The Contemporary Kisii Household Gender Roles_ Identity and

Document Sample
The Contemporary Kisii Household Gender Roles_ Identity and Powered By Docstoc
					The Contemporary
 Kisii Household:

Gender Roles, Identity
 and Social Value in
   Everyday Life.
   Household Background Information
   In Kisii households there is an ongoing
    competition for and control over scarce
    resources and struggles between genders over
    new roles and obligations.
   In this chapter Silberschmidt:
       Explores what types of new social roles and new
        social value systems have emerged for men and
        women respectively.
       Examines how new social values interact with male
        and female identity and gender relations.
                         The Roles of Men

   Tea Picking
   Night watchmen
   Local Contract Workers
       Seasonal Basis
   Government Employees
   Artisans
   Matatu Drivers
   Construction of Homes
       Wooden Frame and Thatching
   Farmers?
       If you own land you are a farmer
       Men will sometimes clear land.
       Women 54%, Men 38%, Children 8%
The Roles of Women

         Increased significantly since
          colonial era
         Farming
             Smaller plots and same tools
             Land has to provide both home
              consumption and cash
             New types of maize can be
              harvested twice a year.
         Fetch water and firewood
         Dry, shell, store, cook food
         Local market trading and selling
             This includes transport
         Purchase basic necessities
             Sugar, salt, soap, and other
        Resource Management and Control
   Men still own land and cattle
   Only men have the right to sell the land
       Irresponsible. Self vs. Household gain
   Women have potential power
       Control over production, reproduction and
   Men's absence give women control over:
       Land use, crop income, marketing
   Women and coping strategies
       Middleman and Changaa
       Women’s weapons
            Withdrawal from direct labor and reproductive
             labor-producing activity.
    Gendered Contributions to Household
   Both men and women agree
    that husbands should provide
    wives and children with:
       Proper clothing, health
        expenses, school uniforms,
        school books, school funds, not
        to mention school fees for
        secondary education.
       Agricultural implements and
   Women should provide:
       Food for the family
Spousal Negotiations

          Men are the heads of
           households and decision
          Complaining vs. Consulting
          Women’s main reasons for
           quarreling include:
              Economic neglect, lack of interest
               in children’s education and their
          Men’s main worries
              Poisoning by kababa—#2 reason
               why women go to jail
          Neither spouse trusts the other
              Other Household Issues

                                      Alcohol consumption
                                          Men only, socially required,
            ALCOHOL                        discuss problems, 2 reason
                                           for drinking
                                      Violence Against Women
                                          Corrective behavior,
                                           socially accepted,
           INSTABILITY                     increasing, 3 reasons for
                   PSYCHOLOGICAL      Psychological disorders
                     DISORDERS            Men- inadequate,
                                           incompetent, insecure,
                                           inferior, persecuted, and
                                          Women- stress about
                                           making ends meet.
   Men’s domain and their social role have been drastically reduced,
    women’s domain, including their independence, has increased.

   In precolonial times, as head of the household, the man’s role was not
    directly linked to economic responsibility, though men had to secure
    women’s access to the means of production. During colonial times,
    the provider ideology emerged, and with it new obligations and new
    responsibilities for men. These new obligations were not assigned
    social value.

   The substantial change in the need for contributions to family support
    challenged the ideology of separate spheres and a majority of men
    were neither able nor prepared to deal with their responsibilities and

   Gusii msn’s command over resources has seriously diminished. So has
    their political might, their social relationships, etc. Their deference
    and respect due from their wives is questioned—and so is their control
    over women.

   Silberschmidt, Margarethe. “Women Forget that Men are
    the Masters”: Gender Antagonism and Socio-Economic
    Change in Kisii District, Kenya. Sweden: Elanders Gotab

Shared By: