Thursday, 24 December 2009

Only a woman??

Following a tour of Tanzania and Zanzibar, I have now arrived in Malawi. As lovely as it is there is one thing I have found hard to accept while I have been in Africa.......The low status of a woman.....To quote "As a woman you as less important to a Masai than a cow."

I have always prided myself on being one of a long line of strong women, my mum rules the house and as kids she was the disciplinarian, the financial expert, the one who organises all the small things and she is given respect for it.

As a western woman I have always been treated as an equal, I am not lesser than a man, I can do anything i want, have any job I chose, have children if I chose or not.....Here your role is to have a child and look after your husband and be satifised with that. I have seen the behaviour of my tour guide having affairs with his western clients and then trying to justifiy his behaviour as ok because he is "Freelancing" despite being married but being unable to accept that a western woman can "freelance" as well if she choses.

Maybe I am finding it hard to accept another culture and only looking at it through the eyes of a western professional woman, maybe I should not be so resistant to other ideas?.......The women are so friendly and happy here.......Maybe I have no right to make judements on another culture??


  1. From one strong woman to another, see it all take it in and use the experience!

  2. i found the same thing... and yet women are respected, but in a different way. It's when it gets oppressive that I really struggled, but then I couldnt work out what was really oppressive and what was just as you say, looking at it through the eyes of anohter culture...

  3. Tough questions. I'd find that quite difficult as well. I studied anthropology in college and was much less willing to judge at that point. Today, I find some things simply wrong. Particularly what is done to women. Were it not for questions such as yours, many entrenched institutions (slavery for one) would be even more pervasive than they are now. Keep pondering!

  4. I think, in that situation, I would challenge only very gently, but be very thankful that I don't live in that society.

  5. oh such a nice blog. im now a follower.


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