from women’s social world Seek to produce a better world for women Gender Theories Men and Women centered Focus on experiences of women and men View issues from a gender perspective Seek to produce a better world for both Are about peaceful co-existence of males Are about fighting back (revenge) and females not fighting back View males as enemies and to blame for Males are viewed as victims of sociosubordinate position of women cultural institutions created by society Reject assistance by males in their Accept assistance by gender sensitive struggles males The question is: What about men and Ask questions like: What about women? women? 2.

Murdock Talcott Parsons Psychoanalytic Theory Socio-biology Biology and Practicality Biology: Expressive & Instrumental Roles 21 . * Gender differences can be deconstructed * Both questions and challenge oppressive gender relations * Gender differences are embedded in socio-economic structures such as: a) capitalism b) sexism or patriarchy c) racism d) social and cultural institutions 2.Wilson David Barash G.7 Biological Theories Biological theories view differences between men and women as natural and God given hence cannot be changed.O.W.* Gender differences are socially rather than biologically constructed.2 Biological Theories Theory Brain Laterisation Theory Theorists John Nicholson Gray J. Buffery A.H.A. Some of the theories are: Table 2.P. Sigmund Freud E.

There are also differences in ability at infant stage where girls score higher in all subjects. 2. Scientists observe natural differences ranging from hormones. Biologists argue that the above characteristics are evident across cultures. This is supported by Gray and Buffery (Ibid) who pointed out that the left is dominant in girls hence girls have verbal ability.7. However. personality and emotional disposition are controlled by hormones in males and females. Similarly not all girls score low marks in maths and higher in language. John Nicholson cited in Haralambos and Holborn (2004) argue that the Right and left wings of the brain specialize in different tasks because of hormones which have effects on the brain. The boy views the father as a rival in the affection of the 22 . However. while boys perform better in mathematical texts. chromosomes. This shows that there are other factors that influence ability.7. care.1 Brain Laterisation and Hormonal Explanations Scientists believe that behaviour. Having a penis is equivalent to being a boy while being a girl means one lacks a penis. not all boys score higher in maths and lower in languages. Even stereotypical behaviours like men’s physical strength. for example of passivity of women and aggression of males vary depending on cultures. 2. Giddens (2001) notes that such theories neglect the vital role of social interaction in shaping human behaviour. 2001). The right specializes in visiospatial abilities while the left specializes in verbal and language skills.2 Psycho-analytic theory (by Sigmund Freud) Freud in Giddens (2001) argues that gender differences at infant are centred on the presence or absence of the penis. if a trait is not universal. They argue that. critics of biological theories reveal that the level. superior intelligence aggression women’s softness. passivity and love are all attributed to biological determinism. then it cannot be natural. brain size and genetics as responsible for innate differences in behaviour of women and men (Giddens. Studies by Nicholson showed that there is correlation between levels of testosterone and male aggression.Biology has been the most widely accepted explanation for inequalities between men and women for a long time. Girls with high levels of oestrogen exhibit ‘tomboy’ characteristics.

inevitable and universal. Barash argues that genetics are governed by instructions to maximize the chances of passion on the genes to future generations from breeding. The findings from the survey of 224 societies are not enough to conclude that sexual division of labour is biological. mining. She identifies with the mother and takes dependency and submissive attitudes. The theory falls short of the realization that human behaviour is governed by the environment not instincts. It is conservative and views human behaviour as natural. hunting. As a result males are likely to be promiscuous than females. The above theory assumes that the penis is superior to the vagina and that gender learning is concentrated at the age of 4-5years. Sexual division of labour is taken to be the most efficient way of organizing society.4 Biology and Practicality George Murdock in Haralambos and Holborn (2004) views males and females differences in physical strength. What would be the biological explanation in these societies which do not stick to the roles given above? 23 . Women were limited to less strenuous tasks like fetching water.7. physical strength and child bearing are biological and determine roles and spheres of operation in the home and public place. cooking. There are more factors and processes that contribute to gender learning. child bearing and care. 2. discipline and demand for autonomy by the father. It is assumed that women can tolerate men’s infidelity more readily than men. Females invest more time and energy in one off-spring and gestate the foetus in her womb. The boy suppresses feelings for the mother and identifies with the father in fear of threats.7. To Murdock.3 Sociobiology The theory was propounded by William (1975) and applied to gender by David Barash (Haralambos and Holborn. 2004). Societies construct roles but these roles are not universal. preparing clothes.mother. He points out that a survey of 224 societies showed that men’s tasks were those demanding physical strength eg. genetic factors are not enough. Girls suffer from penis envy and devalue the mother who does not have one. Women are sure that children are genetically theirs hence devote time to child care. 2. Men compete for scarce reproductive capacities of females. quarrying etc. Women were tied to the home. as leading to differences in roles. gathering firewood. Males produce more sperms hence have interest in making many females pregnant.

2. There has been a shift from biological explanations to psychosocial patterns of socialization.1. child rearing is not. political and religious differences between men and women. This is because although child bearing is biological. 2.7.8. Expressive and instrumental roles complement each other and promote family solidarity. She relieves stress by providing the breadwinner with love. They focus on sex hence are heavily criticized by sociologists and feminists who are interested in gender instead. Biology alone is not enough to explain social. The male is achievement oriented.6 Summary Biological theories assume that nature is more significant than one’s social experiences. Parsons starting point in explaining sexual division of labour was in biology. Parsons did not foresee the future of the modern industrial society where women also perform instrumental roles that are stressful. Mothers can have substitutes in childcare for love and affection (O’Donnell. 1992). Each sex is biologically suited for these tasks. In a modern industrial society even the type of work has changed and sexual division of labour is not universal. Clear sexual division of labour is for efficiency as a social system.1 Liberal theory 2.8 MACRO-THEORIES OF GENDER INEQUALITIES 2.1 Origin 24 .5 Biology: Expressive and Instrumental Roles (Talcott Parsons) Though a sociologist.8. The woman’s role is expressive. Feminist theories were a reaction to the shortfalls of biological theories. playing instrumental role that has stress and anxiety. economic. consideration and understanding. that is providing warmth. Sociologists and feminists feel that the differences between men and women are socially rather than biologically produced. He argues out that childbearing and early nursing is linked to biology. emotional support and stabilizing adult personalities.7. 2.

vote. Mary Wollerstone Craft questioned views about women which were damaging and discriminatory. work. The 1960s ushered in new rights in many countries that were gaining independence. 1996).1. explore their potential and compete with men. 2.8. liberal feminism dates back to the 18th Century Britain. These included rights to independence. dignity and freedom. Democratic political ideas in capitalist USA that emphasized ‘Equality. Liberal feminists believe:· In individual rights for women. · · · · · Industrial Revolution in Europe especially Britain that created structural changes in the methods of production and social relations.2 Major Exposition Giddens (2001:692) defines liberal theory as a: Feminist theory that believes gender inequality is produced by reduced access for women and girls to civil rights and allocation of social resources such as education and employment. For example. Right to freedom and autonomy. Liberal feminism was based on the belief that women possess reason and as such are entitled to full human rights and are free to choose their role in life. The second wave of feminism was widespread in the 1950s. Rousseau. The proponent. protection. Ideas of Scholars of Enlightment for example .It is the first documented form of feminism. Influence of the modernization theory and Women in Development (WID) approach to Development which emphasized borrowing of Western ideas and did not revamp economic and social structures of society. 25 .Aristotle among others. women joined wage labour but were not treated as their male counter parts. Philosophy of liberalism with the belief in individual rights eg. The theory rose as a result of the following. According to Gaidzanwa in Meena (1992). Liberty and Fraternity’. especially third world countries (Tandon.

· End discrimination of build positive role models for women and girls. political organs. · Education is viewed as a liberating force hence both boys and girls should be educated. That there should be fairness. education to challenge directly the ideology of patriarchy. 2.. textbooks and the media. sexism and socialization (Magezis. · Focus on changing attitudes.8. health. training. ministers. 1996). · Call for catering for special needs of girls to improve their social status. · Advocate for women’s participation in the public sphere. Disadvantage women 2. economic and social spheres. resources. · Advocate for gender mainstreaming in education and training. That attitudes. workshops and projects. · Sought women’s liberation through legal reforms. opportunities to jobs. · Empower women through education. training etc. justice. employment.4 Applicability of the Liberal Theory 26 . Those women are constrained by social legal and cultural institutions. · Reorient women into crucial decision making positions of executives.8.· · · · · · That women’s discrimination is based on prejudice. Those women have mental capacities as their male counterparts and should be given the same opportunities in political. · Proportional representation and equal access of males and females in education. · Call for diversification of the curriculum.1. presidency and so on. equal opportunities and equal participation in the management of society.3 Solutions Liberals propose the following as solutions to women’s problems: · Give women equal rights. stereotypes and biases against females constrain women Confinement of women to the private sphere and dependency on men . self esteem and confidence.1. directors. stereotypes and biases in language.

education and health. There has been proportional representation in enrolments of males and females at primary. In Zimbabwe the 1985 Labour Relations Act was introduced. : Headmaster School Head Choirmaster Choir Director Sportsmaster Sports Director Senior Master/mistress – Senior Teachers. Education In Zimbabwe. School heads. Education officers etc. The liberals have fought for a gender sensitive curriculum and removal of stereotypes in texts. Workplaces In Britain equal pay and sex discrimination acts came into being in the 1970s. and any teaching material.g. There has also been equal access to bursaries and scholarships.Achievements In SADC countries. liberal feminists are responsible for many important Acts of legislation that have greatly improved the situation of women. secondary and tertiary institutions. these include reform in welfare. Minimum wages for everyone Equal treatment and access to male dominated occupations. Maternity leave benefits and recently paternity leave No discrimination on the grounds of sex. Proportional representative has also been applied in promotion of women to positions of authority eg. the 1980 Education act declared Education for all despite class. gender religion. and ethnicity. 27 . In Zimbabwe. There have been changes in stereotypical language in the school e. Liberals have called for gender sensitive teaching methods to afford pupils equal treatment. not even on adverts in the media. This has seen subjects and sports in the school curriculum being open for both boys and girls. It had the following provisions:· · · · · Equal pay for males and females.

make contracts and own property like land. Legal sphere Internationally equal rights for men and women were included in the United Nations (UN) Charter of 1947. These and many unmentioned Acts including the recent domestic Act are all in a bid to bring gender equality. There has also been conscientisation of women on marriage Acts and their provisions.· Politics Access to top positions of executives. cattle. Women now have access to top positions and participate in electoral and legal reform processes. Pension’s Acts have been amended also.. directors and ministers. This led to the introduction of the quota system where one third of parliamentarians have to be women. In Zimbabwe Acts were passed to protect and improve the social status of women. Matrimonial causes Act which allows sharing of property at death or divorce. Women above 18years are now viewed as adults who can consent on their own. The SADC declaration on gender led to the consideration of women participation in politics. bank accounts houses among others. Trafficking in human beings who were mostly females was stopped in 1948.5 Limitations of the Theory. 2.8.1. · · · For a detailed treatment of each of these acts refer to Unit 9 of this module. The liberal Theory is mainly criticized by socialist and radical feminists who argue that liberals: · · . 1992). .Ignore power relations (structural inequalities) prevailing in society 28 . Sexual offences Act that protects both males and females from sexual harassment. for example: · Legal Age of majority Act (1982) which lifted women from a state of being perpetual minors.Do not addresses underlying causes of women’s oppression (Bryson.

POSITIONS Presidency Ministers Provincial. legal instruments leave out lower class women.· · · · · · . race and ethnicity. its welfare and antipoverty approaches compromise women rights. health.Do not goes deeper into explaining causes of women’s subordination hence cannot offer solutions for an unknown cause. Is reformist in nature moving in a gradual process to influence the government to pass laws (Magezis. legal instruments access to Education d) In view of the political changes that have taken place in your country. Governors Parliamentarians MALES FEMALES % FEMALES 29 . Its calls for access to education. employment. View women as a homogeneous category ignoring class. a) What are the characteristics of liberalism as an ideology? b) After a close reflection of the solutions offered by liberal feminists. No major structural changes are made in the socioeconomic arrangement of the society. ii. Do not offer strategy to counter traditional norms and values that constrain women. It’s blending well with the WID approach to development.1 Discussion Questions. 1996). access and control of resources. complete the table below. what would you consider to be their weaknesses? c) To what extent have the following been effective in redressing gender imbalances between males and females? i. Activity 2.

private property and the State. (O’Donnell 1992). The ownership of the means of production and productive forces determine the relations of production.Chiefs 2.Feminist Theory 2. controls. labour and time. The ideologies are. These were the likes of Walter Rodney.which include tools/implements or technology.I t consists of the means of production including land. Women and Development (WAD) approach had been influenced by the critics of the modernization theory. Juliet Mitchel and Marynard among others.2 Marxist Terms Economic Base. Forces of production . for example: ‘The origin of the family. The proponents of the Marxist Feminists are Sue Sharpe.2. maintain.8. dominates. patriarchy capitalism cultural beliefs 30 . modernization theory and Women in development approach.8. which were dependency theorists and Under-development scholars of the Third World especially Latin America.2 Marxist. Superstructure-Is made of ideologies that monitor. The theory rose in the 1970s owing to the Women and Development (WAD) approach to development and as a critic of the liberal feminist theory. profits as well as who has power. Dos Antos and Gunder Frank. Relations of production-which define who owns. 2.8. reproduce and legitimize the status quo (Relations of production at the base).1 Origin Marxist Feminists are a variety of scholars who were applying the Marxist theory of economic determinism in explaining the oppression of women.2. capital. These were drawing from Karl Max and Fredrick Engels’ writings.

Women’s position in a capitalist society is economically determined Capitalism divides work into private (home) and public sphere (workplace). 2. exploited just like the proletariats. 1992). Economic determinism – states that ownership of the economy greatly determines how the two classes (owners and non-owners of the means of production) relate in a capitalist system.8.2. they can be recruited any time to replace males at a low cost.3 Marxist –Feminist Expositions · · · · · · · · · · Gender inequalities are rooted in capitalism and its ownership of private property (Bryson. Men are powerful because they own the means of production (dominant class) Women do not own the means of production hence are a subordinate class that is oppressed. They can 31 . Capitalism values men’s labour and devalue that of women by giving low wages. The base determines relations between men and women.g. that is. Women enter wage labour from a subordinate position. Frequently regard women as mere temporary labour. and consider that they should be thought lucky to have the opportunity to earn some money for themselves. Women are a reserve army of labour. 172) argues that. Subordinate and dominant class-Those who own the means of production are the dominant class while those who do not own them constitute the subordinate class. The powerful owning class oppresses the subordinate class. schools. Employers …. Exploitation and Oppression-Those who do not own the means of production are exploited of their labour by being given low wages. legislation and repressive state apparatus. They challenge attempt to isolate gender from social class.- religion State institutions e. Sharpe in O’Donnell (1992.

reproduction and sexuality.8. · · · 2. psychological and social needs. 1992). Mitchel in O’ Donnell ( ibid. a lack of vision and conservativism…. Domestic work in the private sphere is not remunerated. · Participation of women in the public sphere is key to their liberation. This means women do not own and control what they produce in the public sphere. Women serve the interest of capitalism through the management of the family. · · · · Men are viewed as bread winners’ hence higher wages while women are viewed as appendages of men (Bryson. passivity. · Class and gender struggles should take place at the same time. They provide productive. · Marxist Feminists stress the need to overthrow capitalist economic system.) argues that oppression in the family produces: …A tendency to small-mindedness. · There must be an ideological change first in the consciousness of both sexes. (Pilcher and Whelehan. possessiveness. dependency competitive selfishness. at home and even that which relates to their sexuality (children and their bodies). Women suffer double exploitation. to be employed or laid off at will. These characteristics are embedded in women’s objective conditions and a sexist used as surplus labour force. jealousy. · Men and women should struggle against capitalist oppressors.4 Solutions Marxist-Feminists propose the following as some of the solutions to women’s problems. Women are alienated (separated) from their production. they produce in factories and produce future labourers at no cost. for example. irrational emotionally and random violence.2004) · Females should free themselves from dependence and traditional gender roles that confine them to the private sphere. petty. 32 . They call for a socialist Revolution that would change the structure and ownership of the means of production.

2. for example. These careers are characterized by low wages.g. 2. culture and religion are ideologies that legitimate inequalities making them appear normal. natural and unchangeable. Products from these schools still exhibit glaring class and gender differences. capital. education. In SADC countries as patriarchal societies.· · Abolition of private property and setting up of a communally owned means of production in a communist society. As a result men become powerful. The children produced belong to the father in a traditional family and what the woman produces from her labour is controlled by the husband. The one who owns decides and has final judgement over resources.6 Limitations Marxist-Feminist criticism is based on the following: · Society has changed from the classes and conditions observed by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels. reproduces patriarchal values.2. can be classified into private. and catering (servicing) and being secretaries for bosses who are mostly males. Patriarchy. 33 . Ownership of the means of production does determine one’s (women’s) position and power in a capitalist society. Some women these days own private property. land. capital. It has instead increased women’s labour burdens.8.8. machinery and labour. oppress and dominate women. Women are employed in large numbers in export processing as well as textile industries for low wages. · Some SADC countries have come up with national gender policies and legal instruments that enable women to access property. Schools in a capitalist society re-enforce social inequalities by producing a workforce divided by class.2.5 Applicability of the Marxist-Feminist Theory. Most of the productive forces are registered on male names. houses. State institutions e. Schools in Zimbabwe. former group B. Household work should be paid for. · Entry into wage labour by women from the 18th Century to today does not prove to be key to their liberation. men own private property more than women e. teaching (socializing).g. Domestic work in the home is either not paid for or low wages are given to maids. mission schools and what used to be called upper-tops. loans and land. former group A. Women employed in the public sphere mostly do domestic work which has been transferred from the private sphere to the public sphere for example nursing (caring).

for example. They did not explain why men exploit and oppress women even in socialist societies. most women find themselves in the informal sector with low unreliable income. Marxist-Feminists ignore patriarchy and male control of women’s sexuality. Cuba. They are not part of the proletariat working in public places. In countries like Zimbabwe. Soviet Union. ACTIVITY 2. The economic factor is not enough to explain gender inequalities. 2. 2 i) ii) Discuss men and women ownership of the means of production and the productive forces in your country. These societies are still male dominated with powerful posts in male hands. How do the above elements of the Superstructure maintain male dominance and legitimize the ownership of the means of production in your country? Explain giving examples. did not show that women’s positions in these societies were any better. other sources of inequalities are ignored. culture.· · · · · · Experiences in Socialist countries.. race and ethnicity.1 Origin Radical feminism is a movement that rose in the 1960s – 80s as a breakaway of Marxists who were frustrated by the inability to apply social class in analyzing gender oppression. China and the former Eastern Block.8. The majority of women are in rural areas.3. Marxist. They also fail to explain subordinate position of women before the advent of Capitalism.3 Radical theory 2.8. The theory did not look at majority of women in Third World countries.feminists are gender blind. They failed to focus on power relations of males and females as independent from social class. violence. 34 .

Walby in Smelser (1994:320) defines patriarchy As a system of social structures and practices in which men dominate oppression and exploit women. Patriarchy.8.2. that is it is violent. 2. Gender Socialisation. Political struggles can take many new forms. Mannathoko in Meena (1192:75) cites that radicals: … Launched a wholesale onslaught against male dominated society and consider men as the enemy. 35 . 1992: Bryson.2 Major Expositions Radical Feminists have come up with the following factors as explanations of gender inequalities: 1. biology (sexuality) 2. These demand radical transformation of oppressive gender relations. 3. fast. The first radical group was influenced by the Maoist ideas and the need to develop political strategies for women’s liberation. 2. Its impetus came from women’s experiences in the Civil Rights. It was important to break the silence through consciousness raising. 1992) meaning that no aspect of life lacked a political dimension (power relations). uncompromising and strongly oppose patriarchal systems.It also emerged as a reaction to the liberal theory (Meena.3. The theory is radical in nature. Their slogan was the ‘Personal is political’ (Bryson.1 Patriarchy According to Bazili (1991:9) Patriarchy is an ideology of male supremacy that results from social construction of gender which in turn justifies the social. Shulamith Firestone and Ortner. new-left and student movements in North America.3. 1992).8. Europe and Australia. Some of the proponents are Kate Millet. anti war. economic and political distinction between men and women.

King James Version. These interests unite them into sisterhood across classes and cultures. I will make him a help meet for him. 2006). oldest and worst kind of oppression in the world.2 Gender Socialization Gender inequalities are learnt through primary socialization and reinforced later by every other institution. To radicals like Kate Millet politics means power and men derive their power from the patriarchal system that supports and favour males. media. church among others. Patriarchy as an ideology is sustained by early socialization in the family. (Acker. and he shall rule over thee. It also rests upon the economic exploitation and use of threat and force (Haralambos and Holborn. 2. churches and workplaces.8.Patriarchy stretches back to the time of creation in Genesis. 1987) argues that it appears as if the women came as an after thought. It is a belief in society dominated and ruled by men. unchangeable and unquestionable. Being male or female is emphasized. where a woman was made from Adam’s rib. classes and ethnicities.) The word patriarchy is derived from the Greek word patriarchs meaning ‘head. Patriarchy benefits from the oppression of women. universal. Women as a group have interests opposed to those of men. 1992. secondary socialization in schools. Oakley in Haralambos and Holborn (2004) points out that this is done 36 . (Byrson. of the tribe. 2007) Genesis 3 V18 It is not good that the man should be alone. Genesis 3 v16 …Thy desire shall be to thy husband. Patriarchy is viewed as universal. (The Holy Bible. It cuts across time. for example.2. (For a broader definition. races. refer to Unit 1). School. Different Types of Feminist Theories. 2004). It is viewed as natural. In a patriarchal society children are socialized to be different. community. Male power is not confined to the public worlds of political and paid employment but extends into private life (sphere). cultures.3. (ibid.

1992:183-184). Our oppression is total.3. It is for this reason that other radicals like Kate Millet view the family as a central site of women’s oppression. Ortner in Haralambos and Holborn (2004) cites that women are viewed as closer to biology (nature) while men are closer to culture (social construct).3. which relates to males can be changed.8. child rearing and sexuality.through processes like manipulation. This has led to the belief that what relates to women cannot be changed while that. 37 . Solutions Radicals prescribe the following solutions for the liberation of women: · Women are to struggle on their own for their own liberation against their oppressors (males). 2.3. destruction of the environment. reproduction. Conflict. breeder.3 Biology/Sexuality Subordination of women has origins in biology. Men control women’s production. (See unit 1). Biology is seen as the inevitable form of sexual division of labour. We are exploited as sex objects. · Reject gender roles and call for child care facilities. war. The New York Restocking Manifesto of 1969 Read:Women are an oppressed class. and abuse. This is evidenced by the quotation…Radicals reject assistance by males because men are viewed as enemies of the liberation. Women become dependent on men for material necessities of life and protection especially in the nuclear family. We are considered inferior beings whose only purpose is to enhance men’s lives… (Bryson.2. domestic servants and cheap labour. canalization. affecting every facet of our lives. for example. Rape and violence against women is used by m ales to secure and maintain power. The core of power and female domination is male control of female’s roles in reproduction and child rearing (Firestone in O’Donnell 1992). A war should be raged against men. the fact that women give birth (firestone in Marcus and Ducklin. verbal appellations and exposure to different activities.8. 1998). They are blamed for being responsible for all the other problems of women. 2.

4 Applicability of the Radical Feminist Theory Unlike the liberals who fight for equal educational opportunities. use of birth control measures of their choices.8.3. radicals have challenged both the quality and quantity of education being offered to women. The passing of the sexual 38 . scholarships for girl children and victim friendly courts for abused children. maths. for example.· · Radicals are of the view that gender differences can be reduced by taking desirable characteristics of males and females because these are socially constructed. Demand women’s empowerment in education. politics and sexuality. cultural feminists (Extremists) celebrate feminine characteristics like interdependence and sharing: …It is better to be feminine than to be masculine. This gender stereotyping is evident in subjects as sciences. However. There are women’s pressure groups. commercials and social studies that were male dominated. Women are also empowered health wise e. Other women facilities include the Girl Child Network. Affirmative Action Group(AAG) and Women Of Zimbabwe Arise(WOZA) fight for rights of women and girls.g. in the mass media. for example. use of protection (female condom). for example. Focus on violence against women. pornography and domestic violence. To them doing away with male domination is a means of eliminating women’s oppression. 2. These have been made available to women. (Tong in Haralambos and Holborn. Challenge also men’s control and monopoly over the production and use of knowledge. (Refer to micro theories. incest. rape. Thus women should not try to be like men. Their ideas have significantly influenced changes in the curriculum which has resulted in the eliminating of gender stereotyping that impact negatively on women’s academic achievement. · · · · Call for total restructuring of society. sexual harassment. Unit 2). 2004:103). Women’s Action Group (WAG).

5 Limitations The following can be cited as limitations of the Radical Feminist Theory: · It is criticized as Western. Single sex schools. in Africa.3. mental health or anything that endangers the woman’s health. women’s University and women’s Institute of Governance are all products of radical feminists. 2. All these enable women to control their bodies. · Separatists and their rejection of marriage and relationships with males can lead to the end of the human race. · It is hostile towards the man who is also victims of socialization. · It emphasizes differences between men and women making peaceful coexistence and co-operation impossible. Domestic Violence Act and stiffer penalties for rape perpetrators are all efforts of radical feminists. class and ethnicity. As a result the theory is heavily criticized and opposed. ignoring the fact that some men are oppressed by women or by both · The theory fails to explain the origins of patriarchy and its power. · That all males are able to oppress all women. Organizations like Msasa Project have protected women experiencing gender domestic violence of any kind in Zimbabwe. · It leaves out other factors like race.8. Radical feminists have also influenced the setting up of childcare institutions. Discuss how biology is a constraint to men and women’s equality in the following areas with reference to your country a) education 39 .offences Act. surrogate motherhood and making choices of family planning methods. · Views women as passive victims and assumes that all women are good and all males are bad.3 1. artificial insemination. HIV AIDS Act. Women have been made to access legal instruments that allow them to abort under special circumstances like rape. for example. and introduction of new reproductive technologies like donation of sperms. A shelter for such women was set up in Harare. abortion is male dominated (males decide) and it touches religious and moral issues. ACTIVITY 2. incest.

Unlike Marxists. Marxists focused more at the workplace. The socialist. Sometimes the two systems conflict – for example. Capitalist demand for labour is opposed by patriarchal demand for personal services in the home.1 Major Expositions · · · The modern society is viewed as both capitalist and patriarchal.8. Bryson (1992:234) argues that: It refers to recent attempts to synthesize the insights of Marxists and radical feminism to build a new theory combining the best of both.4. Socialistfeminists believe that the subordination of women is rooted in the two evils of capitalism and patriarchy: The theory is dualistic in nature with two evils mutually reinforcing. both capitalist and patriarchal men benefit from the above arrangement that subordinate women. It rose in the 1960s.Feminists differ from Marxist.8.b) workplace 2 What reproductive changes have taken place in your country as a result of radical theorists’ influence? 3 How does patriarchy interfere with women’s participation in a) Politics b) Decision making in the home c) Community 2. Jaggar and Ann Ferguson. Marxists are criticized for focusing only on capital ignoring relations of men and women. but a critique of the Marxist and radical feminist theories. they looked at women in both the public and the private spheres.. 2. · 40 .Feminists in that their explanation for gender inequalities extend from capitalism to patriarchy.4 Socialist Feminist Theory Socialist Feminism is not a theory on its own. However. Some of the proponents are Heidi.

oppression of women touches issues of reproduction and production. the two systems of domination are ‘inextricably entangled’ (Bryson. during world wars (WWI 1914. Britain (1800) France (1830). They ignore patriarchy and over estimate the power of capital. To support the above. for example. 1992). for example. Patriarchy benefits from the control of the produce from reproduction (children) and women’s labour (products). Vogel says maintenance and production of the working class are essential requirements of capitalism. Germany (1850) but the position of women did not change in homes and workplace. Ferguson feels that patriarchy is semi-autonomous. 41 . reproduce. Jaggar says the two are inseparable. Capitalism is based on the capitalist control of labour in the productive process. Men have vested interest in the subordination of women because they benefit socially and materially. Capitalism like patriarchy benefits from reproduction of future workers and produce from women’s labour. Class analysis by Marxists is not enough. Women entered wage labour during the industrial revolutions in Europe. patriarchy controls reproduction of women and their labour in the production process.· · · · · · · · · · · · To socialist feminists. Socialist. women’s subordinates go beyond capitalism to patriarchy that pre-dates capitalism. Hence. Women produce. while Young views patriarchy and capitalism as not dual but unified systems (Bryson. For both. Patriarchy is based on men’s control over women’s labour and this is part of the productive process. socialize and service families at no cost. Socialist Feminists focus on women’s question and make demands as both workers and women. Women reproduce workers for capitalists.feminist argue that entry into wage labour by women cannot be key to their liberation as Marxists suggested.1918) and (WW II 1939-1945) women participated in industries but this did not usher the fruits they expected. They also reproduce heirs as well as workers for their husbands. 1992:247). Again.

conformity among girls as well as children from lower class background. reproductive rights. Sanderson. 1988). Economic ownership. health care.Feminists: · A revolution that challenges the two ideologies leading to uprooting of both capitalism and patriarchy. health.3 Applicability of the Socialist. sexuality.4. water.4. These policies look at men and women’s access to land. · Women should work side by side with men. economic and social development. Schools through socialization reproduce capitalists and patriarchal values. race. (Stromquist1989. political decision making. Capitalism and patriarchy work hand in hand in the exploitation of women. reproduction. These are strengthened by patriarchal relations. reproduction. 2.2 Solutions The following are solutions suggested by Socialist. It has made development agencies or governments to focus on inequalities in the private and public spheres. habits of passivity. family organization and reproductive rights are now areas of focus in some SADC countries.Feminist Theory The Socialist. This has led to introduction of laws that enable women to access property.Feminist Theory has led to Gender and Development (GAD) Approach where men and women work side by side with men in political. · Women struggle should focus on conditions of production. Some governments in the SADC like Zimbabwe have crafted national gender policies for development. ethnicity or religion.8. 42 . · Women should be united by their experiences. (Refer to Unit 3). and new forms of family organization. Male supremacy is embedded in economic structures. 2.8. Capitalism and patriarchy legitimizes class and gender inequalities. class. and reproductive rights and to choose marriage types (forms of family organization). The policies encourage participation of women and men in al spheres of life. natural resources. disputes. education and training. · All class and cultural forces of oppression should be ended in order to liberate women.· · · Education is seen as reproducing both class and gender inequalities. housing.

culture.8. Discuss the similarities between patriarchy and capitalism. for example. · Socialist..4 Limitations The following have been identified as weaknesses of the Socialist. · Patriarchy can be strengthened and supported by other ideologies beside capitalism. Activity 2.4 1. religion and socialization.2. · Patriarchy can work in other modes of production besides capitalism. · Socialist.Feminist Theory: · It focuses on working middle class women leaving out peasants.Feminists do not offer a theory of their own but only critique existing theories. Enter these in the table below:PATRIARCHY a) b) c) d) e) CAPITALISM 2.4. a) b) c) d) Show how patriarchy subordinates women in the following institutions:Home School Workplace Church.Feminists do not explain the origins of patriarchy and give no suggestions of how it can be uprooted. 43 . for example. pre-capitalist and socialist modes of production.

class and ethnicity were excluded. Major Tenants · The theory focuses on the 3rd world minorities of women previously ignored. rural. Gaidzanwa in Meena (1992) refer to these theories as ‘bourgeoisie theories’. disabled. Third world political approach is part of post modernist theories. second and third world) · International/ Global economy · History of colonization · Race · Class · Patriarchy · Ethnicity · Religion · Age · Gender among others. Marxist. Wollenstone craft’s liberal feminism belonged to the bourgeoisie class concerned with bourgeoisie women. age. Human behavior is characterized by heterogeneity rather than homogeneity 3. and younger and lower class women among others. 2. Women of the other creeds. religion. 44 . It is not possible to study society and develop unified conclusions. Positivism and generalizations are not accurate in human behavior The Third World Political approach looks at the following factors as explanations for the subordinate position of women especially in Third World Countries: · Location on the Globe ( first. radical and socialist feminist) focused on the concerns of middle class women. Post modernism is a reaction to modernist theories’ failure to account for different changes in society.Third World Countries Political Economy Approach (Post Modernism) Origins It is important for us to note that the traditional feminist theories (liberal. These are unrepresented black. They also viewed women as a homogeneous group. Post modernists argue that: 1. Women’s concerns did not transcend class and race. The proponents of third world economy approach are third world feminists who offer a critique of the (traditional dominant) feminist theories.

Developed nations extracted raw materials from third world countries. There is dependency ‘…. · As a result women do not have shared experiences as suggested by traditional feminist theories. 1995:217). disability. Transnational capitalists who are mostly the patriarchs control world economy through trade. The third world people become depended on the west for manufactured goods. A system of dependency of 3rd world countries on the economies of the first world has been created. · It also looks at intersection of gender with race. New 45 · . Zimbabwe is a third world country and women are subordinated as third world women. age. technology and technological know how. exported them to be manufactured in Europe and brought back as finished goods expensive to the Africans. Third World women The relationship that exists between the first world (developed industrial nations) and the 3rd world (underdeveloped nations) is in such away that the first world exploits third world resources and labour. marital status. · A feminist theory is not possible especially in 3rd world countries like Africa where women are divided by a lot of factors listed above. 2. Marcus and Duckling (1998:59) argues that social theory can not offer general and inclusive views of the social world. religion. class. Zimbabwe included are incorporated into capitalist economies of the developed world. women in the 3rd world countries are subordinated in many ways: they are subordinated and oppressed as: 1. the first world with resources and labour (Gunder Frank and Dos Santos in Anderson (1995). history and multiple identities. nationality. class and issues of colonization and exploitation of women in the developing world · According to the 3rd world feminist writers.Women are viewed as fragmented or heterogeneous because of ethnicity. race. · It looks at multicultural or global feminism where all other differences are recognized not just gender. · Subordination of 3rd world women should be situated in their histories and their location within neo-colonial nations. The periphery (satellites that is third world countries supply the metropolis (core). Globalization of Economy Third world economies.when the first society (economy is organized by persons in the foreign society so as to benefit primarily the foreign economy (Sanderson.

movable and immovable is largely in the hands of males. livestock. Zimbabwean women are part of this dependency and exploitation by the first world’s multinational companies and trade. tractors. cars. Their labour is exploited for low wages. capital. By other women 46 . Gender Women in third world countries are also subordinated and exploited as women by males. peasants farmers and urban workers are the most exploited. 3. and homesteads among others. 5. Class Women in a capitalist global economy like men are part of the proletariats. Only a third is reinvested. Women are exploited as labourers and child bearers. ownership of property. Women are the producers of raw materials in the periphery but are alienated from what they produce.dependency arose after the Second World War that is financial dependency with multinational corporations that invested in 3 rd world countries. The situation of women during the colonial and post colonial has not changed much in relation to racial issues in most African countries. The profits are repatriated. Black women are subordinated by both white males and females of the first and 3rd world. The concerns of the traditional (modernist) feminist theories did not take into account issues of race. Peripheral market conditions of the developed nations dictate the terms of trade (Dos Santos in Sanderson 1995). In this global oppression. White women and black women do not have same experiences hence cannot speak with one voice. White w omen in the first world are the capitalists and consumers of what the black race produces. Studies conducted by Women and Law in Zimbabwe (2000) reveal that women have access to the resources but do not have control over them. Most African cultures legitimize this male dominance. In Zimbabwe women belong to a lower class that has no power or control of the means of production. Race Women especially in third world Africa Zimbabwe included are further subordinated as a black race. The voices of the black women are not heard. In patriarchal societies where males dominate. 6. 4. They are exploited by both global capitalists and capitalist elites in their nations. Such resources are land.

She is looked down upon for ethnicity and gender. Examples of such women are mothers in law and sisters in law. 7. Lobengula’s senior wife kept younger women under her Nabuiza. She is subordinated by males and females of other superior ethnic groups and her husband. These make the majority of illiterate women who lack access to information.g. position of power and relationships (Ndlovu-Gatsheni. machinery and capital despite changes in legal instruments. technological know-how. In pre-colonial Zimbabwe. training. However. Lozikheyi Dlodlo. Ethnicity Ethnicity like race is a serious factor in issues of subordination. the first wife of the Mutapa in the seventeenth century lived in the palace and served by personal servants like (Ndlovu-Gatsheni. For example a Nguni woman would always be the first wife during the reign of Mzilikazi and Lobengula(NdlovuGatsheni. 2003). Senior women in polygamous and non polygamous families enjoy a higher status as grandmothers. land . credit facilities etc. sisters and sisters in law (gogo. maiguru and tete).Wives from royal families did not work in the fields but had other women working for them while they participated in public affairs 8. they had no access to and control of land. They made up 90% of agricultural workers ( ). As rural women The majority of women in third world countries are in rural areas.Women are further subordinated by other women depending on age. A woman who belongs to the lowest ethnic group is the most subordinated. et al.They make sure their commands are carried by junior women. technology.Most such women do not own the means of production e.Her firstborn son would always be an heir even if the husband had many wives and sons before her . 1997 and McFadden. health etc (Welshenman. They impart to them traditions and norms that support male dominance and female subordination.2003). the world over. These were registered in male names. 2003) Generally. elderly women subordinate younger women. They dictate to them and subject them to initiation ceremonies and cultural norms and values that trap younger women in their subordination. Different ethnic groups have different statuses in their countries. Historically. 1992). sisi. seeds. Other women assume cultural and patriarchal power that enables them to oppress other women. these women were affected by colonial peasantisation. Males took 47 .

1997). This is done by fathers. but women were not part of that money economy. in Shona and Ndebele cultures of Zimbabwe a muroora/ Umalukazana/wife has to take without 48 . This has not changed much in the post colonial period. Women produced for commercial purposes but only controlled crops that had to do with subsistence (consumption) 9. am a man and not a woman. cattle especially the married ones. In an Islamic religion. it is believed that a woman was not created from the dist of the earth but from Adam’s independent person. like men are trapped in the global capitalist system of dependency and exploitation. Women like man are producers but do not benefit from what they produce. They also do not own movable properties like cars. They are exploited as a class of workers and women. Women are further subordinated by other women for example. In traditional religion women do not speak to the ancestral spirit (midzimu) but can talk to stray spirits (mashavi). Women do not make important religious decisions in the families. majority of women do not own immovable property like houses and land for homesteads especially in rural areas. In patriarchal societies. brothers or brother’s children Applicability of the Theory · · · · · Indeed Third World women. A prayer by devout Jewish reads. cotton. a devout Muslim would stop praying when a strange women or a donkey appears (Acker.produce of single crops like maize. Adam was given dominion over creation and a man is the head of the family as Christ is head of the church. They can not appease angry ancestral spirits. I thank God that I am a Jew and not a gentile. During the colonial period. scotch carts. Religion Almost all religions in the world subordinate women. In Christianity. palms and tobacco to marketing boards (Marcus and Dunklin 1998) Money became a medium of exchange in the colonial era. most whites had black women as their maids and nannies’. The condition of women especially the black race is worse than that of other races. Ancestral spirits from the mother’s side are not important as those of the father’s side.

It ignores biological or reproductive constraints. 5.5 Explain. Women should be quite whatever happens in her marriage she should allow the husband to access what he paid bride price (lobola) for (sexuality) at whatever cost and circumstances. However. In Zimbabwe. 2. They produce for both subsistence and commercial agriculture. For example: 1. Culture and patriarchy continue to maintain the status quo despite introduction of legal instruments and policies on access to resources and opportunities Limitations 1. identities and nationalities. technology. Elderly women in these cultures dictate and subject younger women to initiation ceremonies and cultural norms that trap younger women in their subordination. 4. Activity 2. how each of the following factors subordinate women in your country? * * * * Religion. most rural women are engaged in agriculture. cultures. A women should endure (persevere) in marriage to avoid breaking up of the marriage (kuputsa imba yake/ ukudiliza umuzi). 3. Christianity and Traditional religion Rural Environment Other women Class 49 . Third world political approach tends to focus on capitalism and post colonialism.· questioning instructions from the husband’s mother (vamwene/umamazala) and from the husband’s sister (vatete/ubabakazi). Argue that homogenizing women is colonizing women denying them their histories. technological know how and marketing facilities. for example. giving examples. It does not focus on patriarchal and cultural constraints before capitalism. 2. few women have access to credit facilities. It divides women weakening their struggles because of emphasis of women diversity. These decide on muroora/umalukazana’s fate in marriage and the custody of children.

Womanhood is less than race. Black women have particular problems of segregation or exclusion in civil rights movements in industrialized nations. 2001) Solutions Theories of feminism should take into account issues of racism. Concentration should not be on experiences and ideas of white women. These are black women who are in industrialized nations as a result of slavery.* Ethnicity Why is it difficult for third world women to develop a unified feminist theory? Micro-Theories of gender inequalities Post modernism has seen a shift from large scale theories with universal explanations of gender relations. class and gender. It is a theory of third world women by third world women dissatisfied with other types of feminisms. capitalism. patriarchy. 50 . class. those of white women are used as a yardstick (Hooks in Giddens.Where characteristics of women are measured. race. However. socialism and biology to issues of age. that is. studies. As a result black women have not been central in women’s liberation movement . and refugee status. the world over. are subordinated by the race issue. Their voices are unheard because of race. Race is viewed as the most/only relevant label for identification. Applicability Black women. and ethnicity among others. Black feminists argue that versions of other feminists do not apply equally to white and non-white women. their situation is worse in the western world. Black feminism looks at women affected by race especially the black women in the western world who are excluded by macro theories. employment. Black Feminism The Third world political approach focuses on heterogeneity of women.

manipulate and plunder(Shiva. · It is unfortunate that patriarchal power has made women to turn against the environment instead of living in harmony with it. Susan Griffin and Carolyn Merchant. · · · · · · Eco-feminists believe that male domination is harmful to both women and environment earth.1999) Power of patriarchy and colonialism depends on the exploitation and control of nature. 1999). this can be done if women’s role in the construction of environmental knowledge is recognised (Shiva. the problems of Black women living in developed countries. They are called to lead an ecological revolution to save the planet. Solutions · Merchant (1995) feels that women have a central role in preserving and understanding nature. Eco-feminists believe that there is a deep connection between earth and women hence the terms mother nature or mother earth (Shiva. An attempt to control women and the environment leads to the destruction of the environment Women like nature are viewed as objects to control. However. (Plumwood. animals and human beings especially women. 51 .Activity 2. human rights and the exploitation of nature.6 Describe giving examples. It emerged in western scholarship in the 1970s as a result of realization of connection between women. Eco-feminism Eco-feminism was propounded by the likes of Vandana Shiva. 1994). 1998). Men desire to control both women and the environment in order to have complete power.

1991). forests and trees is viewed as linked to intuition or supernatural. Applicability · Women in Africa are left out in development projects (Macgregor. mushroom. For sustainable development to be achieved. Their indigenous knowledge of farming. vegetables 52 . wild vegetation. grinding stones or refuge places in terms of war. women should be involved in the conservation of the natural environment just as they are involved in the tapping of the resources. wild life.1995) Women do not participate actively in the conservation and management of resources.Women’s projects fail because they are either based on western model or because they lack females (Fortman. For example natural forests are viewed by women as fire hood land.I t can be concluded therefore that eco-feminism unifies gender and environmental issues. · The ZNGP also promotes equitable access to control and ownership of productive resources including the natural resources. therefore excluded despite environmentalists movements of the late 20th century (Njiro. It is for this reason that the ZNGP. The purpose of the unity is for conservation of nature for sustainable development. It is also unfortunate that women’s knowledge of the environment is not considered scientific by western scientific standards (Momsen. physical features like mountains as sources of rocks for bricks. wild animals as danger or game meat.· · · · · Women have little access and control of environmental knowledge and the natural environments e. · Women also need to take studies that relate to environmental issues. (2004) has called for the involvement of women in environmental issues and RM structures. nuts . 2004).1986). In Africa women constitute the majority and annihilate the environment as they search for fire wood. · Dissemination of environmental information to both males and females is crucial if our environments are to be preserved .1999). resort areas among others(Macgregor in Morse and Stocking. plantations.g.

Among these are Card Gilligars and Mary Daly.7 · · What are the implications of women’s lack of access to environmental information? What practical strategies can be affected to ensure participation of women in environmental and natural resource management? Cultural Cultural feminism has origins in the feminist theory by extremists or separatists (Haralambos and Holborn.According to them. the fundamental differences between men and women should be celebrated. partly caused by women has been estimated at 2% a year with fuel deficit in 5 out of 9 provinces including Matebeleland North and South.19950). Midlands. fruits and soils hence they need to understand processes of the landscape degradation(Morse and Stocking. Zimbabwe’s’ rate of deforestation. The women’s’ way is viewed as the right way and that women 53 . Masvingo and parts of Mashonaland East (Jackson.1995)..fibres.If women were to rule the world. the figure is likely to be much higher. · Cultural feminism believes in the superiority of the feminine (Momsen. Activity 2. 2004). women are inherently kind and gentle . 2004). With the current land reform and resettlement programme. Their argument is that. there would be no war but peace.

relationships community. wars and chaos. Men on the other hand are vied negatively even their values. while females value dependence.8 · · What are the disadvantages of believing in the superiority of the feminine? List similarities between cultural and radical theory? Multicultural Feminism 54 . Applicability · In Zimbabwe women are vied as reproductive technology for child bearing . These lead to conflict. Women’s’ reproduction is seen as a source of power which men are jealous of Men want to control women’s’ reproduction as technology through the use of technology. This is a source of power for women and who ever controls them controls reproduction and labour. sharing. It is believed men value ideas of independence. trust and peace.· · Can live on their own in a society made of women. Activity 2.They are also a source of labour and they reproduce future labourers. These also encourage Peaceful co-existence. cooperation. competition and dominating. hierarchy.

age and disability shape gender differences in different societies. ethnicity. denomination and ethnic group. It has roots in the third world feminists’ theories and other post modernist theories. informal workers.Tonga.Ndebele.Sotho.· · · · Multicultural feminism arose as a result of dissatisfaction with global feminism in a multicultural society. and house wives. A multicultural theory should take these differences into consideration. Women are treated differently in each religion. Parallel to these is traditional religion. 2004). missionary established . Zimbabwe again is made of different classes. · 55 . religion. Third world feminists argue that there must be a multicultural theory that recognises all other differences within which gender is contextualised. Gender inequalities manifest themselves differently in different cultures.Ndau.Karanga. Islam etc. Cultural differences like class.Korekore. colonisation and exploitation of women in the developing world (Momsen. Christian Churches are grouped into Pentecostal. A multicultural theory should focus on inclusion of other oppressions and consider intersection of gender with race.Kalanga. Applicability · Zimbabwe is a multicultural society made of the following ethnic groups Venda. even solutions to women’s problems. middle class and lower class that can be divided further into formal workers. for example Christianity with its different denomination. African Independent Churches. the upper class.Shangani. Zezuru and Manyika among others. Zimbabwe also has different religions.

9 * Choose two ethnic groups or two denominations in Zimbabwe and show how women are subordinated differently in the chosen societies.Activity 2. * What are the limitations of the multicultural feminist theory? Conclusion 56 .

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We hope the approaches will make you appreciate the many views that have come up as societies endeavour to grapple with issues of equality and equity between women and men in the development of nations and societies the world over. Critically examine achievements and challenges of each of the four approaches to the development of gender. The intention is to enable you to critically examine gender and development as they relate to the Zimbabwean experience in particular and the world in general. · · · · 60 . The approaches also seek to explain how development affects women and why women and men are affected by development differently.1 Introduction In Unit 2 we introduced you to theories of gender inequality. Trace the historical development of gender. In this unit you are introduced to the historical development of gender through four approaches. Gender and Development and Third World Political Economy. Women and Development. 3. We feel that these approaches are important in tracing the historical development of gender from focus on women’s exclusion from development activities to focusing on development as it takes on board both women and men. The approaches are Women in Development. Discuss the main features of each of the four approaches to development of gender.UNIT 3 Historical Development of Gender by Daniel Mawere 3.2 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you should be able to: Define and explain the concept development as it relates to gender and development.

Among other theories. Modernization theories. Generally development is about: change for the better. banking and transport systems take root.Approaches to explaining the development of the concept Gender 3. socio-economic institutions are modernized and a high standard of living is achieved. view development as economic growth and industrialization. such as elected which the economy goes in for machine building. · Stage 1 Traditional Stage or Handcrafting Stage: . originating from west-centric institutions.Rostow of the United States. His 1960 book (The Stages of Economic Growth) traces the economic growth of countries through five stages using the analogy of aerodynamics. · Stage 3 Take-off Stage: .W. · Stage 5 High Mass Consumption: . codification of laws.3 The concept Development The concept development has various sheds of meaning to different people. collectivities of people. Society becomes affluent. Primitive tools are used and production is mainly for local consumption. continuing processes. Transport and communication is which the economy is poised for growth. they need assistance in the form of funds. Modernization and Dependency theories view development differently as is shown which there is abundance of everything to everyone. One of the most influential modernization theorists is W. becomes self sufficient and self reliant in many aspects. · Stage 2 Pre-take off Stage: . technology and new markets. Modern institutions. and interrelationships. People enjoy all material comforts. growth and prosperity. space research. Industrialization therefore is a major indicator of which primitive societies depend upon human and animal power for production. Population growth is checked and national income increases. Electricity and light machines will be used in agriculture and industry. eradication of poverty and sophisticated machinery. and luxuries are for asking. · Stage 4 Drive to Maturity: . The economy enters the international market. 61 . As these countries prepare to which the necessary infrastructure for development is created.

most women. Women’s productive role was ignored because it was often not directly linked t the market or the formal economy. Fagerlind and Saha (1989) in Bown (1999) commented that women provided more health care than all health services combined and yet outnumber men among the world’s illiterate. dependency theory sees them as the main obstacles to the well-being of the poorer countries. All in all. Brandt et al. child bearers and careers of children. causing growth and progress.Dependency is the perpetuation of underdevelopment. statistical methods largely ignored the contribution of women as it was concentrated in the informal sector. production-oriented societies tended to undervalue their contribution. Chinery-Hesse et al (1990) in Bown (1999) commented on women’s contribution to development thus. Dependency theory sees international capitalism as the ruin of the Third World. These theories argue that the origins of persistent global poverty can not be understood without reference to the entire international economic system. modernization theory sees capitalism as a creative force. Whilst men can confine themselves mainly to being producers. take prime responsibility as home managers. That is. Others point out that in fact it is the other way round: that the West has been dependent on the Third World in order to grow and prosper. economic growth in developed countries created Third World poverty in its wake. They argue that underdevelopment is not a condition: it is an active process of impoverishment linked to development. no political system assumed the equal status of women. Women’s distinctiveness lies in the multiplicity of their roles. Dependency theories therefore criticize the modernization concept of development. the sick and 62 . These models of development are heavily male based: development planners assumed that men are the most productive workers. Modernization theory sees rich countries as helpers of poor countries. some parts of the world are underdeveloped because others are developed. (1980) explain why gender was not noticed in development in the past when they say that. In other words. in addition to being heavily involved in economic production. Dependency of the Third World countries is related and linked to the colonial economy of the periphery to the centre. They are not separate processes but two aspects of the same process. The word dependency comes from this link: some say the exploitation of various regions for their raw materials and labour impoverished them and made them depend on the West. It is historical.

therefore. These inequalities typify gender differences and contribute to disparities in development between them. Development. research and practice. By and large inequalities exist between men and women. From the 1970s.1 Women in Development (WID) Origins In the early 1970s. The approach viewed women as passive beneficiaries of development. Research based on this concept recognizes that the impact of development and social change on women differs from its impact on men. fewer opportunities and lower rewards. WID approach focuses on women. in different cases – extremely detrimental effects on women’s economic position. These frameworks guide development policies. researchers on development began to focus on the division of labour based on sex. Women in Development (WID).4 Approaches to explaining the development of the concept Gender 3. argues anthropologist Arturo Escobar.4. the assumption of women as actors mainly in the reproductive sphere began to be questioned. 3. Main Features The WID approach views women’s lack of participation as the main problem. The approach stands for concern with the disadvantaged position of women. came into use during the United Nations Decade for Women (1975 to 1985). It is closely related to western liberal feminism which emphasizes on gender equity and equal rights. is to design actions and policies to integrate women fully into development. but in fact had – and continues to have.the elderly. The main objective of the WID approach. In fact there is a growing realization that women are being left out of economic development or are not benefiting significantly from it (Moyoyeta. among others). As pointed out earlier on. Over the decades since distinctive approaches have emerged related to gender and development (WID. The exclusion of women (half of the productive resource) from the development process is viewed 63 . and discrimination against them. not only ignored women. As a result women work more hours than men. WAD and GAD. and the impact of development and modernization strategies on women. usually with smaller resources. The concept. 2004).

Integration of women into existing structures of development is viewed as the solution to the problem. projects such as transfer of technology. Through WID. All these strategies are aimed at increasing women’s productivity and income. 1984). therefore. a checklist that is helpful and accessible to development technocrats. literacy or childcare are implemented. WID also focuses on advocacy strategies for more equal participation of women in education. The approach seeks to integrate women into economic development through legal and administrative support. creating wage employment. particularly the need to improve statistical measures of women’s work and to provide women with more opportunities for education and employment ( the main problem under focus. Furthermore it recognizes that women and men’s experience of development and societal changes are different. and improving access to credit and to education. More efficient and effective development that includes women is the main goal of the approach. · Achievements The WID approach has enhanced people’s understanding of women’s development needs. WID advances a number of strategies aimed at addressing the problem under focus. The approach also examines the sexual division of labour and the differential impact of gender in development. employment and other spheres of society. Its presence at the UN helped to push for social legislation that enhanced women’s civil and political rights in some countries. and other interventions that have a welfare orientation especially projects on hygiene. Programmes informed by the WID approach address women’s practical needs by. Women’s subordination. It has also been successful in helping secure a prominent place for women’s issues at the United Nations (UN). The other strategy is to increase women’s ability to manage the household (family planning). is seen in terms of their exclusion from the market sphere. extension services. · · · 64 . et al. income-generating opportunities. credit facilities. and limited access to and control over resources. The approach has provided a checklist for ensuring women’s status in societies.

65 . for example. A major achievement of the decade has been the establishment of women in development structures. in fact. in the domestic and agriculture spheres. WID creates tension. · The approach does not challenge gender relations and assumes that these will change.· · · The UN declared 1975 to 1985. the Decade for Women. trickle down automatically or equally. · By exclusively targeting women. WID has helped to mainstream gender issues in many development agencies and policies as well as increase women’s visibility. It should also be noted that women’s issues tend to be increasingly relegated to marginal programmes and isolated projects (Gender! A Partnership of Equals. · The approach tends to perpetuate gender inequalities as it focuses on practical needs to the exclusion of strategic gender needs. WID highlights the fact that women need to be integrated into development processes as active agents if efficient and effective development is to be achieved. This often entails the acceptance of existing social structures that perpetuate inequalities. · WID views women as being outside the mainstream of development and yet women are already playing a crucial part in development. overlooking the burden of social and reproductive functions. It has also encouraged research and debate on women issues. cultural and legal structures that give rise to inequalities in society. as women become economic partners in development. 2000). · The approach calls for women’s inclusion in development but it does not call for changes in the social. The approach tends to focus heavily on the productive aspects of women’s work. it generally assumes that western institutions hold most of the answers and it often ignores the possible contribution of indigenous knowledge. suspicion and hostility. Limitations Limitations of the approach noted later were that: · The benefits of ‘modernization’ do not. · Because the approach relies heavily on modernization theory. Furthermore the approach focuses on integration of women into ongoing development strategies.

1998).Critics see the WID initiative as “add-on” approach that. For finer details on WID approaches study Table 3.1 below: 66 . instead of integrating women into the mainstream of development. marginalizes them even further (Chiriga.

Table 3.1 Different policy approaches to Third World women: Moser (1993: pp 56-57) 67 .

relatognized To meet SGN in terms of triple role– directly ing particularly to food through state top-down aid. To gain equity for women in the development process: women seen as active participants in development 1970s onward: still limited popularity Purpose To bring women into development as better mothers: this is seen as their most important role in development. Period Most Popu !950-1970 but still lar widely used. !975-1985: attempts to adopt it during the women’ s decade. particularly in small-scale income generating projects. . criticized as Western feminism. Needs of women To meet PGN in remet and roles rec. giving politifamily planning cal and economic autonomy by reducing inequality. -Modernization / accelerated growth economic development model. malnutrition and intervention.productive role. Women seen as passive beneficiaries of development with focus on their reproductive role.Issues Welfare Equity Anti-Poverty Origins Earliest approach: -Residual model of social welfare under colonial administration. not of subordination. To ensure poor women increase their productivity: women’ s poverty seen as a problem of underdevelopment. Comment 68 Poor women isolated as separate category with tendency only to recognize productive role. -linked to redistribution with growth and basic needs. In identifying subordinate position of women in terms of relationship to men. therefore widely popular especially with government and traditional NGOs. Original WID approach: -Failure of modernisation development policy -Influence of Boserup and First World Feminists on Percy amendment of UN decade for women Second WID approach: -toned down equity because of criticism. challenging. To meet PGN in productive role. to earn an income. nonchallenging. reluctance of government to give limited aid to women means popularity still at smallscale NGO level. considered threatening and not popular with government.

deterioration in the world economy .policies of economic stabilization and adjustment rely on women’s economic contribution to development. most popular approach Potentially challenging with emphasis on Third 69 and women’ s selfWorld reliance.Issues Efficiency Empowerment Origins Period Most Popu lar Third and now predominant WID approach: . largely unsupported by governments and .Most recent approach: -arose out of failure of equity approach -Third World women’ s feminist writing and grassroots organization 1975 onward: accelerated during 1980s. still limited popularity To empower women through greater selfreliance: women’s subordination seen not only as problem of men but also of colonial and neo-colonial oppression To reach SGN in terms of triple role– indirectly through bottom-up mobilization around PGN as a means to confront oppression Purpose To ensure development is more efficient and more effective: women’s economic participation seen as associated with equity Needs of To met PGN in conwomen met and text of declining social roles recogservices by relying on nized all three roles of women and elasticity of women’ s time Comment Women seen entirely in terms of delivery capacity and ability to extend working day. Post 1980s: now most popular approach .

although their contribution has been systematically overlooked and marginalized in national and donor development plans (Connelly et al. 2005). 1990). Women and Development (WAD) Origins The seeds of the WAD concept were planted during the 1950s and 1960s when about 50 countries were freed from colonialism. The work they do both inside and outside the household is crucial to the maintenance of society. Are the above limitations a fair criticism of the approach? · Assess the contribution of WID to the visibility of women in development activities in Zimbabwe. Its origins are in the argument that there should be a development approach to women that recognizes the dangers of integrating women into a patriarchal world. women’s work and women’s goals and responsibilities. Its main basis was critiquing the earlier approach of WID. The approach is Marxist in content as it drew on dependency theory. The approach stresses the distinctiveness of women’s knowledge. carefully constructed to protect women’s interests from patriarchal domination (Rathbeger.Activity 3.1 · Discuss with a friend on the limitations of the WID approach. WAD actually arose in the latter part of the 1970s. Women who had participated in independent movements felt that they must join with men in building these new nations. 70 . The approach seeks instead to create “women-only” projects. WAD therefore is an inclusive term meant to signify a concept and a movement whose long-range goal is well being of society. Main Features The central point of the WAD approach is that women must be lifted from poverty and contribute to and benefit from development efforts. It argues for recognition of this distinctiveness and for the acknowledgement of the special role that women have always played in the development process. The WAD perspective gave rise to a persistent call to recognize that women are the mainstay of agricultural production in many areas of Africa.

It maintains that women’s position will improve once needed structural and institutional reforms are installed at the local and international levels. The approach contents that economic growth and the industrialization of the west has been based upon the exploitation of nations that have been subjected to colonial rule. Achievements Gains have been made through the approach in: · · · Raising consciousness. and Bringing them into the policy arena. Publicizing women’s concerns. 2004).The main focus of WAD is on the interaction between women and development processes rather than purely on strategies to integrate women into development. 71 . For development to be meaningful for women both these roles have to be acknowledged. The approach focuses on the relations between developed and developing nations. particularly their impact on the lives of women and men in developing countries. It focuses on women’s economic roles and class decisions. In other words the approach recognizes that women have always been part of development. WAD sees both women and men as not benefiting from the global economic structures because of disadvantages due to class and the way wealth is distributed (Moyoyeta. Global inequalities have been viewed by WAD as the main problem facing poor countries and their citizens. WAD has been very persuasive in raising the debate that women have a role not only in reproduction but in production as well. In other words WAD significantly extends the WID critique of mainstream development approach by bringing in a broader analysis. Women therefore must have both the legal right and access to existing means for their improvement and that of society.

The approach also sees women as a class. It overlaps with WAD but the socialist feminists in this approach combine lessons from the limitations of both WID and WAD. In doing so it sees women’s positions as primarily within the structure of international and class inequalities. is to remove disparities in social. The approach has been criticized for assuming that the position of women will improve if and when international structures become more equitable. particularly along racial and ethnic lines. What shortcomings are evident in this approach? Gender and Development (GAD) Origins The GAD approach emerged in the early 1980s. downplaying differences among women. Its objective therefore. it also has a number of weaknesses: · · · · Marginalization and smallness of scale have limited the transformative potential of women-only organizations. GAD originated from the experiences and analysis of Western socialist feminists interested in development issues. economic and political equality between women and men in development.Limitations Although the WAD approach has offered an important corrective to WID’s assumption that male dominated states can be used to alter gender inequalities. in changing women’s lives and in influencing the broader development agenda. It is born out of frustration with the lack of progress of WID policy. 72 . Activity 3.2 · Examine the role played by WAD in highlighting the contribution of women to development. It also emerges from the grass-roots organizational experiences and writings of Third World feminists. It therefore underplays the role of patriarchy in undermining women’s development and does not adequately address the question of social relations between men and women and their impact on development (Moyoyeta. 2004). It focuses on production and income generating projects at the expense of women’s reproduction work.

promotion of gender equality implies explicit attention to women’s needs. It recognizes that women may be involved in development. be it in the workplace or in other settings. interests and perspectives. It recognizes women as agents of development. 2005). 2005). and global economies. Given that women are usually in a disadvantaged position in the work place as compared to men. GAD also recognizes that women are deeply affected by the nature of patriarchal power in their societies at the national. but not necessarily benefit from it (Moyoyeta. class. community. It seeks to ensure that both women and men participate in and benefit from development and so emphasizes equality of benefit and control. not as immutable reflections of the natural order but as socially constructed patterns of behaviourthe social construction of gender-which can be changed if this is desired. GAD focuses not just on women but also on the social relations between women and men. with gender equality as the ultimate goal (Gender! A Partnership of Equals.· · · · · · Main Features The GAD approach argues that women’s status in society is deeply affected by their material conditions of life and their position in the national. 73 . colonial history. It therefore seeks to address issues of access and control over resources and power. The need for women to organize themselves and participate in political processes is stressed. and position in the international economic order (Moser. and household levels. culture. economic and political structures are questioned by the approach. especially since it undervalues the work done by women in the household. The approach sees the gender division of labour as the root cause of inequality. Moreover. Current social. The GAD approach focuses on the interconnection of gender. The objective then is the advantage of the status of women in society. It promotes interventions and affirmative action programmes that integrate women into ongoing development efforts (Gender Mainstreaming. women’s material conditions and patriarchal authority are both defined and maintained by the accepted norms and values that define women’s and men’s roles and duties in a particular society (Sen and Grown 1987 in Connelly et al. not merely as passive recipients of development assistance. GAD looks at the impact of development on both women and men. 1993). 2000). Gender relations are seen as the key determinant of women’s position in society. regional. 2004).

WID and GAD approaches are summarized in Table 3. The argument being that to bring women into the center stage of development. It does not exclusively emphasize the solidarity of women. Arising from the GAD analysis is the need for women to organize themselves into a more effective political voice in order to strengthen their legal right and increase the number of women in decision making. constraints. GAD brought about a gender perspective. The GAD approach has also helped us to understand that the gender division of labour gives triple roles (reproductive. the existing gender relations need to be reexamined and wherever needed to be restructured (Mainstreaming Gender Equity. challenges and changes gender insensitive traditions. institutions. Above all it also humanizes. roles. The approach acknowledges that women spend a lot of time. legal rights. policies and structures. opportunities and needs of women compared to men.bearing. It transforms unequal relationships. and promotes partnership and equitable distribution of resources and benefits. It goes beyond seeing development as mainly economic well being but also that the social and mental well being of a person is important. 2005).2 below: · · · · · · · 74 . Achievements The biggest contribution of GAD is the inclusion of men into the approach. cooking. empowers. It also observes that women have no control over their fertility and over productive resources. and fetching water. washing. productive and community) to women in society. attending to the fields and small stock. thereby bringing under scrutiny the whole gamut of difference in power.· · The GAD approach also plays particular attention to the oppression of women in the family or the ‘private sphere’ of women’s lives. . The approach therefore: liberates. raising children. As a result we have seen projects develop addressing issues such as domestic violence and violence against women. caring for the sick and elderly.

Table 3. effective Equitable. rich and poor) that prevents equitable development and women’s full participation More efficient. (2005) Address strategic needs of the poor through people centered development At the same time address strategic gender needs of women and men 75 . sustainable development The Goal development with men and women sharing decisions making and power The Solution Integrate women into existing Empower the disadvantaged and structures women Women only projects Identify/address practical needs The determined by women and men to strategies Women’s components improve their condition Integrated projects Increase women’s productivity Increase women’s income Increase women’s ability to manage the household Source: Connelly et al. Women The exclusion of women (half of the productive resource) from the development process Gender and Development (GAD) An approach development to people centered The Approach The Focus The Problem Relations between women and men Inequitable relations (between women and men.2 Comparison of WID and GAD Women in Development (WID) An approach which views women’s lack of participation as the problem.

· Experiences of western women are different from those of third world women. · It locates the oppressive social systems within the traditional patriarchy systems. and ethnicity should not be ignored. Main Features · It is a critique of the three approaches discussed above. · Questions of race. daughter-inlaw (muroora) versus Mother-in-law (Vamwene) and Daughter-in-law versus her 76 .Activity 3. Third World women are exploited. · Though patriarchy is central. and within each class. · Young women are the most oppressed and exploited. as working class. capitalist/colonial and post. class. neo-colonial. · Not all men are able to oppress all women.colonial periods. The approach looks at globalization of economy and its impact on men and women. · Historical context is ignored – women have had different experiences at different periods in history. and the globalization processes which impact on women and men differently. as the African race. as Third world women. · The approach blames the earlier approaches for focusing on white and middle class women and generalizing explanations for the subordinate positions of all women. colonial.3 · · · What is the difference between Practical Gender Needs (PGN) and Strategic Gender Needs (SGN)? Which approaches stress the need to meet PGN and SGN needs if development has to take on board both women and men? Gender and Development approach focuses on the socially constructed basis of differences between men and women and emphasizes the need to challenge existing gender roles and relations. To what extent is this statement a true characterization of GAD? Third World Political Economy Approach Origins Proponents of this approach are Third World Feminist Writers. The approach analyses and traces the situation of women from pre-capitalist. for example. it does not explain changes and diversity in gender neutrality.

the state reproduced gender. for example. Before independence in third world countries. work outside the home.· · · · · · · · · husband’s sister/ aunt (Vatete). Cultural constraints in the family further subordinate women. as they have no access to technology and technological know-how. Traditional structures were modified to fit into the capitalist system. Peasant economy marginalized women and made them powerless. The lowest class or ethnic group is the most exploited. Third world women are therefore alienated from technology and knowledge. Women had double burdens. farming implements. for example. The proponents of the approach see third world women as producers whilst western women are consumers. childbearing. class and race. 77 . women cannot speak with one voice even in post –modernism because of race and class. · It does not go deeper into the root causes of subordination of women. Due to the diversities indicated above. · It does not explain subordinate position of women before the advent of capitalism. Elderly women and aunts use patriarchal values to oppress other women. Advent of capitalism and colonialism worsened the problems of third world women. · The approach ignores sexuality and reproduction (biology). Women produced and continue to produce for use value. Women produced food and became totally dependent on men for cash goods. The neo-colonial period has not improved women’s position. furniture and loans among others. Limitations · The approach does not focus much on cultural constraints. Money became the medium of exchange but women were not party of the money economy. After independence it reproduced class and gender. school fees. among other burdens. · Focus is mainly on capitalism and post-modernism. subsistence agriculture. Capitalism and patriarchy therefore combine to exploit third world women.

The WID approach hoped to bring women into development through providing them with opportunities for employment or engaging them in income generating projects. This would. Criticisms of these approaches resulted in the Gender and Development approach with its focus being mainly on the inequality in relations between men and women. subordinate and oppress young women in the third world. remove them from the private sphere into the public sphere. The GAD approach goes beyond seeing development as mainly economic well being but also that the social and mental well being of a person is important. sufficiently address the situation of women and men in the developing world? Conclusion In this unit we have shown how focus initially was on women only as evidenced by the WID and WAD approaches. WAD and GAD approaches? · Does the approach. as it were. It should also be noted that the biggest contribution of GAD is the inclusion of men into the approach. The Third World Economic Approach comes in as a critique of the first three approaches which tended to focus on women in the developed world without articulating the concerns of women in the third world. and bringing them into the policy arena. in your own opinion. It goes beyond seeing development as mainly economic well being but also that the social and mental well being of a person is important. The approach brings in the part played by some women in perpetuating gender inequality when these women connive with patriarchy to exploit.4 · In what ways do you think the Third World Political Economy approach is a critique of WID. 78 .Activity 3. The WAD approach was arguing for publicizing women’s concerns.

T. WID. Lusaka. 24 (4).O. (2000) International Labour Office Moser. Cambridge University Press. Rostow. 79 .P. (2004) Women. M. L. E.References Chiriga.. WAD.. International Development Research Centre.W.. K. Macdonald. Routledge. M. Gender! A Partnership of Equals. J. and Austin. C. Eds. Murray. C. and Parpart. M. (1984). West Hartford. Kumarian Press.N.. 489-502. J. Gender roles in development. Practice and Training.. (1960) The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. Harare. Feminism and Development: Theoretical Perspectives. London. Accessed online 2005.. Rathgeber. Gender and Development. Sapes Books. Overholt.L.S. Anderson. (1990). Cambridge. Cloud. Moyoyeta. Connelly. W. L. (1998) Perspectives on the Beijing Policy Process in SADC in Southern Africa in Transition: A Gendered Perspective. J. Journal of Developing Areas. GAD: trends in research and practice. (1993) Gender Planning and Development – Theory. Women for Change.

0 Introduction Gender analysis provides a basis for robust analysis of the differences between women and men’s lives and this removes the possibility of analysis being based on incorrect assumptions and stereotypes. 4.1 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you should be able to: · Explain the meaning of the term gender analysis and explain its purpose · Define and describe some gender analysis tools · Use and apply different gender analysis tools to conduct a gender analysis to various case studies and situations. 4.2 What is Gender Analysis? 80 . Moser Gender Planning framework and Women Empowerment framework.UNIT 4 GENDER ANALYSIS FRAMEWORKS AND TOOLS by Nogget Matope 4. why do gender analysis and the tools for gender analysis. the workplace and the community. The tools we will look at are the Harvard Analytical framework. In this unit we present a discussion on what is gender analysis. Our approach in this unit will impress upon you to adopt an appropriate and effective interpretation of gender issues from a gender perspective as you tackle the various activities in the unit and continually relate the issues to your own experiences in education.

income levels.Gender analysis: · Examines the differences in women’s and men’s lives. · Identifies specifically how public policy affects women and men differently. services. (gender/framework: 2006). ethnicity. how women are contributors and producers to the community under review and ways in which women are subordinate to men (http//www. 81 .org/cds/rgGEND 2006). · It also provides an understanding of gender relations which include experiences of women as distinct from men’s. expressed in construction of gender identities and inequities. These vary according to various factors such as marital status.snvword. This entails adopting different strategies to achieve equitable outcomes for women and men and different groups of women (gdrc. activities. · Includes gender issues with respect to social relations. issues and priorities are different. 3 Why do gender analysis? * Information is essential for mainstreaming of gender at all levels from formulation of national legislation and policy to planning and monitoring of specific interventions. and age among others.gender/framework:2006) 4. · Aims to uncover dynamics of gender differences across a variety of issues. · Aims to achieve positive change for women and men. · Is used to understand the culture. boys and girls whose lives are impacted by planned development. experiences. · Aims to achieve equity rather than equality. including those which lead to social and economic inequity for women and applies this understanding to policy development and service delivery. · Is concerned with the underlying causes of these inequities. Recognizes that women’s and men’s lives. needs. · It also brings to the fore these differences and to the attention of those who can make a access and control over resources. institutions of decision –making and network of power and authority. · Is a tool to better understand the realities of women and men.

community or national. to provide material for gender training and to monitor the differential impact of policy. It will also assist you to identify major environmental factors (culture. Your responses to the above will assist you to identify different needs of women and men. Ø What is the issue? Ø Who says it is an issue? Ø Why has it become an issue? Ø How does your personal or professional background affect understanding of the issue? Ø How are the root causes perpetuated? Ø What factors are influencing this issue? Ø Does this issue require policy analysis or development? You have successfully carried out gender based analysis by answering the above questions which are often asked to identify or define policy issues. to inform policy makers.who owns what resources. 82 . project and budget commitments on women and men. * To highlight different responsibilities of women and men that might constrain their participation in a project.* Gender based analysis should be a common thread woven from beginning to end throughout entire policy not merely an additional heading or section in briefing notes. Activity 4. * It gives information on who performs what activities and at what levelshousehold. politics) which have critical influence and maybe responsible for maintaining the system of gender differentiation and equity. who uses what resources for what? Who has ultimate control of resources at different levels. * It is important to correct unfairness. * Both qualitative and quantitative gender analytical research can be used to raise awareness of gender issues.1 Gender based analysis Ø Identify an issue that affects you as student at a university. their ability to understand different stakeholders’ capacity to participate in any given intervention. religion. * To determine the different ways in which women and men do or do not benefit from particular livelihoods interventions.

The framework consist of a matrix for collecting data at the micro (community and household) level. The framework is a useful data gathering tool that charts and organizes information and can be adapted to many situations. other approaches such as the ABC of Gender Analysis Framework (FAWE). There are a number of gender analysis tools available but this unit will focus only on three namely the Harvard Analytical Framework.1 with fellow student/s.( Remember you looked at his approach in the preceding unit). Cloud and Austin (1984). This approach is based on the WID efficiency approach. ethnicity.Activity 4. the Gender and Development (Moser) approach and the Women Empowerment approach (Longwe).6 Tools for gender analysis Several development workers have come up with strategies of carrying out gender analysis in development work or interventions. The Harvard Analytical Framework The Harvard Analytical Framework also referred to as Gender Roles Framework or Gender analysis framework was developed by the Harvard Institute for International Development in 1985 in collaboration with the WID office of USAID. disability. · How different or similar are your responses? · What does that tell you about the needs/issues of women and of men? (dependent on age. Social Relations and Life Cycle approaches will not be looked at in this particular unit. . Features The framework is originally outlined in Overholt. sexual orientation and whether they have dependents) 4.2 · Compare your responses to activity 4. However. Socio Economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA). It is one of the earliest gender analysis and planning frameworks. It has four interrelated components which are explained as follows: Tool 1: the Activity Profile 83 . Anderson. marital status.

whether it is carried out seasonally or daily and the location of the activity. · List the main activities of the female and male members of the family. · Draw up a 24 hour chart time schedule for the activities you have identified allocating a specific amount of time to each activity.The activity profile answers the question ‘who does what’ and identifies all relevant productive and reproductive tasks. girls Male Men.3 · Choose a household in a particular location. roles and responsibilities? · How do the schedules and workloads of women and men differ in a typical rural household? How do they differ in an urban setting? Example of Harvard tool: The activity profile( adapted from March et al 1999) Activities Productive Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity 4 Reproductive Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity 4 Community linked role Activity 1 Activity 2 84 Female Women. boys Time . For example a daily activity profile analyses different roles and responsibilities of women and men based on description of their daily tasks according to gender and age. The following activity will assist you to use the activity profile in the table below: Activity 4. Guiding questions for discussion: · What is the significance of who does what in your household profile? · How do perceptions of women and men differ towards each other’s activities. You may also specify the percentage of time allocated to each activity.

The person who controls a resource is the one ultimately able to make decisions about its use and whether it can be sold. It identifies whether it is women or men who have access to resources. Access to income does not always lead to increased control of assets within the household. but this says nothing about whether you have control over it”.Activity 3 Activity 4 Tool 2: Access and Control – Resources and Benefits The access and control profile allows for detailed listing of the resources available to people to carry out the tasks identified in the activity profile. women may have access to land but little influence or control over which issues to do with the land are discussed. who control their use and who controls the benefits that arise from their use (household or community level). Below is a table showing access and control of resources and benefits by women and men. For example. For example. March et al (1999:34) say “…access simply means that you are able to use a resource. in rural patriarchal Zimbabwe the land is controlled by the males and most women only have access to it. or to greater say in decision making in the household or wider society. Example of Harvard tool 2: access & control profile Control women Resources Land/ property (include all significant types of assets) Employment (formal & informal)l Money & credit Skills & technology (access to &control over acquired skills Control men Access women Access Men 85 .

projects and programs. and acts. world external funding. poverty groups. · What does it tell you about access and control of resources? · Who benefits more in terms of access and control of resources? Why? Tool 3: influencing Factors The influencing factors allow you to chart the differences in the gender division of labor. discrimination government priorities Lack of political will. Lobbying women’s polygamy. access and control as listed in tools 1 and 2. Influencing factors Influencing factors Cultural Constraints Opportunities Early marriage. possible constraints and opportunities: Table 4.&technical facilities) Education & training Benefits Activity 4.4 · Use the above table and place a tick or a cross if women and men have control and access in the indicated resources. The identification of external constraints and opportunities assist you to anticipate what inputs you would need to make the intervention successful. By identifying constraints you will be able to look for opportunities which will facilitate a more equal sharing of resources and more involvement of women in development. legal parameters Institutional structures. It also helps to identify past and present influences and can give an indication of future trends. sponsorship lack of mobility and and aid from agencies. Financial assistance. access. recession political will 86 Educational Economic . lack of funding. Legal interventions poverty. stereotypes. The following table identifies some of the influencing factors.

using gender disaggregated data and capturing the different effects of social change on women and men (March et al. legal parameters. Potential Limitations 87 .Environmental Religious beliefs Other Institutional structures. when and with what resources. This consists of a series of questions which are designed to assist you to examine a project proposal or an area of intervention from a gender perspective. lack of mobility. Uses of the framework · It is best suited for project planning rather than program or policy planning. A number of key questions are asked at each stage of the project cycle: identification. · As a gender –neutral entry point when raising gender issues with constituents resistant to considering gender relations and power dynamics. · In conjunction with Moser’s framework drawn on the idea of strategic gender needs. · It distinguishes between access and control over resources. design. it gives a clear picture of who does what. community norms Stereotypes. · It is relatively non-threatening as it relies on facts only. · For baseline data collection. It makes women’s role and work visible. 1999). Strengths of the Harvard framework · It is practical and hands on. funding women’s external Change in mindset Tool 4: The Project Cycle Analysis The project cycle is the fourth tool of the analysis framework. discrimination Lobbying groups. · It can easily be adapted to a variety of situations and settings. · Once data have been collected. implementation and evaluation.

You only need to look at the dynamics of the Shona kinship ties. It may be left to elders to decide which plot to give the women. It emphasizes separation of activities and resources based on age. sex ignoring connections and cooperative relations across these categories. It was developed in the early 1980’s at 88 . a women’s may have access to some village land. GAD approach argued for an integrated gender. It is basically top. It offers little guidance on changing existing gender inequalities. and Mrs. makes no reference to changes over time in gender relations. June 9-21.planning perspective. Activity 4.5 · Use the picture code of Mr.(adapted from Training Workshop and trainers in Women. 19996) It can encourage a simplistic yes/no approach by asking whether or not women have access and control to resources. It tends to oversimplify. It tends to result in genderneutral or gender specific interventions.down planning tool and excludes women and men own analysis of their situation It ignores underlying inequalities such as class. Moyo to carry out gender analysis using the Harvard Analytical Framework · Answer the questions on the picture code. and have partial control in that they can decide what crops to grow and how. Moser’s Gender Planning Framework (the GAD approach) Origins This approach challenged traditional assumptions towards development work which encouraged treating women’s issues as separate concerns. rather than those that can transform existing gender relations. Gender and Development. based on the tick the boxes approach to data collection and ignores complexities in the community which includes networks and kinships. for example. encouraging an erroneous view of women and men as homogeneous categories. women’s experiences are a more complex reality. The profile yields a somewhat static view of the community. ethnicity and race. Looking simply at access and control can also hide the bargaining processes which take place in accessing the pieces of land (March et al 1999). However.· · · · · · · It does not delineate power relations or decision making processes.

Women and men can be engaged in 89 . housing and housekeeping. women as a group have their own particular needs that differ from those of men as a whole. These needs are determined by the gender roles they perform. fuel and water collection. For most low income or rural communities these activities are labor intensive. Moser tool 1: Gender Roles Identification This tool includes making visible the gender visible the gender division of labor. Moser (1993: 87) distinguishes gender planning from traditional planning methods and says. productive. formal employment. It can be carried out by mapping all the activities of women and men in the household over a 24 hour period. race. ethnicity. Third. it assumes conflict in the planning process. healthcare. As a result it makes visible differences due to class. (gender planning) is both political and technical in nature. age. disability and sexual orientation. First. These include the care and education of children. crop and livestock production. self employment and marketing. time consuming and is usually the responsibility of girls and women. Second. Features The framework has three concepts: · Women’ s triple role · Practical and strategic gender needs · Categories of WID/GAD policy approaches. reproductive and community management roles: Reproductive work These are activities and tasks that involve the care for the household and community. Productive work These are activities and tasks which involve the production of goods and services for consumption or for sale on the market for example. UK by Caroline Moser with Caren Levy. GAD brought women to deliberate on women’s issues and allows for discussion by both men and women about their relations and calls for transformation of relationships and structure which promote gender inequity.University of London. food processing and preparation. it characterizes planning debate According to Moser. A triple role for low income women is identified by Moser.

local political activities and resources used by everyone such as water. though a gender division of labor prevails here. community development activities. heath care and education. These needs are not specifically women’s needs but the whole family’s needs. It is therefore necessary to use the triple role analysis in a planning framework as any development intervention in one area of work will affect activities performed in the other two areas. cash income as immediate interests/ needs that they must meet. Women may identify safe drinking water. healthcare.productive but their functions and responsibilities differ in most cases (March et al 1999). community management activities alongside productive. Women and men can easily identify these as they often relate to living conditions. Community management roles These are activities and tasks that involve the collective organization of services and social events for example ceremonies. 1999:57). For Moser strategic gender interests are the needs that would enable women to transform the existing imbalances of power between women and men. For example. Most of this work is carried out on a voluntary basis and is an important aspect for the community’s spiritual and cultural development. 1999). Women carry visible and less valued than that of men. women’s reproductive workload can prevent them from participating in development projects or if they do participate they may spend less time on other tasks. Addressing practical gender needs improve women’s lives but do not challenge the prevailing forms of subordination. food. yet often women identify them as theirs because it is their responsibility to families’ needs. On the other hand. church services. Moser divides community into work into two different categories namely. unpaid and monetary rewards for work done. it makes visible work that tends to be invisible” (March. For the community roles and activities women are unpaid and such work is carried out during women’s ‘free time’ (March. funerals. men’s involvement in such activities like politics brings in monetary rewards and benefits through improved status and power. Both women and men engage in community activities. Moser tool 2: gender needs assessment Moser distinguishes two types of gender needs practical gender needs and strategic gender interests. A strategic gender interest begins with the assumption that women are subordinate to men as a consequence of 90 . “Moser’s framework recognizes that women perform reproductive.

economic etc) although most women have access to the fields as mentioned earlier. 91 . Addressing women’s strategic position has to do with dismantling the whole spectrum of which women’s subordination is rooted. Strategic gender needs vary in particular contexts and dismantling these may entail delving into such issues as legal rights. This therefore examines interventions in light of WID/GAD approaches. including their role in society”. According to March et al (1999:58) “meeting strategic gender needs helps women to achieve greater equality and challenges their subordinate position. Moser tool 6: involving women and gender aware organizations and planners in planning. and the practical and strategic gender needs of women in programs projects. demanding equality in political. they do not have control over produce and and institutional discrimination against women. reproductive and community tasks. Moser tool 5: WID/GAD policy matrix. cultural and economic spheres. social. The Moser framework looks at who has access and control over resources (political. Several other factors are responsible for shaping and changing gender relations. This examines interventions in light of WID/ GAD approaches. discrimination. The aim of this tool is to ensure that practical and strategic gender needs are identified by women ensuring that ‘real needs’ as opposed to perceived needs are incorporated into the planning process. Moser tool 3: disaggregating control of resources and decision making within the household This tool asks the questions: who controls what? Who decides what? How? The Harvard access and control profile enables you to note who is likely to benefit from implementation of a project. The WID/GAD policy matrix provides a framework for identifying or evaluating the approaches that have been (or can) be used to address the triple role. It asks whether planned intervention will increase a woman’s workload in one role with consequences for her other roles. domestic violence and equal pay. Moser tool 4: balancing of roles This relates to how women manage the balance between their productive.

Idea of gender roles obscures the notion of gender relationships and can give a false impression of natural order and equity. It is static like the Harvard framework. race or ethnicity and does not examine change over time as variable. Distinguish between types of gender needs: those that relate to women’s daily lives but maintain existing gender relations (practical gender needs) and those potentially transform existing gender subordination ( strategic gender needs). It makes all the work visible and valuable to planners through concept of triple roles. Others argue that all practical interventions affect women’s power and status even when this is not factored into the planning process or recognized by those involved in the project (Longwe. It challenges inequality and alerts to the possibility that not all development projects to do with women do this. · · · · It does not mention other forms of inequality such as class. March. Moser framework helps you to think through the main policy assumptions which are driving a particular project (Moser. connectedness and not separateness.Uses of the framework · For planning at all levels from policies to projects. Moser framework emphasizes what women and men do and resources available to them rather than focus on their relationships. For some people the division between strategic and practical is artificial as they argue that there is a continuum. 1994). 92 . Strengths · · · · · · Limitations It moves beyond technical elements of planning It is easily applicable and accessible. 1993.(http/www.gdrc. 1999).org/gender framework) Like Harvard. · In conjunction with Harvard framework · Training in gender issues to raise awareness of women’s subordination.

This has tended to leave women out of the development process. “development means enabling people to take charge of their own lives.6 Study the picture code of ‘the lie of the land’ · Using the Moser framework. For Longwe. Activity 4. where women are given most of the work and men collect the rewards. Longwe argues that most of the development work has concentrated on ensuring equality between women and men in various sectors like education and employment. and escape from poverty…” (March. identify the needs of women and men in your community. · Identify the differences between the needs of women and men and categorize them under practical and strategic needs. Features 93 . The male domination of government is preserved by women to serve male interests. · Discuss why do women do the women in the picture code say ‘ no we do not work’ and show how the community can be sensitized to appreciate the roles of women. WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FRAMEWORK Sara Longwe and Robert Clarke in 1994. in Zambia developed women empowerment framework as a response to the development workers perceived inability to understand the issues and concerns of women in the Third World.· It is criticized for focusing on women’s strategic gender needs at the expense of men who need to be taken on board. Where men have vested interests to continue to subordinate women its folly to expect them to realize the value of gender equality and give women an equal share of the cake. 1999:92).

then there is beginning of conscientisation. 1995). skills and information. This is zero level as most of the interventions focus on meeting the basic needs without the wherewithal for enlightenment and empowering process. Gender and development workers use the framework to analyse development organizations’ degree of commitment to empowerment and equality of women as they address/ look at the various ‘levels of equality’ addressed by a particular intervention. The levels illustrate how discussion of inequality at one level leads into discussion of inequality at other levels. At this level one looks at whether omen have access to resources like food. training. If an intervention is confined to this level we are talking about women being given these benefits rather than producing / acquiring such benefits for themselves. income. public service and benefits (March. medical care.The framework identifies five hierarchical levels in the empowering process. The extent to which these are evident in any area of social or economic life determines the level of women’s empowerment. credit. Welfare Welfare is the lowest level and looks at women’s material welfare relative to men. If it is the latter. marketing facilities. The process of empowerment maybe better understood in terms of the following five levels of ‘women empowerment’ framework. land. market. Conscientisation 94 . Access Access has been defined as ‘women’s access to factors of production on an equal footing with male counterparts: equal access to land. of recognizing and analyzing their own problems and taking action to solve them. For example female farmers may improve their production and general welfare by increased access to water. equality of access can be obtained by applying the principle of equality of opportunity which calls for reforms in laws and administrative practices to rid of all forms of discrimination. The levels are interconnected illustrating that empowerment is found in the movement from one level to another. For Longwe. Women maybe ‘given’ information by higher authorities or increase their own access. labor.

not overtly or covertly entail the domination of one sex by have the women’s participation been shortchanged? Control/ Empowerment This calls for women’s control over the decision making process through conscientisation and moblilization to achieve equality of control over the factors of production and distribution of benefits. According to Paulo Freire conscientisation calls for women becoming subjects and not objects of their own lives coupled with the belief or brief that sexual division of labor should be fair and agreeable to both. Participation /Mobilisation Longwe defines this as women’s equal participation in decision making process. Equality of control means a balance of control between women and men so that neither side dominates. Mobilization complements conscientisation as women come together for recognition and analyzing problems. Empowerment means sensitizing to beliefs of traditional division of labor as God given and recognizing that women’s subordination is not part of natural order of things but is imposed by discrimination. a widow’s struggle to retain her property after husband’s death. planning and administration (March.women have direct access to resources no longer wait indefinitely to be given resources at men’s discretion for example. At this level leadership is important in the mobilization process. Reflect on some of the projects in Zimbabwe where it has been lauded that women are full participants..Conscientisation is the next level where there is conscious understanding of the difference between sex and gender and an awareness that gender roles are cultural and can be changed. Women have taken action so that there is gender equality in decision making over access to resources. It is not a scenario where tokenism is at play but full involvement and representation of the women constituency. It is here we see the potential and strategies of improved information as enabling process of consciousness driven by women’ own need to understand underlying causes of their problems and to identify strategies for action. identification of strategies to overcome discriminatory practices and collective action to remove these practices. 1995). 95 . They may connect with larger women’s groups to learn about their successes of women in similar situations. policy making.

Strengths of the framework It shows that development interventions as containing both practical and strategic elements.Women empowerment tool2: level of recognition of women’s issues According to Longwe women’ issues are all issues concerned with women’s equality in any social or economic role and involving any of the levels. Longwe postulates three different levels of recognition of women’s issues in project design: · Negative level: at this level. · Positive level: project objectives are positively concerned with women’s issues and with improving the position of women relative to men. Uses of the framework It is used or planning. allowing users to question whether their interventions have transformatory potential. women are more likely than not left worse off than before by such a project. and what still remains to be done. monitoring and evaluation. It permits an assessment of where women already have equality. An issue becomes a women’s issue when it looks at the relationship between women and men rather than simply women traditional and subordinate sex. the project objectives make no mention of women’s issues. In some instances. Limitations 96 .stereotyped gender roles. Women empowerment must be the concern of both women and men and the degree which a project is defined as potentially empowering women is defined by the extent to which it addresses women’s issues. but concerns remain that the project intervention does not leave women worse off than before. · Neutral level: project objectives recognize women’s issues. It places emphasis on empowerment It is useful to identify the gap between rhetoric and reality in interventions.

It does not examine the macro-environment.It is static and takes no account of how situations change over time. · Make assumptions /educated guesses if necessary. Soon. much negotiation. The engineers are also encouraged to employ local people and train them in various skills. This community is part of a group of communities linked together by a network of markets. The engineers from the firm are told that they must discuss the project with the community to make sure it fulfills their needs. they agree on the number of people to be trained in the construction of the bridge and bridge maintenance skills. · Based on your analysis. It does not examine the institutions and organizations involved. the women trained in bridge maintenance seem after some months to lose interest in working on the project. It does not include other forms of inequality. the terrain is dangerous and precarious. make recommendations on how to revise the project for 97 . List things that might have gone wrong with this project. claims and responsibilities which exist between them. from market to market. however. Activity 4.rather than at the complicated system of rights. The firm meets with local officials and. Women are the vendors and buyers in these markets.6 Read this case study and answer the questions that follow: An engineering firm is given a contract to build a bridge in a small community and a new road leading to a larger town kilometers away. Questions guiding the discussion · Use the Women Empowerment Framework to conduct gender analysis of the situation in the case study. The engineers and local officials are especially proud that they have selected two young women to be included in the training. it is noticed that most women are not using the new road. Bridges are often washed away during heavy rains. Also. It is connected to the new road leading to the far away town. They travel by foot with their wares on their heads and babies on their backs. The training is held and the bridge is finally built. It looks at the relationship between women and men only in terms of equality. They are still taking the dangerous footpath to cross the ravine and go to the market.

Conclusion In this unit we have looked at what is gender analysis and why we carry out gender analysis. creates understanding and awareness of existing gender issues at the level of development workers. access and control over resources and benefits as well as the different but significant needs and interests of women and men among other issues. We have looked at three of the tools and frameworks for gender analysis. Gender based analysis has also helped us to analyse the division of labor between women. community researchers and planners. 98 . gender.more positive.equitable outcomes. Gender analysis provides information which is qualitative and quantitative on gender relations. The activities and tasks we have tackled have helped us to understand the gender differences and inequalities that permeate most of the societies in which we live and how these differences impact on women’s and men’s lives differently. The following unit on gender issues will further assist you in understanding the implications of different issues on women and men. what is (11/29/2006) ILO/ SEAPAT’s Online Gender Learning and Information module (12/1/2006) 99 . M. Practice and Training. 1999 A Guide to Gender Analysis Frameworks. 1994 Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. & Smyth.gdrc. 1981 Women’s Emancipation Under Socialism a Model for the Third World. London Kabira. N. 1993 Gender Planning and Development:: Theory. W. London http: www. I and Mukhopadhyay.References Kabeer . Routledge. Oxfam. Verso. IDS Discussion paper DP157 Sussex Institute of Development Studies Moser. M. M. Molyneux.

religion and poverty as inter related concepts in the social construction of gender inequality.UNIT FIVE GENDER ISSUES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. Objectives 100 . followed by an exploration of how the concept plays a role in creating gender inequality. By Tenson Tawanda Mugodzwa Introduction This unit focuses on culture. Each concept is defined.

why do we have different religions 4. beliefs and religions. 1989). What is your religion? What influenced you to believe in this religion? 2.1 1. and the creation of a docile. This is because of the nature of the subject itself and the current isms and schisms emanating from the current trends in the heated debate about religion. culture may be viewed as everything that is socially learned and shared by a group of people in society. In its broadest sense. ACTIVITY 5. we need to point out that religion as a concept is not only complex. but very controversial. mental colonization. Culture and Gender Inequality Culture may be defined as the beliefs.By the end of the unit you should be able to: · Define and explain the concepts culture. we can note that the debate on religion is indeed controversial. passive and loyal member of a given society (Rodney. religion and poverty · Show the extent to which each of the concepts creates gender inequality · Suggest intervention strategies that could be instituted to mitigate gender inequalities caused by the three gender issues. We also need to appreciate that the world in general and countries in SADC in particular. 1981) 101 . If there is one God. What other religions do you know? 3. From the onset. that of indoctrination. are made of different societies with diverse societies. Religion and Gender Inequality In this section we look at religion and how it perpetuates gender inequality. In real practice. behaviour. and material objects shared by a particular group (Macionis. it is enormously difficult to separate religion from culture as the two are intertwined social institutions serving the same purpose in society. values. Why do people believe in different religions? From the task above.

the family and the society in general. child-breeders.7]. we assume]. we assume]. In Genesis 3. She tasted the forbidden fruit [alone. What can be done to liberate women from this dominant position in society? From the activity above. and he shall rule over thee’’. 92]. Explain. cleaning. although not ignoring the traditional perspective and its controversies per se. and the majority of them is Christians or claim to be Christians in one way or another. and has been paying for it ever since.In modern day Zimbabwe. ACTIVITY 5. giving examples how the above quotation leads to the subordination of females by males in the church. Haralambos and Holborn [1995] noted that. in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children [alone.It is against this background that the discussion shall largely draw examples from the Christian perspective. Such is the way females are subordinated through religion in most Zimbabwean societies and the world over. or are they?] 2 Females are mothers and housewives 3 Females do the cooking. sewing. ‘’ I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. ‘We need to also acknowledge that it is written in the Bible that ‘’the fear of God[and what He has put in place ] is the beginning of wisdom. Original Sin in the Garden of Eden was woman’s. we assume]. Most people might see the ‘reality’ it contains of their relationship with their spouse[s] as an accurate description of their status. for both the reader and the writer are bound to be regarded as blasphemous. you may have noticed that the quotation is a ‘mythological justification for the subordinate position of women in society’ [Haralambos and Holborn. for people are going to ask ‘’ who are we to undo what God the Almighty has put in place. that is.’’[Proverbs 1. and thy desire shall be to thy husband. and washing[domestic/household chores] 102 . Females are child-bearers[child-bearing machines. tempted Adam [in his great God-given wisdom. This is because Zimbabwe is made up of people of diverse background with different cultural beliefs. in the Bible. it is difficult to discuss the issue of religion without making reference to Christianity. This makes the discussion very controversial. 2004.9. 16 the Lord said. 1.

and never has been. The above illustrates one way in which religion may be used to reproduce and justify social inequality. This scenario is clearly portrayed in Rodney’s [1981] assertion that the church’s role is primarily to preserve discrimination and social inequality by stressing humility. For example. which leads to women inferiority and the general subordination of females. 1981].4 Females take care of males and are subordinate to male authority 5 Females are largely excluded from high-status occupations and from positions of power. What measurers may be put in place to ensure that females also participate in decision-making in churches? RELIGION AND THE SOCIAL REPRODUCTION OF INEQUALITY The role of religion as a pacifier to social injustices has been hotly debated. Research in Zimbabwe and the world over has revealed that there is not. Which sex makes up the majority of church. From the discussion. ACTIVITY 5 1. cited in Rodney. Rodney [1981] 103 . and continue to be applied to most known societies. harmony.29. stability and the status quo. the gap between the so-called developed and underdeveloped countries has increased by at least twenty times over the last 150 years [Rodney. it is evident that religion is one social institution. and he shall have abundance [when others are starving]. it may be observed that religion. ‘ For unto everyone that hath shall be given. From the discussion.29].1981. but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which hath[Mathew 25. Who occupies positions of leadership in most churches between males or females? 3. serves the interests of those in power and must be seen as a mechanism to maintain order. one bourgeois economist deliberately ignored the historical context and made everything appear God-given about the situation and put forward the following Biblical explanation. The above generalizations about females have applied. To explain this disparity. a society in which females do not have an inferior status to that of males. like any other social institution.goers? What could be the reason? 2. docility and acceptance.

Traditionally. Rodney [1981] noted that. and political privileges and rights disappeared. The above discussion has tried to put religion in the gender analysis perspective.the children and even the man as far as foodstuffs were concerned.’ All this is evidence that religion may be used to maintain social inequality. In other words religious beliefs and practices provide seem to answers and consolation when we encounter experiences we do not recognize and questions we cannot answer. the religious institution is exceedingly complex. African men did the heavy labour of felling trees.argues that during the days of slavery. religious. When they were required to leave their farms to seek employment. Chalfant and Labeff (1988) view religion as a social institution concerned with the ultimate meaning of life with the answers to questions that are unanswerable by natural means. women’s work became greatly inferior to that of men with the new value system of colonialism: men’s work was ‘modern’ and women’s work ‘traditional’ and ‘ Backward’ (Rodney. In those days slaves were taught to sing ‘All things were bright and beautiful. and they drove home the message that everything would be right in the next world. illness tragedy. or the feeling of powerlessness. etc. and that the slave master was to be accepted as God’s work just like the slave living in a miserable hovel and working 20 hours a day under the whip. You can imagine the prayers we have 104 . What is religion? Like the family. Similarly. such as death. clearing land. while the economic exploitation continued and was often intensified. First the definition of religion shall be given. women remained over-burdened with every task necessary for the survival of themselves. in colonial Africa churches could be relied upon to preach turning the other cheek in the face of exploitation. Next let’s try to explore how religion serves to maintain and perpetuate gender inequality. what Lenin implied when he commented that ‘religion is the opium of the poor. Commenting on the status of females during the height of colonial rule in Africa. 1981). the church was brought in on condition that it would not excite African slaves with doctrines of equality before God. Since men entered the money sector more easily and in large numbers than women. what happened to African women under colonialism is that the social. It was intensified because the division of labour according to sex was frequently disrupted.

Macionis (1989) observed that the Koran.asserts that males are to have social dominance over women.In this particular case. Why do men marry? 11. the New Testament contains the following passages. Neither was man created for woman. “A man…is the image and glory of God. and scourage them (Kaufman. Chalfant and Labeff (1988) have all observed that religion plays a significant part in the perpetuation of gender inequality. “Men are in charge of women…hence good women are obedient …. admonish them.the sacred text of Islam. Christianity in particular has been a major force in the support of the traditional female roles. but woman from man. Are married people ‘properties’ of their spouses? Explain giving reasons. Religion and Gender Inequality Macionis (1989). Although Mary the mother of Jesus is highly revered within Christianity.11 1. which is the dominant religion in Zimbabwe. Why do women get married? 111. Christianity. ACTIVITY 5. subservient role of women (Rodney 1981). cited in Macionis. For man was not made from woman. but 105 . 1989: 432). also supports patriarchy.As for those rebelliousness you fear. for example women are frequently defined as the property of males (Driver cited in Chalfant and Labeff 1988). women are viewed as the private property of men. In the Old Testament. One of the Ten Commandments forbids coveting the wife of a neighbour in the same way that it forbids coveting the other property of a neighbour. but woman is the glory of man.made (of course in privacy) before a dreaded examination or job interview or upon the death of a loved one. It has been noted that the Old and New Testament both reveal support for the traditional. banish them from your bed. The subordinate position of women in society is evident in passages from many of the sacred writings of major world religious.

as to the Lord. as even the law says. while females are destined for the private sphere. the women should keep silence in the churches. It is evident from the ongoing discussion that religion is an integral social institution in the construction and perpetuation of gender stereotypes and inequalities. but to please them as well. The heart of her husband trusts in her… She does him good. Such thinking subsequently maintains the status-quo as females are confined to their traditional feminine roles. This is further evidenced by the following passage: ‘As in all churches of the saints. so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands’ (Ephesians 5: 22-24). For they are not permitted to speak.woman for man ( 1 Corinthians 11: 7-9) This clearly illustrates that religion portrays females as not only subordinate to males but rather as sex objects meant whose sole purpose is to satiate the appetite and pleasure of males. be subject to your husbands.’(1 Corinthians 14:33-35). For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. all the days of her life… and works with willing hands… She brings food… she rises while it is still night and provide food for her household’ (Proverbs 31:10-15).. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church…as the church is subject to Christ. and not harm. but should be subordinate. This is revealed in the following passage: ‘A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. If there is anything they desire to know let them ask their husbands at home. and religious sympathizers are quick to subtly justify patriarchy by arguing that God’s word should not be questioned. This is further elaborated in the following passage: ‘Wives. not only to be dominated by males. 106 . Females therefore are view ed as second class citizens. It can be noted from the above passage that the public sphere is for males.

taking his seat among the elders of the land’ (Proverbs 31:23). 1988). the work world remains designed for men and tends to benefit men (LaBeff. consider the following passage: ‘Her husband is known in the city gates. (1) Enumerate the various ways in which women are discriminated against at the 107 . and males are under perpetual societal pressure to participate in the public sphere CONCLUSION This part of the unit has attempted to highlight the role played by religion in not only constructing but maintaining gender inequality. Such is the situation in most Zimbabwean families house holds w here the females are confined to their traditional reproductive roles in the private sphere. they continue to experience a wide range of discriminatory practices. By the time males and other children wake up . they are certain to find their bathing water warm and their food ready on the table.Maybe this explains why females at whatever age wake up earlier than their male counterparts. especially in the Zimbabwean context. in this section we look at gender inequality at the workplace. . Activity 5.The above passage clearly illustrates females’ subordinate position and the reproductive roles they undertake in the home and the wider society. GENDER AND THE WORK PLACE INTRODUCTION Sex stratification has had mostly negative effects for women. Although women have moved into the paid labour force in large numbers in Zimbabwe.Henceforth. And to justify that the public sphere is for males.

you may have realized that in spite of the major strides made to bring about gender harmony at the work place in place in your country. (2) Suggest some long-lasting solutions to these discriminatory practices From the activity above. the issue of income inequality has received greater attention. As you may have established. Because women predominate in low-paying clerical and service jobs and men in the higher-paying positions in business and professions. ACTIVITY 5. These range from income inequality to employers unwillingness to hire them or unable to believe that they are capable. Women continue to shoulder the overload of performing demanding jobs on top of being wives and mothers. They continue to struggle to provide adequate economic support as single parents.21 · Identify factors responsible for the income disparity between males and females in Zimbabwe. men continue to earn much more than women. FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCOME DISPARITY BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES From the activity.1989). women still experience various prejudices. it maybe observed that several factors are responsible for the income disparity between the two sexes. males and females tend to 108 . and they face sexual harassment on the job. the average salary of women is always lower than the average salary for men (Macionis. · For each identified factor. suggest a possible remedy. Of these problems. Even within the same occupation.

G. The majority of women in Zimbabwe are employed in traditionally feminine occupations such as secretary (not Permanent Secretary). Men on the other hand . The salaries for such jobs are pathetically low in Zimbabwe and are far much lower than masculine jobs of doctor.hold different occupations. 109 . Women in traditionally masculine professionals are often referred to in terms of their gender: for example. ACTIVITY 5. In short. Executive. typist. Less than one-forth of all professional.23 · What reasons could be used to explain the above situation? · Suggest some solutions to alleviate the identified factors? One major reason to this scenario is that male workers have somewhat better educational qualifications than their female counterparts. and other crafts. or Director. (2) Also put forward solutions to each identified reason. the higher the educational qualifications.such as waitressing and clerical positions. and most of these are in school-teaching (Richardson. women on average do not make as much as men.just as men in traditionally feminine jobs are referred to in terms of their gender-E. the gap still remains in every occupational field. and this fact strongly benefits men. dentist. managerial. dominate high-paying managerial jobs such as Company Secretary. It has also been noted that women are rarely found in higher –paying blue-collar jobs such as carpentry. dead-end service jobs . and technical jobs are held by women. But despite this observation. lady lawyer.etc. nurse. Activity 5.1981). A critical analysis of the situation reveals that even in the same occupation. female physician. and office orderly. receptionist.: male nurse. masonry. the closer women come to making as much as men. Most women work in low-paying . and professor.24 (1) Suggest reasons to explain this gap.

and have yet to reach positions of seniority and better pay. As women move into traditionally masculine jobs. Moreover. women tend to be newer entrants into fields such as law. Second. In the ZRP\ZNA EG. which further increases their income. First. Although laws have been passed to make such forms of discrimination illegal. Finally. including phrases used to describe them.looked.As you may have observed. In most cases. they will have lost several months or years that would have gone towards advancement and have lost seniority to others younger than them. the issue of discrimination on the part of employers and institutions cannot be over. gossip. Employers may feel that women are less able and therefore are not willing to pay them higher salaries. men are more likely than women to have jobs that permit overtime and part. they also face potential resentment for upsetting the status-quo. and are perhaps the most serious problems faced by female officers in particular and female workers in general. and sexual harassment. some women work on an intermittent basis. medicine and lecturing. this income gap may be partially explained by several factors. Some women drop out of the labour force while their children are young: when they go back to work. those laws are often not rigorously enforced. the women involved must take the time and spend money for a lawsuit before a company is forced to change informal practices of sex discrimination. men may react to women entering patrol with resentment and hostility. Such negative male reactions act as barriers to full acceptance and cooperation. women maybe passed over for promotion a number of times in favour of men who may better suit the traditional image of the business or occupation. Women may be discriminated against in the hiring phase by being offered lower –level jobs than equally qualified men are offered. shaping their jobs or careers to fit with their husbands’ jobs and with bearing and rearing children. joking.time work. or for contradicting accepted notions regarding gender role stereotypes. The man may fear that they are in more physical danger when working with a female partner or when a female partner responds as a back-up to a crisis situation. Martin (1980) found that women police/ army officers are pressured into feeling a sense of inferiority by a variety of verbal and non-verbal cues. Conclusion 110 . Third. traditional gender role etiquette.

5.making positions in companies. This section therefore examines the issue of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe with particular reference to women and children . nearly 50% of the 38 million people living with HIV /AIDS globally are females. On average. Of late we have seen the first woman in the Zimbabwean Presidium. the first women Vice Chancellors. ministers. In most countries. but still.etc. women have made considerable gains in the Zimbabwean society.1 INTRODUCTION AIDS/HIV has . the current situation shows that women and girls are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe(UNICEF. However . However. Permanent Secretaries.25 (1)What makes women more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection in your country? (11) What measures may be put in place to alleviate the problem? 111 .5. in a period of just one and a half decades. Activity 5.1999). despite the obstacles created by sex stereotypes at the work place. which then becomes self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating. organizations and professions. reached unprecedented crisis levels in Zimbabwe.1994). more needs to be done to see w omen in decision. .2004). 5. It is estimated that up to 25% of people aged between 15 and 49 years are infected with HIV in Zimbabwe(GOZ. the first women officer cadets .1994). women are being infected with HIV/AIDS at earlier ages than men. as they are the most vulnerable in the Zimbabwean society due to a number of reasons some of which are the subject of this discussion. According to UNIAIDS(2004). and the gap continues to grow. Schur (1984) suggests that women experience systematic inferiorisation in society.2003). Gender analysis suggests that slightly more males than females are infected with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe(UNICEF.The experience of women in the paid labour force is but one instance of our society’s overall devaluation of women. Recent studies show that there are on average 36 young women living with HIV/AIDS for every 10 young men(UNAIDS.0 GENDER AND HIV/AIDS 5. there are 13 women living with HIV/AIDS for every 10 men(UNICEF.

5.5.2. WHY WOMEN ARE MORE VULNERABLE HIV/AIDS Biological vulnerability According to UNICEF (1994), women can far more easily become infected through penetrative sex than men, and vaginal and/or anal sex is much more risky than other modes. To explain this situation, Gender links and the AIDS Law Project (2004) came up with the following reasons; Ø The vagina and anus have larger areas of exposed and sensitive skin Ø The virus can survive for longer in the vagina and the anus than on the surface of the penis Ø There is a higher viral load of HIV/AIDS in the semen than there is in the fluids of the vagina or anus Ø The vaginal and anal walls are much more likely to be ruptured during vaginal or anal sex, especially if the sex is violent or coercive or when a woman is very young and the cervix is not yet fully developed. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises allow easy access for the HIV/AIDS VIRUS into the blood stream. Socio-Economic Status In Zimbabwe, AIDS appears to be present among the professional elite and could result in severe disruption in administrative and economic activities. At the same time , as a virus that thrives on poverty ( UNICEF,1994 ), HIV/AIDS is likely to advance to its terminal stage fastest among the most disadvantaged economic groups who have a poor nutritional status and little access to social services such as health and education . With fewer opportunities in the formal and informal sectors, more and more women may resort to selling sex for an income, putting them at greater risk of infection. This situation is particularly rampant among female university students in Zimbabwe.

ACTIVITY 5.18 (1)Who is more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS male or female students in Zimbabwean universities? (11) What could be done to reduce their vulnerability?


UNAIDS(2004) FOUND OUT THAT; Ø Women may be unable to negotiate safer sex or the use of condoms. Marriage does not protect women from HIV/AIDS infection because more than four-fifth s of new infections in women result from their husbands or primary partners. Ø Women in Zimbabwe are mostly economically dependent on their husbands’ or partners and fear rejection and/or violence if they insist on condom use Ø Poverty undermines women’s opportunities to seek the knowledge , power or time to be concerned about safer sex Ø Women are expected to bear children to demonstrate their fertility and fulfill their roles as mothers Ø Because women are traditionally perceived as care-givers the ‘burden’ of care that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has created more frequently falls to women than men Ø Women and young girls may use sex as a commodity in exchange of goods , services , money, accommodation or even status. This situation is rampant in Zimbabwean universities and tertiary colleges , more often than not with older men.

ACTIVITY 5.19 (1) What measures may be adopted by the Zimbabwean Government to curb the rise of HIV/AIDS infection in general, and among female students in tertiary colleges? CONCLUSION

The issue of HIV/AIDS vis-a- vis gender equality needs serious consideration from all stake- holders and the Government if gender equality is to be a reality rather than an elusive myth in Zimbabwe. This calls for focused attention on developmental policies


and processes with a ‘human face’ if we are to achieve the objectives of the Zimbabwe National Gender Policy and curb the increasing rise of HIV/AIDS infection .

POVERTY AND GENDER INTRODUCTION This part of the unit looks at poverty in relation to gender issues in Zimbabwe. We begin by looking at the various dimensions of poverty. WHAT IS POVERTY? Defining poverty is not an easy task. With the constantly changing features of the modern economy as well as the conceptions of what is necessary and what is not in modern life, it is difficult to establish who is considered poor. Although poverty always signifies deprivation(Brym,1995), the concept is commonly used in two different ways, relative poverty and absolute poverty. According to Haralambos and Holborn (2004), relative poverty refers to a state of deprivation of social resources in relation to some standard of greater privilege. ACTIVITY 5.12 (1) In Zimbabwe, is there equal access to social resources such as land, capital and technology? (2) What can be done to ensure that equal access to resources is achieved? (3) Do men and women access resources equally in Zimbabwe? (4) What measures may be implemented to achieve equal access to resources between the two sexes in Zimbabwe? From the exercise above it may be noted that there are disparities in accessing social resources in Zimbabwe based on race, ethnicity, social class and gender. This implies deprivation of vital resources useful for social mobility. A much more serious matter is absolute poverty, which means a state of deprivation of social resources that is life-


threatening (Haralambos and Holborn,2004). Being in a state of absolute poverty is not a matter of comparing oneself with others, rather, it means that survival itself is in doubt. Judging by the current Zimbabwean situation, most families , both urban and rural fall into this category of poverty, where they survive on either two meals, or worse still on one , that is ,if it is there at all. ACTIVITY 5.13 (1) What constitutes poverty in Zimbabwe? (2) How can levels of poverty be reduced in Zimbabwe

POVERTY AND GENDER Poverty does not affect males and females equally. Consequently, growing attention has been directed towards the ferminisation of poverty which means ‘ a trend by which females represent an increasing proportion of the poor (Macionis,1989:273). ACTIVITY 5.14. (1) Is the above quotation a true reflection of the situation in Zimbabwe? (2) What could be the possible reasons for this situation? (3) Suggest possible solutions to alleviate the situation. From the activity above, we may notice that the majority of poor Zimbabweans are females. The problem of poverty is most serious for women who are the heads of house holds (UNICEF,1994). They often have the financial burden of raising children, and if working, the majority typically hold low-paying jobs. This leaves them vulnerable to prostitution as they struggle to make ends meet. ACTIVITY 5.15 (3)


The effects of poor or inadequate access to quality basic social services are wide-ranging.nutrition has been on the increase. children of unmarried mothers especially unmarried adolescent mothers may be particularly disadvantaged because of their mothers’ immaturity. The rise in hospital and medical fees has affected access to health-seeking status for children and women in Zimbabwe. This has resulted in the increased vulnerability of children and females as they find themselves excluded fro growth and development. The effects of HIV/AIDS and the related demands on the health sector have compounded the situation. A deficiency and anaemia have remained a perennial problem with about 31% of women of child-bearing age affected (UNICEF. Poor children especially girls are disadvantaged by the lack of continuity as they often assume the adult roles of caring for younger siblings and working including engaging in child labour and commercial sex thereby exposing themselves to HIV/AIDS. poor social position and educational deficiencies.(1) What are the major causes of prostitution in Zimbabwe/ (2) Who is more vulnerable to prostitution in Zimbabwe . find themselves as small houses as they struggle for survival. rising inflation and negative growth since 2000 (UNICEF 2003). These depend on the resource allocation decisions of adults who often cannot properly feed and clothe themselves in the current Zimbabwean context. Stunting chronic under. The inflationary pressures and high cost of basic commodities has torn many families apart. some females married or not. The Impact of Poverty Poverty has had negative effects on the Zimbabwean society. with a profound impact on women who must see that their families are fed. According to UNICEF 2003. Consequently because of poverty.males or females? (3) What could be the possible reasons for this? Zimbabwe has experienced serious macro-economies instability with limited foreign exchange. This scenario has led to increased poverty among many Zimbabwean households increasing poverty continues to seriously undermine the country’s ability to ensure adequate access to quality basic services that include health and education. 2003). Indications are that school enrolment and retention of teachers and medical experts have 116 . The most hard hit are children of the poor particularly the girl child.

and it remains the greatest challenge the Government and stake holders need to address if equality between the two sexes is to be achieved in Zimbabwe. LaBeff. access to credit. HIV/AIDS has undermined most families’ ability to secure stable incomes and expand their asset bases. The relationship between poverty and HIV/AIDS is controversial and debatable. land and other vital productive assets (UNICEF.1988 Macionis (1989 117 . Inequality has continued to be severe particularly in relation to income.Equally significant as a cause of poverty has been the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Poverty remains a serious impediment to gender equity and equality.1995 Chalfant and Labeff (1988 Haralambos and Holborn[1995] [Haralambos and Holborn. especially young women to engage in sexual activities to alleviate their financial problems. Such a situation makes the poor females vulnerable to abuse. particularly because of the increase in poverty and effects of fees and other related costs. but poverty causes people. 2003). 2004.declined over the last couple of years. References Brym. CONCLUSION Unequal access to socio-economic resources is a major cause of poverty in Zimbabwe.

1981 Rodney. 1981 Schur(1984 UNAIDS. Critically examine “the part played by schooling in the socialization of young girls and thus in determining their occupational choices and eventual level of achievements” (Mahoney: 1985:11) 118 .Martin (1980 Richardson.1994 UNICEF 2003) UNIT 6 : GENDER ISSUES IN EDUCATION IN ZIMBABWE Tenson Tawanda Mugodzwa Discussion Questions 1.2004 UNICEF.

curricular vis-à-vis teacher attitudes and expectations. 6. Ø It has now become pertinent to analyse the way in which educational practices and processes shape women’s social and educational inequality. we look at gender issues in education in 119 .7) .g. 2. in Zimbabwe educational institutions. and career choice. This involves examining the process of education and activities in schools rather than the outcome of that education. and continue to save to perpetuate women’s subordinate position in society” (Lemmer. which have served. Assess the role played by the hidden curriculum in the creation and perpetuation of gender stereotypes and gender inequality. In this unit. e. Critically assess the validity of this statement. 1993. Schools are partriarchal institutions.o ITNRODUCTION Ø In all societies and at all times the education of girls and women has been considered less important and has assumed a different form from the education of boys and men (Gilbert and Taylor. 3. the portrayal of women in textbooks.- Particular attention should be given to aspects of the hidden curriculum. 1994). the classroom/school climate/environment. Ø Social scientists have of late begun to reappraise the role played by the school in determining the status and life outcomes of women.

Gilbert and 120 . YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO: · · · · · Explain giving examples.focusing on how females are discriminated in the various subtle ways in the school system. Examine the part played by schooling in socializing the girl child and thus determine her occupational choices and eventual achievement. These expectations are usually based on stereotyped beliefs. the various ways in which the girl child is discriminated against in the school system. Discuss the role played by the hidden curriculum in the social reproduction of gender inequality in Zimbabwe.1993). Suggest some recommendations towards a gender responsive environment in schools in Zimbabwe 6. Ø 6. Gender role socialization refers to the means whereby social expectations regarding gender – appropriate characteristics are conveyed to the child.Zimbabwe .1 OBJECTIVES BY THE END OF THIS UNIT.2 The school as an agent of socialization Ø The school is seen as a formal agent of gender role socialization (Dekker and Lemmer.

i. It provides them with a model for present behaviour . i. Ø Gilbert and Taylor (1994) also noted that differential gender role socialization for boys and girls occurs largely through the processes of formal schooling and the effects thereof are best discerned in. are detailed in the official curriculum. The Curriculum The school transmits culture to its learners in the form of knowledge and skills which together with aims of the school and education system as a whole. ACTIVITY 6. ii. 121 .1 What reasons may be used to explain the usually unequal educational outcomes between boys and girls in Zimbabwe? Suggest solutions to alleviate the unequal outcomes. and It prepares them for adult life.. the different patterns of achievement aspiration and self evaluation shown by males and females.Taylor (1994) conclude that gender role socialization has a dual significance for children .g. unequal educational outcomes e. ii.

122 .Ø The school curriculum operates on two levels. Ø While it is possible that the transmission of culture which takes place in schools via the curriculum can improve the life chances of the disadvantaged. i. 1993. racial and gender divisions in society (Haralambos and Holborn. mathematical and scientific skills whereas feminine toys were simpler. and focused on passive and solitary activity” (Lemmer. active and social and encouraged spatial. Kelly (1981:1981) and Samuel (1981) similarly found that toys which orientate a child to mathematics and science are marketed virtually exclusively for boys. 2004).10). particularly during the pre-primary phase of schooling. Research findings show that “masculine toys were found to be more varied. In this respect the hidden curriculum is recognized as a potent agent in communicating gender appropriate behaviour Toys Toys are an important means of informal learning. which is called the hidden curriculum. it can also perpetuate existing class. ii. intentional and official and unintentional and unexamined. complex.

such as witch and princess. provide children with models against which they measure their own parents and also provide models of acceptable behaviour. or to a narrow list of traditional female roles. mother and nurse. A more recent publishing date does not necessarily signify an end to gender stereotyping. Mostly males are portrayed in a variety of occupations whereas female occupations are confined either to FANTASY ROLES. According to Gilbert and Taylor (1991) textbooks present limited portrayals of women and girls and although attempts have since been made to reverse this trend. such as housewife. The main charge against history books is that women.Learning and Resource materials A major source of unintentional teaching and learning about gender roles takes place through educational materials and media. - Secondary school textbooks have also been criticized for their unbalanced portrayal of women. their social history and their achievements are conspicuous by their absence (Lemmer. more recently published school textbooks are still narrow in their representation of gender roles. 123 . Textbooks Preschool and primary school textbooks especially basic reading books. 1987).

illustrations favour males. teacher expectations and the positions occupied by male and female teachers within the school hierarchy are important components of the hidden curriculum and contribute to the way in which children perceive themselves. Teacher Expectations 124 . Moreover. Women are associated with stereotyped occupations. according to Bazler and Simonis (1992). books frequently refer to the students exclusively as “he” and texts suggest that Science and Mathematics represent a male preserve (Killy.- Although Mathematics and Science are traditionally considered to be impersonal and even neutral subjects. editions of science texts published in the 1980s show no significant improvement in the portrayal of women. analyses of textbooks used in schools have shown a qualitative and quantitative difference in their portrayal of men and women. 1981). Teachers Teacher attitudes.

creative and autonomous than boys in the classroom.g. there is a tendency for the performance of the pupil to conform with the expectations prescribed by the teacher. educators often act according to sub-conscious prejudices in the classroom (Stanworth. Ø Unspoken assumptions about gender roles and the attitudes towards women maintained by teachers have a potent influence on the gender role socialization of male and female pupils. Consider the following aspects as illustration. cooperative and sensitive but less independent.Teacher expectations of pupils’ performance and abilities can operate as a self fulfilling prophecy within the classroom. Teachers also cherish implicit expectations about the social roles that males and females should play both in the classroom and in adult life e.e. teachers expect girls to enter subordinate occupations and to have their careers disrupted by marriage and they communicate these expectations to pupils. Achievements 125 . i. Behaviour Teachers generally consider girls to be appreciative. Research suggests that in spite of the professed egalitarian ideals of some teachers. calm. 1983). Pupils who do not measure up to the teacher’s gender expectations are considered deviant.

Boys receive significantly more assistance from teachers as a result of this increased verbal communication. 126 .g. In all cases teacher expectations of boys wee more varied. 1982). raising of hands whereas boys are more likely to make verbal requests which usually result in more immediate to response. This is clearly illustrated by Spender’s (1982) study in which teachers on five occasions and in three countries were issued report cards which sometimes featured the name of a boy and sometimes featured the name of a boy and sometimes the name of a girl.g. Teachers ignore girls for longer. Ø Waiting – teachers encourage girls to seek attention by conventional methods e.Teachers believe boys to be more logical and quicker to grasp concepts.Pupil interaction It has been noted that teachers treat children according to expected gender roles in the classroom e. challenging and prestigious and more financially rewarding. who are in turn allowed about two thirds of pupil talk (Spender. girls to be neater and more precise at written work. 1982). periods of time. boys by individual names (Mahoney. Teacher . boys obtain attention by rowdy a social behaviour. Teachers were asked to make recommendations about the future of the children on the basis of identical information on the reports. Ø Talk – teachers spend about two thirds more time talking to boys. girls are addressed collectively.

Girls are an anonymous group. despite the implementation of various equity programmes. Sadker and Sadker concluded that day to day life in classrooms has remained fundamentally unchanged with boys receiving overall preferential treatment during formal education.Ø Identity – Teachers tend to know more personal detail about the boys they teach than about the girls. Effects of biased interaction The overall effect of biased interaction in the classroom is that girls experience the inferior status afforded to them within the intimate sphere of the classroom daily. It can be concluded that this does not constitute the kind of climate in which confidence and a sense of personal worth is inspired. Boys are regarded as aggressive unruly but essentially intelligent and are given more attention in the form of rewards and even punishment. Girls are more often rewarded for conforming behaviour and are encouraged to be compliant but not autonomous. “faceless bunch” about when little personal detail is known (Stanworth. Boys’ failures are seen as the result of a lack of effort rather than lack of skill (Safilios – Rothschild. 127 . 1982). 1983:45) Ø Reward and Punishment – children’s self esteem is not only shaped by the quantity of teacher attention they get but also by the quality of that attention. Rewards and punishment meted out within the classroom differ for boys and girls and thus also reinforce gender role expectations.

Teachers as Models Measor and Sikes (1992) have observed that teachers provide important role models for children. The employment of women teachers is accompanied by overt and covert discrimination in terms of promotion and tenure practices. Global patterns also show that women teachers tend to be under represented in certain subjects such as Mathematics and Science and concentrated in stereotyped women’s fields. concern has been expressed by educators about the underrepresentation of women in positions of leadership in the education system and the identification of male and female teachers with specific age groups. Languages and the Humanities.e. i. Ø Most school teachers worldwide are female. 1993:149) with parents and teachers taking a far more passive role when advising girls than when advising boys. In contrast. Literature on the pattern of job selection and career choice of adolescent girls suggests that the majority indeed “drift into a career or job” (Dobie. The career choice of girls is further complicated by issues concerning the formation of the 128 . in this regard. This reinforces the perception that women teach and men control. the care of young children and teaching so called girls’ subjects such as Home Economics. Ø Occupational choices are made from primary school onwards and the school assists directly and indirectly in this process. with the greatest concentration of women in pre-primary and primary school teaching. women are under represented in headships and other positions of leadership.

personal. 129 . social and sexual identity which reaches a crucial phase during adolescence.

1 University of Western Australia Gordon. R and Chimedza (1995) Access and Equity 130 . in Journal of Education Research and Perspectives. in Occassional Paper Number 8. C. (1995) Can Sex of Girls’ Academic Under Achievement: The Influence of Teachers’ Attitudes and Expectations on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Girls. Teacher Expectations and Sub Fulfilling Prophecies. (Ed) Feminines et Education Politiques Nationales et Variation International. M. ZJER. University of Laval. Harare Gordon. and Bardoux. UZ.References Gordon. T (1975) Social Inequalities. R. R. R (1994) National Policies for the Education of Girls and Women in Zimbabwe in Sutherland. LABRAPS. Quebec Williams. Volume 2 No.

race.The Rationale Education is a basic human right. 1995). and equal treatment in educational institutions. Ø Unfortunately groups such as these are often denied both the right of access to education. 131 . and promoting equity in education emphasizing that Education For All means ensuring that particular attention is directed to the education of the under served (Gordon and Chimedza. Ø Article 3 of the World Declaration of Human Rights is concerned with universalizing access to. ability. The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child re-affirmed the right of every child to education irrespective of colour. which leads to unequal educational outcomes and life chances for these groups. disability and socio economic status (Gordon and Chimedza (1995). sex. creed.

i. Ø Equality of educational opportunity is necessary if women. one is gender specific.Ø As well as being a basic human right. all operating within the context of a patriarchal society.e. Of the fundamental human rights and freedoms recognized by ZANU (PF). the right of women to equality which men “in all spheres of political. Ø Since independence the stated policy of the government has been based on the policy of the rising party. Knowledge gained through education is a means by which they can improve the quality of their lives. National Policies For The Education of Girls and Women in Zimbabwe Ø Its not possible to isolate national policies for the education of girls and women in Zimbabwe. charity. economic. from socio economic policies and the economic. the goodwill of individuals. organizations and the state. ZANU (PF). education is a necessary condition for the upward social mobility of disadvantaged members of society. and thus equal opportunities for all members of society to secure employment. legal and political statuses of women. cultural and 132 . Ø Equity of access to education and equal treatment in the school are essential conditions for all forms of social equity (Gordon. 1994). are to become self sufficient producers of wealth. Educational policies both prior to and since independence have been an integral part of overall government policies. Ø Equal educational opportunities for all maximizes the possibility of equal educational outcomes.

2015). (ZANU (PF) Manifesto. and more recently. 1994) and worse still only 41% of secondary school pupils are girls (Gordon. upon the higher drop out rates for girls. Ø Little attention has however been given to what happens to girls in the schools. Girls and Education since Independence Ø Despite the tremendous increases in educational provision countrywide and the introduction of non gee paying primary education.e. but also equal treatment of boys and girls within the school itself ( life. i. Constraints to the Education of Girls The issue of sexual equality of educational opportunity has of late received some attention in Zimbabwe. Equality of educational opportunity involves not only equal access to schooling. emphasis to schooling for girls. 1995). 1994). Men and women will enjoy equal pay for equal work”. In particular. 133 . Ø Education is seen as a human right and necessity and an important instrument for the achievement of equity. fewer girls than boys attend primary school (Gordon. the treatment experienced by girls within the schools.

and thus their aspirations and academic motivation? 2. Do they perceive themselves and the school as contributing to the problem? Equality of Educational Opportunity Ø At Independence in 1980 the government embarked on a programme of educational reconstruction and expansion in an effort to make access to education a reality for all Zimbabwean children.1. Ø In Zimbabwean secondary schools the ratio of male to female pupils is 3:1 (Gordon. Equality of educational opportunity for all was a stated aim of the government and education was perceived not only as a human right but also as an important means by which deponents and the redress of social inequalities inherited from the colonial period could be attained. 1991). How do teachers explain the poor performance of girls? 3. 1989. as elsewhere in the sub region (Duncan. have been higher for girls than for boys (Gordon. 1995). 1995). Ø Yet the girl child remains disadvantaged in the Zimbabwean education system. 134 . To what extent and in what ways do teacher attitudes and expectations affect the academic and social self concepts of girls. Ø Dropout rates in every cohort in Zimbabwe since 1980. Hyde. The drop out rate for girls increased particularly in the upper levels of primary and secondary school.

as elsewhere in the world. As a result girls and women are under represented in the sciences at ‘A’ level and in tertiary education. are explained in terms of the relative degree of fit between the child and the school. One particular component to this argument is the notion that teachers engage in subtle forms of discrimination within classrooms. Social class and sex differences in achievement. self esteem. Ø Schools are actually accused of perpetuating social inequalities from one generation to another (Bowles. They found that teachers get just what they expect from students in the way of performance in schools.Ø It has also been noted that girls perform more poorly than boys in all public examinations up to form IV. If teachers expect post performance from certain children. How do girls (primary and secondary) socialization fit into the school culture and the education system as a whole? 135 . Ø The linkage of this argument to the broader issues of opportunity and the maintenance of social un equalities across generations is fairly straightforward. The under achievement of girls is a critical factor for their further education and training and employment opportunities. Ø Girls in Zimbabwe. these children will perform poorly in school. aspirations and so on. particularly under achieve in mathematics and science. Ø Arguments that schools are failing to provide the equality of opportunity that is part of their mandate could be the basis for explaining the disadvantaged position of girls in education. 1972). and thereby. Ø Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) examined in depth the alleged processes of the self-fulfilling prophecy. set in motion self-fulfilling prophesies.

An imbalance is a lack of evenness. so that equality between the two sexes is achieved. Redressing gender imbalances therefore looks at ways in which treatment of males and females can be created. There are many ways in which gender imbalances can be redressed. Following is a brief exposition of each of these ways. This equality does not mean that women and men are going to be the same in the sense of the word ‘sameness’. 136 . therefore a gender imbalance is a lack of evenness in treatment of males and females.0 Introduction In this unit we are looking at ‘redressing of gender imbalances’. education and empowerment programmes as well as engagements of gender projects. opportunities and life chances are not governed or limited by whether they we born female or male.Unit 6 Redressing Gender Imbalances By Daniel Mawere. carrying out gender research and gender analysis. In this unit we are going to look at the following key ways: enactment of gender responsive policies and laws. creation of gender responsive environments. What do you think is meant by this word: redressing? You are correct! To redress is to put right a wrong or an injustice. It is equality in the sense that their enjoyment of rights. Let us start by getting the meaning of the word “redress”. Winfrida Matsa and Efritha Chauraya 6.

6.1 Objectives By the end of this module you should be able to: · 6.1.1 Identify and explain gender responsive policies and laws. · · · · 6.1.2 Highlight the interrelationship between physical, social and academic environments in creation of gender responsive environments. 6.1.3 Assess the extent to which gender research and gender analysis contribute to redressing gender imbalances. Examine the extent to which education and empowerment programmes contribute to redressing gender imbalances. Evaluate the role of gender projects in bringing about a gender equal society.

Enactment of gender responsive policies Kabeer (1992) quoted in March, Smyth and Mukhopadhyay (1999:20-21) makes a gender classification of policies as follows: · Gender blind policies which recognize no distinction between the sexes. Such policies make assumptions, which lead to a bias in favour of existing gender relations. In view of this therefore such policies tend to exclude women. · Gender-aware policies recognize that both women and men are development actors. How ever the nature of women’s involvement is determined by gender relations which make their involvement different and unequal. As a result women may have different needs, interests and priorities which may conflict with those of men at times. Within gender- aware policies, Kabeer further distinguishes between gender-neutral, gender-specific and gender redistributive policies.


* Gender-neutral policies use the knowledge of gender differences in a given society to overcome bias in development interventions, in order to ensure that interventions target and benefit both sexes effectively to meet their practical needs. Gender-neutral policies work within the existing gender division of resources and responsibilities. * Gender-specific policies use the knowledge of gender differences in a given context to respond to the practical needs of women or men; they work within the existing gender division of resources and responsibilities. * Gender-redistributive policies are intended to transform existing distributions of power and resources to create a more balanced relationship between women and men, touching on strategic gender interests. They may target both sexes, or women or men separately. In the context of Zimbabwe, a National Gender Policy (NGP) was introduced to show the country’s commitment to promote gender equality and equity. The policy provides guidelines and institutional framework to engender all sectoral policies, programmes, projects and activities at all levels of society and economy. Affirmative Action Policies are made to allow females to enter or qualify for certain jobs or education opportunities with lower qualifications. Affirmative Action means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education and business from which they have been historically excluded. Affirmative Action involves preferential selection on the basis of race, gender or ethnicity. An example is when a university guides the recruitment procedures by stating that at least 50% of the admitted students should be female. Another Affirmative Action Policy is the Midlands State University Bridging Programme for girls aspiring to embark on Mathematics and Science related degree programmes. Activity 6.1 1. Make a survey of gender specific policies that have been introduced in your country. 2. Give explanations to each of the policies and discuss the extent to which each of the policies attempt to redress gender imbalances in your country.


Gender imbalances and legal redress: This section is linked to UNIT 8 especially section 8.5. Here we are looking at how the law can help to redress gender imbalances. We are turning to the law for removal of barriers that put men and women in differential positions. The law is also being looked at using the gender lens to see if it has biases that lead to differential treatment of men and women. The major aim of doing this is to enable women and men to exercise and enjoy their rights to the full. The legal redress of gender imbalances involves the following: · Enactment of gender equality act. · · · · · Gender audit and review of all legislation to make it gender sensitive and responsive. Gender training for state administrators and law enforcing agents Legal literacy. Legal education and sensitization. Community gender and human rights training.

For a successful legal redress of gender imbalances there is need for a thorough gender analysis of the law and of the issues concerned. This analysis will show where the problem lies. The problem may be on the implementation and meaning of the law, knowledge of the law among other issues. When these factors are addressed it is hoped that the law will be doing its best to promote gender equality. This analysis will also enable us to group laws as either progressive or retrogressive. Retrogressive Laws are against gender equality. They do not promote equal treatment of men and women before the law. At times they even worsen the condition of the disadvantaged sex in a particular context. For more information on retrogressive laws see unit 8 (8.2 and 8.3).


Progressive Laws promote gender equality. They promote the rights of all sexes, regardless of race colour, sex, or belief. Activity 6. 2 · How is legal education and sensitization done in your community? · · To what extent are these programmes changing gender relations in your community? Make a gender analysis of progressive and retrogressive laws obtaining in your country.

Creation of gender responsive environments Gender responsive environments respect human rights and ensure that issues of gender equality and equity are promoted. A gender responsive environment is one in which both males and females are empowered to achieve their highest possible potential. The Forum for African Women Educationists has referred to these environments as Centres of Excellence (COE). The focus in creating gender responsive environments is on physical, academic and social environments in the context of the school. · The Physical Environment refers to the infrastructure , for example, in a school setting, this includes , school buildings, fences, toilets, hostels, health facilities, library, laboratories, amenities for sports, water, electricity and sanitation. Adequate, secure and gender appropriate infrastructure is emphasized. This is achievable when parents, the community, students and teachers mobilize adequate resources. · The Academic Environment refers to:


school management-teacher relationships which should be gender responsive. girl-boy.3 · Suggest how you can make your institution an environment in which both males and females are empowered to achieve their highest possible potential? · What challenges. For example a widow or single mother as ‘head of household’ has serious implications in terms of access and control to goods and services. * The Social Environment refers to teacher.student. Activity 6. good academic performance. are likely to be faced in striving to achieve this goal? Gender Analysis We looked at gender analysis in unit 4 where we learnt that gender analysis examines the relationships between women and men. Gender analysis starts with the smallest unit. the household to understand how each family member participates. one could ask what factors affect access to services. innovative and creative. student-student. potentials for 141 . what role they play and what they need in order to improve their well being. Who obtains resources? Who decides on the use of resources? Through gender analysis we get an insight into cultural understanding of the different roles of men and women.* Students who are empowered. empowered. that is. * School Management which is gender responsive and championing the transformation of gender responsiveness. It examines their roles. girl-girl. for example. do you think. bursaries for needy students. teacherteacher. * Teachers who are gender responsive. access to carrier guidance and students who are well grounded in democratic practice. adhering to the teachers’ code of conduct and ethics. * Adequate and gender responsive teaching and learning materials. As a strategy to redress gender imbalances. boy-boy. The analysis of relations and roles can help us to identify vulnerabilities. gender analysis should be integrated in carrying out needs assessment or situational analysis to ensure that gender-based injustices and inequalities are not exacerbated by likelihood interventions. boy-girl. their access to and control of resources and the constraints they face relative to each other.

· From your findings make recommendations to solve the gender related problem you have researched on.backlash and also solutions to critical issues in a bid to promote greater equality and justice in gender relations. community. attitudes and skills in handling gender related issues and problems in the classroom. school drop out. staying and transiting to higher levels of learning. Most obstacles in girls’ social and academic development are rooted in the culture of silence that is instilled in girls’ socialization process. Gender Research Gender Research is another way of redressing gender imbalance. Gender responsive research probes into the gender dimension of constraints at all levels of the educational process (policy. b) High school drop out rate among girls/boys c) Low class participation among boys/girls. Education and Empowerment programmes Education and empowerment programmes go a long way into redressing gender imbalances. issues and concerns in society. household.4 · Carry out a mini-gender research on any one of the following areas: a) Causes of poor performance amongst female students in your institution. teachers. In addition it will enable them to recommend strategies that will address the constraints which hinder girls and some boys from enrolling. intended to empower students with skills and knowledge of investigating gender related problems. Activity 6. classroom participation. d) Teacher/Lecturer attitudes and skills in handling gender related issues and problems in the classroom/lecture room. The knowledge so gained will enable students to use gender responsive research as a strategy to solve gender related problems they come across in their own endeavours. Hence these 142 . school and classroom levels). performing. Gender research explores problems that are researchable such as: Causes of poor performance.

it is taken for granted that boys are born empowered but the truth is the opposite. For a detailed understanding of how education and empowerment programmes bring about gender balance we refer you to Unit 7. · The Zimbabwe legal Foundation which offers free legal support to males and females who do not have the capacity to hire a lawyer to represent them in times of need. These projects normally target groups rather than individuals. research has shown that it is the girl child who normally enters the school last and is the first to leave school. · 143 . note they are of interest to gender because. Following are a few examples of gender projects: · The Zimbabwe Basic Assistance Module(BEAM) which offers financial support to orphans. food schemes. boys also need to be empowered in order to accept gender equality and be able to cope with empowered girls. legal support as well as socio-political support. In other cultures. gender empowerment and free counseling services to affected males and females especially when it concerns domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence. as beneficiaries. in times of shortages and a choice is made on who between the girl child and the boy child to pull out of school. through benefitting say all orphans. they will be benefitting say the girl child orphan who has been the object of discrimination historically. However. With most care-taker families. How ever they may also be in the form of general support. Engagements of gender projects Gender projects are support programmes for the disadvantaged males and females. girls feed after boys have fed. In most circumstances. The Musasa Project Centre which offers free socio-political support to the males and females through offering gender education. They normally offer economic support in the form of special tuition. These projects therefore protect human rights and promote equality through provision of assistance to the vulnerable groups.disempowered girls see those obstacles as God given and they can not be challenged. for example. In this way the education of and general welfare of girls and women has always been compromised.

Other gender projects include. It has challenged fellow men to contribute towards national development by getting involved in gender issues. Zimbabwe National Platform for Action. then there is need to seriously consider alternative ways of solving the problem. Source: Lopi. negative attitudes. poor funding. These need to be constructed. SHAPE Zimbabwe. Women Leadership and Governance Institute. the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and perhaps in the sub-region has embarked on activities to promote gender sensitive attitudes and behaviour. National Aids Council. Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network. All 144 .5 · · What gender related projects are being carried out in your country? To what extent do these projects help in redressing gender balances in your country? Conclusion Redressing gender imbalances should be conceptualized as a process and not an end in itself. Society is viewed as continuing to promote a culture and attitudes based on domination and exploitation of women by men. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). (1998) for SARDC in Beyond Inequalities : Women in Zimbabwe ZWRCN. · Activity 6. If the intention is to achieve gender equity and equality.· Men’s Forum for Gender (MFG) (Padare) which is a gender organisation formed by a group of men to campaign against Domestic Violence. among others. B. Although efforts are being made to address the issue. Young Men Christian Organisation and Girl-Child Network. Young Women Christian Organisation (YWCO). Forum for Gender. In Zimbabwe it is known as Padare. inadequate resources. The organization is concerned with the problem of gender inequality as a moral and political challenge. The group. misconceptions of gender issues and many other factors hamper progress. resistance.

(1999). Zimbabwe National Gender Policy (2004) Government Printers. Smyth.stakeholders and interested parties should continuously review their approaches to the problem. References March. Beyond Inequalities: Women in Zimbabwe Forum for African Women Educationalists (2005). A Guide T o Gender Analysis Frameworks. and Mukhopadhyay.. M. Harare 145 . C. Introduction to Gender Studies: A Teaching Module for Student Teachers. I. Oxford. Midlands State University. Gweru. Oxfam. (1998) for SARDC in Beyond Inequalities: Women in Zimbabwe ZWRCN. B. Lopi.

UNIT 7 Gender Empowerment By Manuku Mukoni and Charles Chikunda 146 .

-They give us a key word beyond this limitation by recognizing that power exists within the context of relationship between people or things. Adair and Howl (1989:20) define power as the ability to do what one chooses. motivation. models of empowerment as well as strategies of empowerment.0 Introduction In Unit 6 we learnt about gender issues that act as constraints to gender equality. For this purpose we need to understand the various forms in which power is interpreted. needs and desires as well as their creations and artefacts) for human end. Power is the ability to make others do what we want regardless of their own wishes or interests ( Weber in Czuba 2003 : 2) Traditional social sciences emphasize power as influence and control often treating power as a commodity or a structure divorced from human action (Lipps.2 Understanding Power To understand the term empowerment we need to analyze the idea of ‘Power’ which is the root of the term empowerment. Adair and Howl (1989) as well as Weber’s definition of power. their thoughts. 1991).7. 7. They show that power does 147 . In this unit we will explore in detail the concept of gender empowerment which is one of the strategies that can be used to redress the imbalances caused by these issues. 7. Conceived in this way power can be viewed as unchangeable or unchanging. In this unit focus will be on the various types of empowerment. If we look at Albert (1985). because power means different things to different people. Therefore it is important for us to explore the perceptions of power Albert (1985 :12) define power as the capability of human beings to organize or manipulate their environment ( including other human beings. For details see Unit 8.1 Unit Objectives By the end of this unit you should be able to · Define empowerment as it applies to men and women · Identify the various types of empowerment · Describe the models/ frameworks of empowerment · Examine the various approaches to collective empowerment · Recognize an empowered man and an empowered woman.

Such an understanding of power cuts most of us off from power. maintained. 7. Focusing on these aspects of power limit our ability to understand and define empowerment while to other people power is a zero sum it is something you get at the expense of others. for example men will not voluntarily relinquish that patriarchal power which gives them privilege over women and which give them less work than women but a larger share of the rewards. Do activity 7. How can you tell you have power? 4.2. A zero sum conception of power means that power will remain in the hands of the powerful unless they give it up. it neglects the way power is experienced in most interactions.1 Forms of Power There are various forms of power.1 1. Although this is certainly one way that power is experienced. Have you ever felt powerful? Was it at someone’s expense? Was it with someone else? 3. power can be understood as operating in a number of different ways. A brief activity makes the importance of this discussion clear Activity 7.2 below to brainstorm on forms of power 148 .not exist in isolation nor is it inherent in an individual. How is power exercised. What are the characteristics of lack of power? 5. perpetuated and distributed? For most people words that come to mind when we think about power often revolve around control and domination. By implication this shows us that since power is created in relationships then power and power relationships can change making empowerment as a process of change possible. List three words that immediately come to your mind when you hear the word power? 2.

Albert (1985). Some researchers and practitioners call this aspect of power ‘relational power’ (Loppe and Du Bois 1994) “generative power ‘’ (Korten. Power with –relates to the collective strength of people working together.1992) · This is the type of power that is characterized by collaboration. sharing and mutuality (Kreisberg. 1987). · This is whereby an individual or a group in authority uses their power to make decision and control others · . If a woman makes more money or attaints a position of power. violence can result. “Integrative power ‘’ (Kreisberg . What do you understand by (a) Economic power (b) Political power (c) Social power (d) Inter-person The activity above on power and the definition of power by Weber (1946).It is when one uses power to get another person or group of people to do what they do not want. most man has power over woman. Adair and Howl (1989) in section 7. Hence we have various forms of power as discussed below: Power over.2 1.2.It is coercive · E.g.Activity 7. shows that power exists within the context of a relationship between people or things. · This form of power is based on socially sanctioned threats of violence and intimidation · It requires constant vigilance to remain and it invites active and passive resistance. · .In this case power is finite the more power one has the less the others have · .this form of power involves an either/ or relationship of domination / subordination. 1992) · It involves people organizing with a common purpose or common understanding to achieve collective goals 149 .

· · · ·

It is by coming together and sharing each other mutual support that we are in a position to challenge the zero type of power. It acknowledges the fact that power multiples with individual talents and knowledge It is the form of power that lies behind the common sayings such as ‘united we stand divided we fall’ ‘one for all and all for one’’ This form of power means that gaining power actually strengthens the power of others rather than diminishing it such as occurs with domination power.

Power to – This form of power relates to having decision making authority, power to solve problems and being creative and enabling · It refers to the potential in every human being to take action in their own life and the world · It is based on authority and mutual support and, it opens possibilities for joint action · It refers to potentially transformative power which is in every person which enables him/ her to take control of his / her life. Power within- refers to self confidence, self awareness and assertiveness · It relates to how an individual can recognize through analyzing own experience, how power operates in one’s life and gain the confidence to act, to influence and change this (Williams et al 1994) · It refers to creative, spiritual and emotional strength that resides within each person · It comes from self esteem, self acceptance, self knowledge and self respect. · It stems from the belief that ‘I am a human being and I am worthy’ Activity 7.3 1. What form of power do you think the following people have (a) Conservative bosses (b) Abusive husbands (c) Men over women 2 What is the source of their power?


Kreisberg (1992: 57) suggests that power defined as the capacity to implement is broad enough to allow power to mean domination, authority influence and shared power or power with. It is this definition of power as it occurs in relationship that gives us the possibility of empowerment. Empowerment therefore involves the redistribution of power and this power cannot be given it has to be taken (Longwe, 2001, Kabeer in March et al 1997) 7.3 Understanding empowerment Empowerment is a construct shared by many disciplines and arenas: community development psychology, education, economics and studies of social movements and organizations among other. As a multidimensional concept it had wide variations and how it is understood varies among these perspectives. To demystify the concept we need to understand the term broadly:· Empowerment refers to the creation and expansion of one’s knowledge, skills, decision making and other power bases giving them the capacity and capability to exercise influence and leadership on their own ( Zimbabwe National Gender policy 2004: 12) · Empowerment is a process whereby individuals who are marginalized individually or collectively become aware of how power structures, processes and relations operate in their lives and gain the confidence and strength to challenge the resulting gender inequalities ( Hannan ,2003) McWhirter (1991) in Eade (1999) defines empowerment as a process by which people organization or groups who are powerless. (a) Become aware of the power dynamics at work in their life contexts and them (b) Develop the skills and capacity for gaining some reasonable control over their lives. (c) Exercise this control without infringing upon the rights of others and (d) Support the empowerment of others. From these broad definitions of empowerment we can deduce that empowerment is essentially a process which covers the following basic aspects: · Actions involved in confronting and changing unequal power relations · Acquiring the capacity (psychological readiness, social analysis, organizational skills) and need to take action. · It has both individual and collective dimensions.



Table: 1 What is empowerment then? -In brief empowerment is about · Bringing people who are outside the decision making process into it · Individuals being able to maximize the opportunities available to them without or despite constraints of structure and state · Access to intangible decision making process · Having power to exercise control over all aspects of your life, being in a position to determine or decide their own destiny. · Having freedom of conscience, expression, independent judgment and self reliance · Being able to maximize the opportunities available to one without constraints · Having the right to make choices · Having education, information, authority and power in decision making on issues affecting one and others. · Undoing negative social constructions so that one can come to see self as having the capacity and the right to act and influence decisions. · Acting collectively in order to change or control · Challenging the basic assumption about power, helping achieving and succeeding

An activity on empowerment below will help elucidate the concept of empowerment further


Women’s increased ownership of capital 10.4 Which statements below define empowerment? 1.7.1 revealed that power must be understood as working at different levels including institutional household and individual. Equality in the gender division of labor 9. A battered woman is freed from the threat of violence and becomes able to make decisions about her life Statement 2.4 The three dimensions of empowerment Empowerment has three dimensions as shown below Personal Close relations 154 . 7.8 and 9 above may contribute to the process of empowerment or may result from the process of empowerment they cannot define what is empowerment for example women’s increased levels of literacy or education provided by an intervention does not address the underlying patterns of discrimination which generally prevent woman from obtaining education and which generally maintains their subordination and oppression. Taking account of gender differentials 5. Being consulted during the preparation of the poverty reduction support project 6.2. Elimination of discriminatory legislation 8. The forms of power in section 7. Women’s improved socio.Activity 7.economic status 3. thus giving rise to three dimension of empowerment as illustrated below. Women’s improved levels of literacy or education 4. Being able to engage in decisions on budget allocations 2. 3. Formation of unions for immigrant workers which allow them to negotiate working conditions with employees 11. Giving a fair hearing to a women in a public meeting comprising of men and women 7.4.

and self.4. negative inner dialogue · Lack of confidence · Failure to take criticism · Procrastination · Not choosing one’s battles Steps to self personal empowerment 155 .1 Personal empowerment · Is where empowerment is about developing a sense of self and individual confidence and capacity. breaking criticism and developing communication skills Sources of personal disempowerment · Lack of exposure and encouragement · Dependency an external motivation · Self put downs. confidence. decision making ability to interact outside the home.Collective Adapted from Rowlands. high self esteem. undoing the effects of internalized oppression · It is based on the assumptions that (i) People have inherent ability and power to evolve and progress (ii) True power cannot be best owned but it comes from within · It involves developing confidence in oneself. 1997 7.development. self esteem and a sense of agency · It is all about realising the potential in oneself to perform and increase output · It is being an individual who can interact with own surrounding and obtain results · It is all about undoing the effects of internalized oppression and subordination It leads to positive self concept.

2 Close Relationship This type of empowerment entails the ability to negotiate and influence the nature of a relationship and decisions made within it. focus only on the criticism that builds you up Understand the situation and get the power through other systems Acquiring certain skills that you lack so that you become more efficient Increase your ability to interact outside the home Participate in and influence areas of activity Table 2 key elements in personal empowerment __ in brief. For example husband/ wife relationship. the key elements to personal empowerment includes · Self awareness (who are you?) · Making decisions about issues that affect you. being in control · Ability to share power as opposed to wielding power over others · Personal development · Independence · Developing a positive self image · Having self esteem and confidence 7. parents / child and boyfriend/ girlfriend etc – individuals work together to achieve a more positive impact.4.· · · · · · · · · · Build self confidence Attitudinal tune up – think of the positive do not always put yourself down Develop communication skills – seek to understand and be understood. however begin with forgiving yourself for all the mistakes you have done Allow yourself and others to say ‘NO’ Break the criticism pattern. Increase the ability to formulate and express opinions Teach and practice forgiveness. 156 .

7. dependent upon self confidence. However men need also need to be empowered in order to 157 . Because to have a sense of empowerment in relation to other people is associated with and to a large extent. self esteem and sense of agency.hence to achieve group or community empowerment.3 Collective Empowerment Individuals’ abilities to negotiate communicate and defend their rights It builds on individual empowerment. Empowerment programmes hence think only women need to be empowered to challenge these internalized views. group and community .6 Understanding Gender Empowerment Society instills a culture of silence in women during the socialization process hence these disempowered woman see these obstacles as God given and they cannot be challenged. Thus empowerment occurs in a chain. 7.5 Chain of Empowerment Empowerment occurs at various levels such as individual. Personal Empowerment Relational empowerment Collective empowerment 7. To achieve collective empowerment individuals must have personal empowerment individual should be able to work together to achieve greater impact in locality or surrounding than what one person could have achieved for example pressure groups such as trade unions. It also depends on the individual’s ability to negotiate. empowerment should start at the personal level since without empowerment at personal level it is very hard for individuals to be active collectively. Women and Gender (WAG) in Zimbabwe It involves groups because it is through involvement in groups that people most often begin to develop their awareness. communicate and defend his or her rights. Affirmative Action Group (AAG) in Zimbabwe. workers committees.4.

2 Effects of lack of empowerment Women Men 158 .accept gender equality and be able to cope with empowered women. Elements of oppression under which women live both as female and as poor people Culture of machismo. In most situations it is taken for granted that men are born empowered hence they are always deprived opportunities to acquire gender responsive empowerment skills 7. Myths.6. alcohol consumption and other vices and the among culture of violence Legislation e.few woman participate in decision making yet it is within the public space that decision that affect them are made. proverbs.1 Sources of disempowerment of women · · · · · · · Culture. social and physical conditions in which women live and the gender role to which they are expected to conform. stories . in Zimbabwe customary law is given precedence in some areas 6.g. stereotypes and language Economic – most women do not have access and control over resources Political.

· · · · · · · · · · · · Not speaking out Being harassed including sexual harassment Risk of being HIV infected Lack of self confidence Low self esteem Negative self concept Dependent Passive Shy Inferiority Confusion Unwanted pregnancy · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Uses force instead of negotiating Shout out instead of speaking out or communicating Being sexual harassed by other men/ older women Become violent and aggressive Failure to share their problems and feelings Harassing women Risk of being infected with HIV Dependent Low self esteem ( inferiority) Dominance / superiority Confusion Alcoholism Clumsiness’ Alienation/isolation From the effects of lack of empowerment in man and women discussed above. It becomes clear that both man and women need empowerment hence we talk of gender empowerment. 159 .

6. 2001) * Women Empowerment means · Having control or gaining further control · Being able to define and create from a women’s perspective · Being able to influence social choices and decisions affecting the whole society · Being recognized and accepted as equal citizens 160 .· · · · · · Table 3 What is gender empowerment then? Is the process of enabling women and men to take an equal place and to participate equally in the development process It entails recognizing one’s strength and exploding sexist misconception. Have their voices heard 3. Challenge past customs 7.3 Understanding women’s empowerment Women’s empowerment is enabling women to take an equal place with men and to participate equally in the development process in order to achieve control over the factors of production on an equal basis with men (Longwe. To make decision 2. stratus and efficiency in social interaction giving them increased opportunity to control their lives It gives men and women the power 1. challenging socialization ideas that breed the feeling of inferiority and superiority attitudes among women and men respectively It is a process through which men and women increase their capacity to shape their own lives and environment It also calls for the transformation of the structures and practices in the institutes to those that does not reinforce or perpetuate gender discrimination and social inequality It is an evolvement in men and women’s self awareness. Negotiate on something that is not negotiable 5. Put things on the agenda 4.

If it is inherent in positions or people then empowerment is not possible nor is empowerment conceivable in any meaningful way.2003) According to Czuba (2003) the possibility of empowerment depends on two things first empowerment requires that power can change.1994.Kabeer.4 Understanding men’s empowerment Men’s empowerment is the ability to understand and accept gender equality.Williams. Thus empowerment is more than simply opening up access to decision making it must also include the process that lead people to perceive themselves as able and entitled to occupy that decision making space and so overlaps with the categories of ‘power to’ and ‘power within’ Empowerment therefore comes from within. Women empowerment involves the undoing of internalized oppression and the rejection of the definition of femininity 7. Secondly the concept of empowerment depends upon the idea that power can expand. It is the liberation of men from false value systems and ideologies of oppression leading to a situation where men become wholly regardless of gender and use their fullest potential to construct a more human society for all.7 Model / Framework of Empowerment A framework is a system of ideas or conceptual structures that help us see the social world.(Kabeer. as women bring to the process of empowerment societal values stereotype. It involves individuals themselves setting the agenda and managing the pace of change. understand it.(Hannan. Outsiders such as development cooperation agencies non governmental agencies can only play an important facilitating role through use of established frameworks or models. In other words if power can change then empowerment is possible. myths and beliefs which for a long time have made women accept inferiority.2003) 7. From the above definition of gender empowerment and our previous discussions it s evident that the idea of power is at the core of empowerment.2003.· Being able to make a contribution at all levels of society and not just in the home · It is having one’s contribution recognized and valued · Having a say and being listened to Thus empowerment for women brings to the process of empowerment an existing experience and history.6. explain it and change it (Wallace and March 1991) 161 . If power cannot change.

they are not really a linear progression as discussed in unit 4 but rather circular. it is unlikely that women and men will find it empowering.7. If a development intervention focuses on the higher levels. women’s empowerment tool 2: levels of recognition This framework / model is based on the notion of five different levels of equality. For details see unit 4 The framework is used as an empowerment model as well as a gender analysis framework see unit 4. Though a feminist model it can be applied to empowerment.When applied to empowerment an empowerment framework or model therefore is a systematic way of examining how the empowerment process can be achieved in this section the Sarah Longwe empowerment framework and the Tuseme model of empowerment will be discussed 7. of empowerment are hierarchal.1 Sarah Longwe empowerment framework It is also known as the women empowerment framework. We need to note that although the levels. as discussed in unit 4 The extent to which these are present in any area of social or economic life determine the level of empowerment as illustrated in the diagram below Control Participation Conscientisation Access empowerment Welfare Increased equality increased These levels of equality are hierarchal. there is greater likelihood that women and men’s empowerment will be increased by the intervention than if a project focuses on lower levels If the intervention concentrator only on welfare. women’s empowerment tool 1: levels of equality 2. The Empowerment Cycle 162 . For example equal participation in decision making process about certain resources is more important in achieving women and men’s empowerment than equal access to resources. It comprises of two tools 1.

economic status.5 below to enhance your understanding of this model 163 . It is therefore a synergic process The levels of the framework are therefore not intended to be interpreted as steps in a linear sequence but rather as interrelated elements in a cycle or spiral of self reinforcing process Do activity 7. The process of empowerment is also self propelling and self reinforcing that is issues at one level provides a better basis for success at other levels.Welfare Control Empowerment Access Mobilization Conscientisation Adapted from Longwe (2001) The achievement of women’s increased control leads into better access to resources and therefore improves socio.

7.5 Recent attempts by women activists to pass legislation on granting married women a large share of their husband’s household property in Uganda has met with open objection from president Museveni.Activity 7 . workers and students) as participants in the activities of the difference stages (FAWE.these are major groups that constitute the school community. relationship with the neighborhood. To achieve this facilitators introduce Tuseme to the relevant authorities in order to familiarize with the social set up of the school community. it would also limit men’s opportunities to acquire several wives and to exercise control over them. Women activists argued that if women did gain these rights this would not only significantly promote their own opportunities for action. How would Ugandan women use the Sara Longwe empowerment framework to solve this problem? 7.2 Tuseme Model of empowerment ‘Tuseme’ is a Swahili word that means let us speak out Origins The model was initiated in Tanzania in 1996 by FAWE to empower boys and girls Applicability The model can be used in an academic institution to empower boys and girls so that they can overcome problems that hinder their academic and social development The Tuseme model of empowerment is carried out in nine stages. and woman activists threatened for the first time to lobby women against voting for the president in the next election. It involves the entire school community (teachers. 2004) Stage 1 Preliminaries Facilitators discuss with the school authority about the intention to carry out a Tuseme process. They inform the school community about the intention and dates This is done to ensure that the school authority and community are ready for process Stage 2: Familiarization The purpose of this stage is to have a better understanding of the working environment and to get preliminary information on the subject matter. 164 .

Stage 4 Data Analysis This is done to get a deeper understanding of issues as well as to acquire skills in analyzing issues. Participant are divided into small research teams and assigned to carry out interviews with a certain number of community members about issues related to the goals and objectives of Tuseme. It is also done to get a better understanding of the community’s potential in solving some of the issues.The physical set up of the school. 1 List all the findings 2 Cluster / group the findings leaving out the findings / issues that are not related to the topic. Select forms of arts which you are competent and comfortable to use. who leads the post performance discussion). Stage 3: Data Collection This is done to get information on the issue of concern that impedes social and academic development of boys and girls. facilities. Organize the performances for the 165 . its strengths and constraints. Sports ground to determine whether they are adequate or not. library. Data analysis process is undertaken as follows. The academic performance of the school in general and the cohort groups in particular. Stage 5 Theatre Creation Discuss in groups which issues from the data analysis you want to include in your performance. The teams are asked to submit their findings in writing. 3 Verify the authenticity of the findings 4 Prioritize the finding in the order of urgency 5 Classify the findings according to their similarities and differences (clustering and collapsing) 6 Find out root causes of the findings 7 Find possible solutions to the problem 8 Identify responsible people or parties to help solve different problems.boundaries. Prepare a Joker (one. Create you performance in such a way that it can provoke discussion.

1. They provide a forum for students to discuss their academic and social problems critically. Activities 5. Solution 4. Indicator Stage 9 Creation of Tuseme Club These are a functioning student based management system formed in the school They are established in order to encourage students to speak out as a way of empowering them.Make sure that the entire community is invited to the performance Stage 7 Post Performance Discussions Make sure the Joker involves all stakeholders in the discussion Joker should avoid answering but challenging the audience to answer the questions. It usually involves the Tuseme cohort group although it is also possible to do it with the entire school community.stage presentation. The exercise is done on a chart which indicates the following. Time frame 6. The main functions of the Tuseme club is to. Whatever the case the action plan should be endorsed by the school administration for it to be effected. pups and scenery are designed and are available NB all cohort members should participate in theatre creation Stage 6 Performance Discuss with the participants and the school administration about the possible day and time to do the performance . 166 . bearers. Root causes 3. Ensure that costumes. The problem 2. Resources / budget 8. The joker should make sure that all issues are discussed thoroughly Stage 8 Action Plan Carry out this exercise either immediately after the performance or the following day. Responsible person /part 7. Elections should be held to nominate office.

· · · · · · · · · · · Help each other in academic matters through group discussion. decision making and so on Limitations of the model · Only applicable to a learning / academic environment Let’s do activity 7. debates. individual consultations and sharing learning material Link students ( Tuseme club members) with teachers and the school administration Reinforce discipline amongst club members Speak out about day to day problems arising in the schools Provide peer support.g. an approach that makes sure that as many stakeholders as possible are involved as central participants in the process · It always guarantees democratic and active participation of all the stakeholders at the school · Provides life skills through out its implementation that empower girls and boys at the individual level e.6 below to enhance our understanding of this model 167 . it provides skills for speaking out. leadership. empowerment and participatory planning Develop leadership qualities among Tuseme students Strengths of the Model · It uses theatre for development approach. assertiveness. magazines Design annual action plans at the school level Use theatre for development as a tool for research. Access role models Share experience with students from other school Produce material for use in the Tuseme club e. newsletters . guidance and counseling.g.

It has also been proven that in such environments the girl child always comes off the worse because of the tendency has been that the poorer the physical facilities the less gender responsive they are. toilets. power supply boarding facilities. the district commissioner. The teaching environment if not gender responsive can lead to poor academic performance and output The social environment refers mainly to the community and cultural surroundings of the school. physical and social constraints that impede your academic and social development in the institute The physical environment generally refers to the infrastructure of the school which includes such things as building. the teaching and learning material.Activity 7. In what ways does the above environment hinder the social and academic development of boys and girls? 3. The special needs of the girl child especially at puberty tend to get ignored Academic environment refers to the curriculum content and its relevance.6 1. amenities for games and sports. the students and their attitudes. the compound of the school. the school management system. laboratory and library. local educational leaders. early marriages. improper attitudes and the economic status of the 168 . teacher/ student interaction. Conduct a Tuseme process in your institute to identify the academic. water. Research has shown that cultural practices such as the female genital cutting. local religious leaders. village leader the chiefs and assistant chiefs. other stakeholders as well as other residents of the area near and around the school. teaching methodologies and approaches. first aid and medical facilities. Research has demonstrated that inadequate or poor physical facilities adversely affect the quality of education. What do you consider to be the school’s (a) Academic Environment? (b) Physical Environment? (c) Social Environment/ 2. the teachers and their attitudes. It normally includes parents and other relatives of the girls.

· Developing strategies and actions to be taken · Monitoring these actions and outcomes To achieve all these outcomes the following strategies of empowerment can be employed see also unit 9 · · · · · Education.It helps to expand human capability such as being able to read and write and gain knowledge and skills Networking See unit 4 Participation See unit 4 Mobilization -This involves coming together as a group and demand space as well as change.8 General strategies of empowerment According to Homelink (1994: 33) empowerment can be the outcome of an intentional strategy which is either initiated externally by empowerment agents or solicited by disempowerment people. On a more global are factors that influence girls enrolment and retention in school.g. the country’s gender polices’ are an important part of the social environment 7. Whilst its acknowledges that empowerment is a personal thing since true power cannot be bestowed it should be noted that some people can act as agents of empowerment by providing access to a new body of ideas and information that can not only change a person’s consciousness and self image but also motivates one to act. women’s support groups in Zimbabwe for details see unit 4 Capacity building see unit 9 169 . Empowerment by external agents will therefore involve: * Awareness-raising * Building of self confidence * Expansion of choices * Involvement in decision making * Increased access and control (Hannan. 2003) Thus in the long term empowerment will result in : · Changing consciousness and attitudes · Identification of areas needing change. e.

g.9. income generating projects see unit 9 Policies See unit 9 Affirmative action to increase participation See unit 9 7.· · · · · · Sensitization see unit 9 Public awareness campaigns see unit 9 Legal instruments See unit 8 and 9 Aid related projects e.9 manifestations of empowered women and men 7.1 Making the modern women The ‘ disempowered ‘women ‘ · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · The rational mind without a plan Ignorant Emotional Fatalistic Caught up in own emotions Does what she has always done Dreamer The autonomous self Insecure Self effacing Relies on others Externally driven Recipient of decisions Lack of shame Dependent Childish Can’t stand up for herself Does not know what to say Low self esteem Only looks pretty in public Empowerment process “The empowered women’’ · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · organized knowledgeable analytical vision for the future able to solve problems innovative realistic self confident self aware autonomous self determined decision maker sense of dignity independent responsible assertive strong negotiating skills high self esteem involved with public life 170 .

2003 7.9. 2 Making the Modern Man 171 .· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · The disciplined self No control over own body Accept drinking / drinks herself Dirty Bad mother / wife Victim of diseases Control over time and space future orientate Static Lazy Squanders resources/ consumes No particular effort to educate children Doesn’t know how to talk Universalism Stuck in traditional peer group Doesn’t vote Doesn’t feel entitled to anything Transactions medicated by personal ties Passive · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · plan’s family size objects to alcoholism hygienic / clean good mother / wife healthy family mobile hardworking investor sends children to school articulate group member involved with public life aware of her rights transact successfully using money active Adapted from Fiedrich and Jellema.

7.11 Conclusion This unit focused on gender empowerment trying to answer the following questions: what is gender empowerment? How can we recognize it? Evaluate it? It also showed that gender empowerment is a bottom up process and cannot be bestowed from the top down. · communicates instead of shouting out · independent · group member · accept gender equality · high self esteem Men display these qualities in addition to the qualities displayed by women. Although the outside professional can facilitate empowerment.esteem Empowerment process “Empowered man” · Does not use force but negotiates.“Disempowered man” · Uses force / he is aggressive and violent · shout instead of speaking out · dependent · alienation / isolation · dominance/ superiority · low self. he or she cannot expect to control the out comes of authentic empowerment 172 .

A (2003) Literacy gender and social agency: Adventures in empowerment action aid London Hannan. D (Ed) (1999) Development with women Oxfam publication Great Britain FAWE 2004 Tuseme “speak out Tanzania best practices in girls’ education Africa Nairobi Fiedrich. D.E (2003) Empowerment: what is it @ http: / www. C. M and Howell.uconn.(2003)Trans Homelink. Cczuba @carn/cag. Philadelphia Czuba. The promise of ecofeminism . accessed 19/09/09 Eade. Penang. (1989) The subjective side of power. Malaysia Korten D. C. M and Jellema.T 173 .J (1994) Trends in world communication on disempowerment and self empowerment Southbound Third World network.References Adair.E (1987) Community Management kumarian press West Hartford.New Society Publication Philadelphia Albert. in healing the wounds. S.H (1985) People Power – applying non-violence theory New Society publishers.

htm accessed 31/07/09 Loppe. Empowerment and Education New York State University Press Albany NY Namibia report .0 Introduction 8:1Objectives 8.3 How the law institutionalizes gender inequality 8. FM and Du –Bois P.Bass. CA Longwe. and Publisher.5 Gender analysis of laws 8.kwinnoforum. Equality and woman empowerment @ http:/www. Mayfield Mountain View. S (1992) Transforming Power Domination. Men and Power.M (1994) The Quickening of America: Rebuilding our nation remaking our lives jossey. S (2001) Gender.7 Gender and human rights 174 .2 Understanding Gender and the Law 8. H (1991) Women.Kreisberg. Willam.4 Progressive and retrogressive legislation 8.San Francisco Wallace T and March C (1991) Changing Perceptions: Writings on Gender and Development Oxfam Ireland.6 Legal redress of gender imbalances 8.quets. S (1994) Oxfam Gender training manual Oxfam (UK and Ireland) Zimbabwe National Gender Policy (2000) Unit 8 Gender Law and Human Rights By Nyevero Maruzani and Doreen Mazambani CONTENTS 8.

to maintain class systems and to cut across them. all these things in different places at different times with different weightings (1978:1) This evidences the fact that there are legal contradictions at work in society and that the law is not a finished product of historical social processes.1 Objectives By the end of this unit. 175 . From that foundation.2 Understanding Gender and the Law The law reflects and shapes fundamental social values as postulated by legal sociologists Nadder and Todd: Law has many functions. Thus the law can be both an instrument of social change and an obstacle to it. It is also the aim of this chapter to show how the law reflects and shapes fundamental social values.0 Introduction In the previous units an attempt has been made to define the term gender.8. to maintain the status quo. The critical role that the law plays in maintaining sexual stratification and shaping the inferior social and economic position of women in society will be and human rights through tasks 8. Considering that gender is a variable that operates in a social context the interrelationship of gender and human rights will also be discussed 8.9 Conclusion 8. you should be able to: · · · · Highlight the interrelationship between gender.8 Linking gender and human rights 8. to integrate and to disintegrate societies. this chapter seeks to unveil how the law acts both as a legitimiser and regulator of asymmetrical gender relations. Various concepts have been looked at in an attempt to clarify the fact that gender is a social construct. law and human rights Highlight progressive and retrogressive laws on gender issues Highlight the interrelationship between gender and human rights Assess knowledge of gender . It serves to educate to punish and to protect private and public interests.

Most laws generally fall into this category. Rules or laws are therefore drawn up to ensure that members of a society . Although most countries today have laws which give equal rights to men and women the fact is that such laws tend to affect men and women differently because of the different roles and paths in life that each follow. Gender neutral laws are those that apply equally to everybody regardless of one is a man or woman. imposed upon and enforced among the members of a given state. For this reason you need to be clear in your mind about the various divisions within the body of the law. The law according to David and Colin (2002) may be defined as a rule of human conduct. Gender specific laws on the other hand are laws that apply specifically to either men or women. At least on paper such laws apply equally to everyone without discrimination even though in reality their effect on men and women maybe different.What is the law? It is important that you understand what we mean by the term “law”.that is you and me . Laws have often been described as gender neutral and others as gender specific. 1 · · · Do you think that the laws in your society are making men and women work together in a peace able and orderly manner? Do these laws protect one sex at the expense of the other sex? Is the punishment for law breaking satisfactory? Why do you say so? The law is the official rule that people must obey. This is mainly because men and women are different biologically so there maybe instances where women require special laws when the reality of their biological 176 . ACTIVITY 8. This is often referred to as the difference between law in the book and law in reality. It refers to the collection of rules imposed by authority.may live and work together in an orderly and peaceable manner. An understanding of these divisions of the law will enable you to correctly classify the wrongful act thereby enabling the parties concerned to determine their rights.

law of contract. Regardless of the operative legal system or cultural context laws concerning the public area e.g. This type of law falls under public and private laws(Reynolds and Russsel 1981:39) Procedural Law: Public/private dichotomy The public sphere (work and politics) and private dichotomy (domestic life home and family is deeply ingrained in the law. 177 .g Section 23 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which permits discrimination in issues of customary family and personal law. 2 State any public law and the procedural law that is used in trying to bring peace between the two parties concerned. law of property. law of obligations and family law. deals with how the rules governing state and individual relationships are administered and enforced e. criminal law. The law as given by Reynolds and Russell (1981) can be divided into two major categories that is the public and the private law as follows: Public-law – Private Law: deals with relationships between the state and individuals e. In pursuit of gender equality especially in the caring of children paternity leave has been introduced to allow fathers to take time off to look after their newly born children.g labour law have been modernized and brought in line with more enlightened thinking while family and personal matters in the private sphere have for the most part left untouched by the state e. deals with relationships between individuals amongst themselves e. Laws on breast feeding and maternity leave are gender specific in that they apply to women because they are the ones directly affected by pregnancy and childbirth.g. criminal procedure. civil procedure and law of evidence.differences is taken into account.g. administrative law and constitutional law. law of delict. law of succession. ACTIVITY 8.

Equally important is that society’s attitudes and beliefs may also prevent the law from being effective. 8. · Remoteness of the law. There is general ignorance of the law despite the prescription of awareness which makes ignorance of the law not a defense ignorance of the law and law making processes especially by women who tend to be unaware of their status of the rights they posses. A gender analysis of the law is also important because simply changing the law does not mean the end of discrimination. 178 . of the effect laws have on than. There are many reasons why the law may not be effective. then we can work effectively towards changing them. In any society laws we also need laws that recognize the differences between men and women. · Lacunae/gaps in the law.3 How the law institutionalizes gender inequality Four mechanisms are key to this process: · Unjust formal law that are discriminatory and limit the scope of women. In some instances women’s inferior status results prejudicial social practices not changed by the law. or the role they might play in changing the law. · Prejudicial enforcement of laws favourable to women by administrative and state enforcement agents such as police. Often even after a law is changed there is need to understand the different factors that prevent that law from being effective. Administratively those who apply the law may not be doing the best they can to make sure that it works effectively. If a law is gender neutral it does not mean that it affects men and women in a similar way. A gender analysis of the law requires that we appreciate sameness as well as differences between men and women. courts and prisons. If we understand what these attitudes are.Applying the concept of gender to the law means that we must seek to understand how each law affects men and women differently.

colour. Women’s subordination based on unequal gender relations is manifest in the law in several key areas particularly labour law. marriage. personal and customary law yet these are the areas of law in which gender discrimination is mostly entrenched. guardianship. divorce. criminal law and civil law which governs legal capacity. creed. Laws reinforce women’s oppression by legitimizing hierarchical gender relations. proprietary relations of men over women unequal division of labour and power over the allocation of resources. This same section excludes discrimination in matters relating to ‘adoption. land rights and participation in public affairs. What this means is that while the constitution purports to protect women against gender-based discrimination. It makes discrimination on the grounds of among other things race. family. and devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law’.4 Progressive and retrogressive legislation Examples of retrogressive legislation a) b) c) d) e) f) g) Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 23 Companies Act Section 171(3) (b) Communal Lands Act and land reform programme Customary marriages Act Guardianship of minors Act Land Acquisition Act Mining Act Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 23 Section 23 of the constitution of Zimbabwe is the non-discrimination clause. 8. tribe. This section was amended in 1996 by Amendment 14 to add ‘gender’ as another impermissible basis for discrimination. rights and obligations in marriage. inheritance income.Societies regulate the acquisition and control of land. and religion. jobs credit and other goods and services through their legal systems and adjudicative processes. sex impermissible. it excludes from constitutional regulation. 179 .

where most rural Zimbabweans live. 180 . Even though section 16 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates that every citizen has an equal right to ownership of property. The fact that women lack access to and control over land makes them unable to acquire credit. section 23 has permitted discrimination against women under customary law. marketing facilities and excludes them from decision making powers over agricultural production activities and benefits. Under this law. Colonial land tenure arrangements that discriminated against women have been perpetuated in the present day through the Communal Lands Act. Given the fact that customary law places heavy emphasis on land rights being enjoyed by the head of the household who in the context of Zimbabwean customary law is generally considered to be male.Section 173(1) (b) Companies Act The section reads: Disqualification for appointment as director: (1) (a) a minor or any other person under legal disability (!) (b) provided that a woman married in community of property may be director if her husband gives his written consent and that consent is lodged with the Registrar of Companies. This stems from the issue of power where the husband as head of family and home decision-maker should sanction any actions of other members of the household including the wife especially where such actions can result in legal and financial liability to the matrimonial estate. denying them land tenure rights. women’s land rights are not adequately protected. Communal Lands Act (1982) In communal areas land should be apportioned in accordance with the customs and practices of the people of the area in consultation with traditional leaders and the district administrator. another constitutional provision. There is no enabling legal framework to ensure equality in the redistribution of land. are still expected to depend on men for land. What this means is that only a woman requires the husband’s consent for her to become a director but the woman’s consent is not required for the husband to become a director. women in communal areas.

Mining Act The Act does not permit women from working underground in mines it seems to be based on the notion of women’s fragility and irrationality hence the need to prevent harm to themselves and others since mining is considered a hazardous occupation. There is no joint guardianship with the mother. This emanates from the social norm that children belong to the father whose name they take after. This law makes the father of a child born in wedlock (in marriage) the natural guardian so entitled to make decisions pertaining to the child’s welfare and his consent is required un juridical acts like acquisition of birth certificates. the land quota for women had not been put into law and the number of females allocated land was very low countrywide. For children born out of wedlock (out of marriage) the mother of the child is the sole guardian. According to the 2003 Utete land Audit Report.Land reform programme In October 2000. female-headed households who benefited under model A1 (peasant farmers) constituted only 18% of the total number of household while female beneficiaries under the Model A2 (commercial farmers) constituted only 12%. The father does not have any rights towards the child except for purposes of maintenance if the mother so wishes to claim it. Despite this. Examples of progressive legislation 181 . passports and performance of surgical processes. by August 2002 when the President announced that the fast Track Land Reform Programme had been officially completed. It was discrimination in itself to allocate only 20% to women when they make up 52% of the population. Guardianship of Minors Act Guardianship involves having the capacity to make decisions on behalf of a minor in both contractual and judicial matters and pertaining to the child’s welfare. the Government of Zimbabwe undertook to allocate at least 20% of all land identified for resettlement to women. The woman is just a medium reproduction of that which does not belong to her.

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe made a landmark decision that gave precedence to customary law over the constitution. The Act also: .a) b) c) d) e) f) g) Administration of Estates Amendment 6/97 Deeds Registries Amendment Act Income tax Amendment Act Labour Relations Amendment Act Matrimonial causes Act Minimum Wages Regulations Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence Bill h) Sexual Discrimination Removal Act Administration of Estates Amendment 6/97 The amendment now allows women to inherit from their husbands.Surviving spouse (male or female) and children (male and female) now prime beneficiaries of deceased estate. 182 . although there is still discrimination in polygamous marriages where senior wife gets a bigger portion in spite of contributions by junior wives. Magaya V Magaya This case involved inheritance rights.Abolished concept of male heirship and male beneficiary in own personal capacity and replaced it executorship where an executor usually surviving spouse is tasked by the court to oversee distribution of estate and benefits from estate together with other beneficiaries including surviving children both male and female. . The ruling that women cannot be considered equal to men before the law in issues of inheritance because of African cultural norms and the nature of African society was in itself discrimination on the basis of sex.

Essentially. the Supreme Court elevated customary law beyond constitutional scrutiny Outcry after the decision led to Amendment 6/97 as discussed above. because allowances such as children’s allowances were credited to men. Labour Relations Amendment Act (2004) Non-discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex or gender in recruitment. burial. This resulted in women ending up with little money. marriage. The Constitution prohibits discrimination in Article 23(1) but in Article 23(3) recognizes exceptions to this general prohibition against discrimination in issues relating to among others adoption.A female eldest child was denied the right to inherit in preference of a younger brother. retrenchment and other benefits. Deeds Registries Act Women can now register immovable property in their own name (applies to urban and rural commercial land where title deeds are obtainable. training. Income Tax Amendment Act The Income Tax Act was amended in favour of women. divorce. devotion of property on death or other matters of personal law as well as the application of African customary law. married women’s income was taxed as part of the husband’s income. promotion. The judge in the lower court held that: “The claimant is a lady and therefore cannot be appointed heir to her father’s estate when there is a man…” The judiciary backed up its decision by referring to Section 23 of the constitution of Zimbabwe. by making this judgement. Prior to the amendment. in 1990. 98 days fully paid maternity leave for both public and private sector employed women 183 . Now spouses are taxed separately. Equal Pay Regulations (1980) s The Regulations provide for equal pay for work of equal value.

Matrimonial Causes Act (1985) The Act allows for equitable distribution of property between spouses on divorce in a registered marriage.Bestowed legal capacity on African women who previously lacked it so women can now perform legal and juristic acts such as entering into contracts without the assistance of male guardians and control over their sexuality. . Chihowa V Mangwende SC 84/87 The then Chief Justice held: The legislature by enacting LAMA made women who in African law and custom were perpetual minors majors and therefore equal to men who are majors. Concern has been raised over the Act’s failure to pronounce the legality or otherwise of the payment of lobola.- Prohibition of sexual harassment Legal Age of Majority Act (LAMA) (1982) In 1982. Some women believe that their oppression is rooted in this system and recommend that it be made illegal.Reduced age of majority from 21-18 for both males and females. However there are dissenting voices on the issue. . Women of 18 years or above.Section 3 thereof bestowed majority status on African women who were previously considered perpetual minors upon attainment of the age of 18. . Maintenance Act Provides for maintenance claims for spouse and children or for children born out of wedlock against spouse of child’s parent who is obliged to materially support dependents and has been failing to fulfill the obligation and is financially capable of doing so. not their guardians cannot sue for seduction damages. The Act empowered the courts to override customary law and to effect a more equitable re-distribution of matrimonial property upon dissolution of a 184 . the Legal Age of Majority Act conferred on all persons of both sexes full legal capacity on reaching 18 years of age.

marriage. religious and cultural practices such as virginity testing. verbal or economic in relationships of a domestic nature e. Matrimonial Causes Act (1985) 185 . guardianship. Both men and women are deemed capable of performing sexual offences including rape. child/parent etc Both males and females can be perpetrators or victims of domestic violence Social. chiramu (in-law flirtation). Minimum Wages (1980) Minimum wages for various unskilled occupations the majority of whom are women were set. The law takes into account a woman’s economic or domestic contribution to the well being of her family and thus ensures equitable distribution of matrimonial property between the spouses. kuzvarira (pledging) chimutsamapfihwa (substitute wifing) etc are outlawed as constituting domestic violence. husband/wife boyfriend/girlfriend. Sexual Offences Act (2001) Provides protection from sexual abuse to all children not only the girl child as was previously the case. tea and cotton pickers) were categorized as permanent for purposes of pension benefits.g. Seasonal workers (tobacco. Protection of women from non-consensual sexual intercourse within marriage (marital rape protection) Spousal liability for willful transmission of HIV Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence Bill Seeks to eliminate violence be it physical. Unfortunately the Act does not apply to unregistered customary marriages. which are legally not recognized as valid marriages except for purposed of African law and custom relating to the status. custody and rights of succession in the children.

Curzon(2002) concurs with Oran(1983) on the view that statutory or statute law is written law set down by a legislative body.- Recognises a married woman’s right to matrimonial property upon divorce. Examples of gender dimensions in Zimbabwe’s Law 186 . ACTIVITY 8.1983: 5). making future cases much easier to decide. which takes into consideration domestic work input. It can also be described as an act of parliament. Case law allows courts to transform decisions that may have taken a great deal of time and energy to arrive at into a de-facto law. It is most created by judges in their rulings when they write their decisions and give the reasoning behind them as well as citing precedents in other cases and statutes that had a bearing on their decisions case law is often referred to as common-law in many regions of the world. to codify existing law or for an individual or company to obtain special treatment. 3 · What is the advantage of doing gender analysis of laws? · Who benefits from that analysis? With the given explanations of case and statutory law we are going to look at the gender analysis of certain laws. The idea of gender analysis will not be discussed here as it has been looked at in detail in a previous chapter. Introduced equitable distribution of matrimonial property upon divorce.5 Gender Analysis of Laws Case law is a body of available writings explaining the verdict in a case(Oran. Statutes are enacted in response to a perceived need to clarify the function of government. The term judge made law is derived form the fact that while legislation is technically passed in most countries by a legislative branch. improve civil order. Statute law refers to the law that has been created by parliament in the form of legislation. Oran(1983) also referred to it as judge made law. courts are able to exercise moderate amount of quasi-legislative power through the use of precedent case-law. 8.

Of importance is the recognition amongst other things f contributions made to the family by looking after the home. it is again quite clear that because of 187 . on death or other matters of personal including rights relating to communal land impact on men and women differently since customary laws in these areas tends to disadvantage women. devolution of property. its protection of customary law in matters such as adoption. It is mainly. though not exclusively. place of origin. women who are involved in this kind of work and therefore stand to benefit more from a direct recognition of housework.Table 8. The Labour Relations It contains some gender specific provisions particularly Act those relating to maternity leave and breastfeeding rights. and caring for the family as well as any other domestic duties. it impacts more on women because of Amendment Act how society has tended to regard their status as being Chapter 8:07) inferior. However. political opinions. color. burial. The constitutional provisions relating to non discrimination can be said to be worded in a gender neutral manner but they impact on men and women in a very gender specific way. which allows a Family Maintenance Act person who was being maintained by the deceased to claim support from the estate. The Deceased Persons It is a gender-neutral piece of legislation. Matrimonial causes Act contains guidelines on distribution of property on divorce. which can be looked at from a gender specific viewpoint. tribe. creed or gender. It is largely gender neutral but also contains some provisions. It also protects the estate from property grabbers. The Legal Age of The legal age of majority Act is a gender-neutral piece of Majority Act (Now part legislation in that it gives equal rights to everyone at the of the general laws age of 18.1 Law Gender Analysis S23 of the Constitution The constitution grants equal right to everyone and of Zimbabwe protection from discrimination on the grounds of race. however. divorce. marriage. In reality when we look at the effects of this Act.

7 Gender and Human Rights What are Human rights? Human rights refer to basic rights or legal claims to which all humans are entitled by virtue of them being human(English and Stapleton.Enactment of Gender equality Act . Infanticide Act Allows the court to examine the special circumstances of women who kill their babies.Legal education or sensitization .1997:7).the social realities that exist on the ground it tends to have a different meaning for men and women. It allows polygamy as a practice for men only in that they can take on more than one wife. Professor Jack Donnely in Chiweshe et al (2003) define human rights as the rights that one has simply because one is human.Community gender and human rights training 8. Customary Marriages This is an example of a law that is seemingly gender Act neutral but favours men. It can be descried as being both gender neutral and gender specific at the same time. the Act is largely gender specific although it also contains some provisions relating to the father of the child.6 Way Forward – legal redress of gender imbalances . Since it is women who give birth. While widows can expect to share 1/3 from the estate of each of his wives should they die before him.Gender audit and review of all legislation to make it gender sensitive and responsive .Gender training for state administrators and law enforcement agents . It is gender specific in that it treats the distribution of the estate of a polygamous man differently from the death of one of his spouses. Administration of Puts emphasis on the surviving spouse(s) and children as Estates Amendment Act the primary beneficiaries of the estate. He goes on to say: 188 .Legal literacy . 8.

And can no more lose these rights than one can stop being a human being . freedom of expression and equality before the law. equal and inalienable.First generation of rights . the right to participate in culture. race. They are held up by all beings universally. right to food. right to work and the right to education. The gendered nature of human Rights The promotion of gender equality remains one of the greatest challenges of our times. Human rights are rights which people are entitled to simply because they are human beings regardless of their nationality. because they rest on nothing more than being human are universal. social and cultural rights.Human rights.Third generation of rights Civil and political rights Social economic and cultural rights Collective/solidarity or group rights 189 .No matter how inhumane the treatment one may suffer. Some of the major instruments include the Universal Declaration of human rights as well as the Covenant on Social and Economic rights. From a gender perspective it is also important to understand how the different human rights instruments deal or do not deal with issues of gender. Central to the concept of human rights is the protection of human dignity.Second generation of rights . At a global level there are many international human rights instruments that on the face of it grant equal rights to men and women. human rights can be given as those freedoms or claims that every human being is automatically entitled to. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. One is entitled to human rights and is empowered by them(page 9) To put it in simpler terms. . gender or religion. economic. One either is or is not human and thus has or does not have rights equally. Human rights have often been spoken of in terms of different generation of rights depending on what they deal with. These are rights that every human being automatically qualities for at birth. globally and locally. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. ethnicity. just because you are born a human being Examples of rights and freedoms which are often classified as human rights include right to life and to liberty. No personal factors can lead one being denied these rights.

Violence against women. The global interpretation is criticized for excluding important spheres that also threaten the right to life for women when compared to men such as: . The interpretation of the right to liberty and security of the person is also criticized for being interpreted in manner which addresses actions of the state only and does not address violations to liberty and security of the person that result from sexual violence against women. the right to life which is a granted to all in Article 6 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. the private sphere as opposed to the public sphere.Malnutrition (e. which can result in death Freedom from torture is also criticized for being interpreted in a manner which assumes that most torture takes place at the hands of public officials when for most women when compared to men the greatest level of torture takes place in the home. For example.Abortion .g from feeding men first in some cultures) . what has come to concern us under this generation of rights has largely excluded the experiences of women as illustrated more fully in the examples below. is criticized for being interpreted in a manner which treats the threat to the right to life as coming from state actors only.The analysis below discusses briefly some of the criticisms that have been made against each of this generation of rights in terms of how they deal with the gender issues. First Generation of Rights: Civil and Political Rights The major criticism against this generation of rights is that they are mainly founded on the experiences of men in public as opposed to highlighting the experiences of both men and women. Women tend to experience violations of their rights in the private sphere. 190 .Infanticide (eg killing of girl children in cultures that favour male children) . In other words.Less access to health care compared to men (death from pregnancy and lack of access to health care) .

equal remuneration of workers. equal opportunities for promotion and so on. An example is land distribution that has tended to favour men at the expense of women. Cultural and religious rights which are also guaranteed by this covenant are areas that often present problems for women. 191 . The bulk of women. They tend to emphasize the rights of groups and collectives as opposed to the rights of individuals. yet the article is more concerned with work in the public sphere. another major civil political right is also criticized from a gender view point for protecting the home and the family as private sites when they can be very dangerous places for women because of the violence which often takes place inside them. Another criticism is that state parties are regarded as central in achieving social and economic rights when for most women. From a gender perspective. The right to self-determination has also often been interpreted in a manner that masks the oppression of women. Second Generation Rights: Social Economic and Cultural Rights The criticism of social and economic rights is that like civil and political rights. these rights are regarded as problematic for several reasons. The right to development for instance has often been interpreted to suit male economic needs. Women are often neglected in nationalists’ movements. favourable working conditions. when compared to men are confined to work in the private sphere. which takes men’s experiences more into account compared to the experiences of women. For example.The right to privacy. they have tended to be interpreted in a manner. Article 7 of the Covenant talks of the right to work. their rights are often negotiated through individual men or groups of men. Third Generation Rights: Collective or group rights The right to development and the right to self-determination constitute some of the major collective or group rights.

illiteracy. gender segregation. Women as compared to men are also seriously underrepresented in human rights bodies. in the name of culture often justify violations of human rights. The priority given to civil and political rights marginalizes social and economic rights. Many issues of concern to women such as underdevelopment. have either not been defined as human rights in main stream instruments or are not binding in terms of enforcement. ACTIVITY8. Governments. lack of reproductive choice. 4 · What is your definition of human rights? · What are the characteristics of human rights? · In Zimbabwe how do laws impact on human rights? 192 .The major criticism from a gender perspective of third generation rights is that they have generally addressed male interests in political life rather than taking care of the interests of both men and women. Summary of criticism of mainstream human rights from a gender perspective The process through which the rights were formulated did not include women and therefore it is largely the experiences of what human rights are.

governments. academic institutions. Women’s economic. academic. of the 1. There can be no peace. the majority of the world’s refugees are women. Women’s rights are human rights. You may be very correct to wonder that way. industry commerce.3 billion people living in poverty 70% are women. may be you see the need for an address of the rights of women or you are thinking otherwise but after reading this section I am sure together you and i can justify our standpoints. security or sustainable economic development in societies which deny human rights including the human rights of women. Consider an important quote. Women’s rights are human rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights is committed to work in partnership with UN agencies and programmes.Are Women’s Rights Human Rights? One may wonder why this section asks about the rights of women only. the NGO community and women throughout the world to promote and protect women’s rights and to translate these rights to a better quality of the life for all. Why? Women are human beings! Women’s equal dignity and human rights as full human beings are enshrined in the basic instruments of today’s international community. Fighting for women rights is a positive struggle. Hillary Clinton at the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing China presented a speech in which he strongly pronounced that women’s rights are human rights. in many countries women lack access to reproductive health care and everyday women are targeted in armed conflict. in politics. which recognizes the quality of women’s contribution in every aspect of the community. Women and girls are treated as commodities in cross boarder prostitution rackets and in the pornography industry. agriculture and home. which says: 193 . female illiteracy. From the Charter of the United Nations endorsement of the equal rights of men and women (1945) to the universal declaration of human rights (1948) and the subsequent international treaties and declarations. regional organisations. Millions of girls are still subject to genital mutilations while women in every country are regular victims of domestic violence. education. The rights of women are central to our democratic society. These declarations and treaties and even the Vienna Declaration of (1993) and the Declaration of Beijing (1995) stand in sharp contrast to the daily realities for millions of women. social and cultural rights continue to be neglected.

The systematic integration of gender factors into these processes. social and cultural life at the national regional and international levels and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community (Vienna Declaration and Platform of Action Part 1 Paragraph 18).economic. into measures for implementation and into domestic and international monitoring is a global challenge. civil economic. They suffer systematic and unsystematic discrimination which results in deep patterns of inequality and disadvantage.cultural and many others .These reasons may be big or small. The overall level of development and of resources available to countries. This variable mean that women maybe affected by violations of rights in ways that are different from men. The fall and equal participation of women in political. women’s literacy levels and women’s access to information and to legal remedies also have an impact on women’s enjoyment of their rights. Women are disappropriately affected by poverty and social marginalization. integral and indivisible part of the universal human rights.The next section highlights this aspect. In the enjoyment of rights women face constraints and vulnerabilities which differ from those that affect men and which are of significant relevance to the enjoyment of these rights. The gender based division of labour with women being primarily responsible for 194 . some rights are granted or denied due to one’s sex .the point remains. S I am sure our discussion on the issue of women ‘s rights as human rights has been justifiedAs you can see women are denied their rights due too a number of reasons . There are many processes at the domestic and international levels through which the content of human rights is clarified and their implementations occurs. 8:8 Linking Gender and Human Rights Analysis of content and nature of human rights as well as measures to ensure their enjoyment should be informed by gender based considerations.The human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable.

When policies are designed in the context of respect for promotion and protection of human rights then unequal outcomes for women in the economic and social spheres oblige governments to design procedures in a way that reduces inequality. land. Many women experience multiple barriers in gaining access to rights such as employment. housing. the sexual division of labour and segregated employment practices. Human Rights Instruments and Gender Over the last decade the concept of gender has increasingly informed policy programming and treaty interpretation both within and outside the UN system. unequal representation by women in political and other decision making structures at all levels and the widespread violence perpetuated against women. customs. food and social security. discriminatory traditional and cultural laws and practices. The principle of equal rights of women and men was recognized in the UN Charter and is contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all subsequent international human rights instruments. In (1979) the United Nations adopted the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). traditional roles family responsibilities or attitudes and stereotypes provide women with fewer opportunities or place them at a disadvantage as they seek to access opportunities remedial measures are needed to eliminate such disadvantages to prevent them from recurring. When laws. also contributes to the perpetration of gender inequalities. CEDAW establishes women’s right to nondiscrimination on the basis of sex and affirms equality in international law. marital status class or membership in particular vulnerable groups such as refugees or migrant women rural or urban poor women are often linked to discrimination. It provides that women and men are entitled to equal enjoyment and exercise of human rights and 195 . Women’s social position. These barriers include the disproportionate burden of reproductive and care-giving work performed by women. The need for women’s participation in all spheres of society both in the public and private domains and the recognition of inequality and discrimination in the private domain led to the creation of specific standards for the protection of women’s rights.reproductive work and work related the family and men for productive work.

Social and Cultural Rights (1966) ICERD-----The International Convention on the Elimination Of All Forms Of Racial Discrimination1965 CEDAW--------The Convention on the Elimination Discrimination Against Women(1979) CRC-----The Convention On The Rights of The Child(1989) CAT-----The Convention Against Torture and other Cruel. which aimed at correcting disparities in different policy sectors and ensuring their enjoyment of civil. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) (Chiweshe et al 2003:12) of All Form Of Implementation of human rights instruments on gender equality The Women’s Convention: A Search for Gender equality? 196 . cultural.fundamental freedoms in civil. The (1993) Vienna Conference of Human Rights the (1994) Cairo Conference on Population and Development and the (1995) Beijing Women’s World Conference recognized the need to build on these principles to assert women’s rights. This has led to gender mainstreaming (discussed in Unit 1). All in all gender mainstreaming is an organizational imperative so as to reinforce the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex for the achievement of gender equality and the enjoyment of human rights. These global conferences promoted the review of policies and programmes from the perspective of their impact on women and men that is the re-evaluation of policies and programmes from a gender perspective. economic. Gender mainstreaming also requires action to identify areas where gender constitute a risk factor for violation or abuse of human rights for example gender based violence. political and social fields. cultural. Major human rights instruments which have been adopted within the UN framework include the following: · · · · · · ICCPR—The International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights (1966) ICESCR---The International Covenant on Economic. economic political and social rights.

The African Charter on Human and People’s rights Regional Instruments are an important frame of reference for human rights in addition to international instruments. it seeks to address key areas where women need to be uplifted. It also calls for equality in marriage and family life and specifically addresses the rights of rural women.Because of the limitations of the major human rights instruments in addressing gender issues. 197 . the heads of state adopted an additional instrument in 2002 called the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of women. It came into force on the 3rd of September 1981. Among its provisions. Within the African context talk of cultural values raises important questions about practices such as lobola. women successfully lobbied for a major international human rights instrument dealing with women’ issues. such as circumcision and widow inheritance and polygamous marriages. It singles out practices that need to be done away with if women and men are to achieve equality. Its approach is to seek to improve the lives of women by making them equal with men. Cultural values that are preserved should not be the ones that seek to oppress women. Like the CEDAW. In our case the Africa Charter on Human and People’s Rights plays as a crucial role in defining human rights from an African viewpoint. female circumcision and widow inheritance. It also seeks for women’s equality in political and civil life. the Women’s Convention calls for the ending of discrimination against women through constitutional and legal reforms. the African Charter talks of preserving positive African cultural values. For example. Article 18 requires states to eliminate discrimination against women and ensure the protection of women and children as required by international instruments. to mention a few. While the Charter is largely gender neutral in its approach it contains some Articles that speak directly to women. The Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women Because of the limitations of the African Charter as a largely gender neutral document in bringing gender equality particularly for women. From a gender analysis viewpoint.

it has not yet adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on the rights of women. Especially noteworthy is the undertaking to repeal and reform all laws. has to be in line with the letter and the spirit of CEDAW. amend constitutions and change social practices that continue to subject women to discrimination. power sharing access and control over reproductive resources. National Efforts Zimbabwe is party to the major international human rights such as the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However. As such. Areas identified as needing particular attention are the gender disparities in decision-making. It is also a party to the African Charter on Human and People’s rights.While it is a progressive instrument the problem is that it can only come into force when at least 16 African countries have adopted it at the country level. education. It also acknowledges the significant point that most SADC member countries have ratified CEDAW or are in the process of doing so. So far only four countries have. It is informed by the understanding of gender equality as a fundamental human right and more significantly by the appreciation of the role of gender equality in the sustainable development of the SADC region. the SADC Declaration. The SADC Declaration on gender and development Another instrument which is of use in understanding gender issues is the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development. health and legal rights. While a lot of progress has been made at the country level in terms of changing laws and adopting new ones that seek to 198 . Also emphasized are the gains to be made from closer cooperation and collective action on gender issues within the region. as is the case with the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. It was adopted by the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community in 1997. the Covenant on Social and Economic Rights the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women.

8:9 Conclusion From the foregoing it is evident that Zimbabwean society is relatively unequal in terms of gender. power relations. control and ownership of economic and productive resources leading to impediment of human development efforts aimed at addressing issues of equity. This inequality between men and women is negatively impacting on income distribution. men continue to have a higher human development index as compared to females in terms of political participation. A significant limitation from a gender viewpoint is that our Constitution as the highest law of the land still contains provisions. It can also be concluded that despite the fact that 52% of the Zimbabwean population are women. the biggest challenge in Zimbabwe remains in the implementation of these laws both administratively and at societal level. However. Various pieces of legislation are in place to maintain the status quo. access to. political participation. the government is making strides in attempting to promote gender equality in both the public and private sphere but section 23 of the constitution seems to be a provision carved on stone and has remained etched in the supreme law of the land. REFERENCES 199 . which tend to protect customary law from the non-discriminatory provisions.equalize the rights of men and women. The constitution as the highest law of the land needs to be an instrument that fosters equality without fear or favour. social justice and human rights. decision-making and education.

and Colin Padfield (2002) Law Made Simple London.(1997) The Human Rights Handbook. Southern African Research and Documentation Centre & Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network. Great Britain Curzon.A Global Sourcebook Oxfam.F (Jr) The Disputing Process-Law in Ten Societies.(2002) Dictionary of Law (6thedition) Longman England David.A. Schuler..B.Human Rights And The Media (2003)Human Rights Trust Of Southern Africa Harare Cook. R (ed) Human Rights of Women National and International Perspectives (University of Pennsylvania Press.(2nd edition)New York.G.Mupita. Gender .D.Society and Development. B.K. ed. and Stapleton.Harare Southern African Research and Documentation Centre & Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network (1998) Beyond Inequalities: Women in Zimbabwe. Culture and Choice Lessons from Survivors of Gender Violence in Zimbabwe (Harare: Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe Research Project Chiweshe.P .West Publishing Reynolds. Ncube.H. 1994) Critical Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies Series(2001) Gender .K. Harare.Moyo. L. Ngulube.Perspectives on property and Inheritance .A. M. New York.A... and Russel J.L.Armstrong A.and Sibanda.K. Made Simple English . (1998).B.Juta Cape Town Nader L & Todd H. (1992) Freedom From Violence: Women’s Strategies From Around The World (Washington. Columbia University Press Oran.—Officers of the ministry of justice(1983) An Introduction To Law Ministry of justice .APractical Guide To Monitoring Human Rights. OEF International) 200 .F.D(1993) Oran’s Dictionary of the Law.

Tove. A. 1987) Tsanga. (2003).S.Stang Dahl. Weaver Press) List of legislations cited Matrimonial Causes Act Minimum wages Act Mining Act Prevention of Domestic violence and Protection of victims of Domestic violence Bill Sexual Offences Act Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence Bill Administration of Estates Amendment 6/97 Communal Lands Act and land reform programme Companies Act Section 171(3) (b) Constitution of Zimbabwe section 23 Customary marriages Act Guardianship of minors Act Intepretation Act 201 . Why Women’s Law in An Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence (Oslo. Norwegian University Press. Taking Law to the People: Gender Law Reform and Community Legal Education in Zimbabwe (Harare.

Labour Relations Amendment Act Land Acquisition Act Legal Age of Majority Act Case law cited Chihowa v Mangwende SC 84/87 Magaya v Magaya SC 101/99 202 .