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Title: GENDER AND CULTURE IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF GUJI-OROMO WOMEN'S CUSTOMARY RIGHTS
Authors: DEBSU, Dejene N.
Keywords: Oromo
Gender
Guji women
Customary rights
Ethiopia
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 30
Issue: 1
Start page: 15
End page: 36
Abstract: Anthropological research conducted from July 2005 to June 2006 in southern Ethiopia demonstrates that Guji-Oromo women have more subtle cultural and economic rights than is immediately apparent. Women actively participate in the ritual aspect of the gada generation grade system, but they are marginally involved in political activities. While customary laws provide women with strong protection from mistreatment by husbands and their clan members, several myths and legends portray them as ineffective for war, politics, and administration. Contrary to the myths and legends, women have continued to provide an important service to their society as links between communities and peace negotiators during and after conflicts. They also enjoy claims to family property in several indirect ways. With changes from pastoralism to agropastoralism, however, women lost some of these economic and customary legal rights and became subjected to more domestic and extra-domestic work burdens. To understand the position of Guji women in their society, myths and stories about men and women, gender-based division of labor, and the general discourses about gender are analyzed and discussed in this manuscript.
DOI: 10.14989/71111
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/71111
Appears in Collections:Vol.30 No.1

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