Husband Wife Relationship

The relationship between husband and wife is one of inequality, not only in terms of age but, more importantly in terms of authority and power. If he so wishes, a husband may beat an obstinate wife into submission. The opposite would be unthinkable, as women are not supposed to exercise physical violence against their husbands; besides they do not have sticks with which to beat them. The junior position of wives vis-à-vis husbands is reflected in the fact that the latter refer to their young wives by the term of "children" (pl. inkera, enkerai).

Although ideologically and jurally subordinated to men, women are socially and culturally important, particularly through the occupancy and ownership of the house as a site of cultural reproduction, and individual women frequently stand forth as remarkably powerful persons (Chieni & Spencer, 1993; Hodgson, 2001). Husbands often consult their wives in family matters, such as children's marriages, movement of homestead or sale of livestock.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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