Relative Status of Men and Women

Women are "only women"; they are strangers in the home and not to be trusted with family secrets, their political discussions are about "kitchen politics," and they need to be beaten from time to time to teach them proper behavior. Such is the opinion of many Luyia men about women. Yet those same men may honor and respect their mothers, and mothers may have considerable influence over sons. Most women do not have much authority, but they have a great deal of influence, often behind the scenes, especially as they grow older. Women (often older women) who are leaders of religious, self-help, and other groups speak their minds even when men are in the groups. Women know how to lead, how to make decisions—not surprising, because in their own female spheres of work and childcare, women make decisions independently of men. Educated women, women with jobs (often as nurses or teachers), are respected for their achievements. But in the end, most women come out a little—or much—lower than most men. Furthermore, patriarchal structures in land ownership and access to productive resources, education, and employment help keep women lower than men.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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