Relative Status of Men and Women

Even though there are titled elders, all of whom are men, Btsisi' should be viewed as an egalitarian society in which women and men are both considered valued, important, and equal members of the community. Women and men who are knowledgeable about maintaining the health and well-being of people are respected for their knowledge and recognized as valuable community members; however, they do not receive any special rights or privileges as a result of their roles.

Women and men jointly reach decisions that affect their lives. What wage and subsistence activities people do are determined mutually by those involved. Control over resources is shared among owners. If a brother and sister jointly own land, they will jointly determine what the land will be used for. In terms of marriage choices, both young men and young women have a similar ability to control the selection of their partner. The influence a person has is dependent not on whether they are male or female, but on their personality.

While there is officially no "head of household," people say that, if there is one, the woman of the household is the leader. Women are the household financial controllers. Men hand their income to their wives who in turn give their husbands "pocket money." Decisions on household purchases should be reached after discussion between a husband and wife, and a mutually agreeable solution is reached.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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