Women are judged on how they should be placing their duties and still remain women inside and outside their homes; this is brought about by how the opposite sex view women mostly in work places. It has been discovered that women are the minority in work places since it is believed that their role is taking care of their homes rather than working outside their homes (employed). Researchers have discovered that race in a society plays a major role in women’s life mostly in what they do in their day to day life. In countries such as the United States, black women are very few in work places since most of these African American women are classified to be illiterate.
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It’s hard for them to work in high positioned jobs because they fear how people will view and judge them, these is brought about by mostly where they come from since most of them did not get a good education and came from humble backgrounds. This is not their fault to the reason that if they are treated just like other normal women they would be comfortable to work and earn their living. They have also been left out in work places mostly because of their background and mostly their race, most African American have gone through tough times in order to be accepted in the society, through their journey in living the tough times they engaged themselves in drugs, prostitution, stealing and other awful behavior since they couldn’t be offered jobs because of their race (Okoth, 86).
The past experience of the white people towards the black women has not been erased completely this is because the higher individuals in work places believe that black women still live the life they used to live while trying to be appreciated and accepted in the society and that they will practice those practices in the work places. The other reason to why the African American women are scare in work places is because they partners who mostly happen to be black have the mentality that women should not earn more than men.
In short, they are threatened by their success thus giving them a hard time in their homes by convincing them that they should remain back at home and take care of the children. African American men also have the mentality that their wives should not be employed because they want to be seen as the providers in the society and not the women providing for them. It can also be classified that they want to be viewed as more superior than women; on the other hand, these men want to create attention to people that they can take care of their wife and children. This is because they believe that when a woman provide for the family they are seen by their fellow men as weak in the society, this is the reason to why most black women cannot be found in most work places (Toyin, 79).
The other affected race is the Mexicans. Mexican women migrated to the United States mostly because they were smuggled in promises of obtaining good jobs which was not true at all. They did totally different jobs most of them were prostitutes and others helped in house chore. It was believed that these women were not supposed to work bur stay home and provide more children for their husbands and also take care of their families. This mentality used to run and also runs in the minds of their opposite sex whereby they believe that they should not work but stay back at home. This case is the same as the black community because these practices used to be there and are still there but not believed as they used to.
In most talk shows a big percentage of men supports these believes and thus showing women that this kind of believes are there to stay until the men change their mentality towards women working. Not all men believe this but most of them this proving that majority wins and that the practice still takes place. These Mexican women suffer mentally just like the African American women because of this discriminations towards them. This has resulted to separation of ethnic groups and also rivalry between the African American women and the white women also the Mexican women and obvious the white American women (Toyin, 79).
This happens because they believe that the white American women’s decisions such as working are supported by their fellow opposite sex. Majority of white American men don’t see a problem with their fellow white women working, this is because they have no cultural believes since they share responsibilities with their women. This bad mentality of discriminating women in work places are not brought about by the white Americans but these different races that come and live there since they come and bring their believes with them thus spoiling other people’s minds about different cultures and how they carry out their day to day life. Women themselves who are affected by these indifferences also are to blame since some of them believe it too since they practice what their parents used to do.
By this they end up exploiting generations to come therefore these discriminations becoming hard to be put in to a stop. All this mentioned believes and practices are the reason to why most women are not seen in work places. Most women are not found in work places because they are overworked, this takes place when women end up building a family thus having a husband and children and they need to take care of their children and their homes this causing them to choose their families first before anything else. This can be solved by either appointing a house help, very less do that but most of the family women don’t trust house helps with their homes and families thus ending up choosing to be housewives and therefore lacking in most work places.
The Maasai who are also known as Masai are a Nilotic ethnic group ho are semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and the northern part of Tanzania. Their distinctive way of life which includes their mode of dressing, customs as well as their life in or near game parks make them a favorite of tourists thus making them well known in many parts of the world. They speak the Maa language which is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, although they are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and English which act as secondary languages to them. Despite all these things, the Maasai women do not lead such a good life as their female counterparts in other parts of the world. An interview was conducted with one of the representatives who are in an organization which tries to break the existing barriers in this community.
Through talking to a representative of the Maasai found in Ngorongoro District, in the Arusha Region of northeastern Tanzania who have formed a group to look into their grievances through their group The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC). PWC, a community-based organization was established in Tanzania in the year 1997. During its formation, their core function was to promote the development of maasai women as well as their children. This is done through facilitation of health, access education, social services as well as economic empowerment to fight poverty. Marginalization of these two groups in the said community is the core agenda being looked at by The Pastoral Women’s Council. An ownership right for the women has not been embraced fully in the Maasai commuity and this has also been a topic being looked at by the PWC. The 1990’s saw improvement of girls’ livelihood in many parts of the Eastern Africa but failed to do so in the Maasai community.
This has therefore led to formation of women groups which seek to provide the girl child with opportunities for education as well as a revolving livestock programme. It has established a small-scale agricultural development programme and it promotes women’s rights and leadership by raising women’s awareness and critical understanding of politics, legislation, women’s rights and their role in development which like. through paralegal training, studies, talks by experienced guest speakers, meetings, and encouraging women to talk openly. Its approach is to empower indigenous communities to secure their access and rights to natural resources and to have their role in the management of these resources recognised. Thus, PWC has not only improved tangible aspects of Maasai people’s lives for example; improved nutritional status, created new sources of income, acquired access to land. It has also helped women gain confidence, skills, knowledge and respect.
The organisation is women-led. Providing women with a forum for discussion allows them to reflect on the positive and negative aspects of Maasai culture, to act on their findings, and to mobilise local efforts and resources. As a result to date, girls have escaped forced marriage; women have gained confidence, skills, respect and knowledge in different areas; the credit scheme has provided women with tangible financial support; and girls are graduating from secondary school and are now teaching in PWC schools. Through its work, PWC has developed large networks and strong relationships with various international NGOs and donors, as well as district, village and regional government. These relationships have facilitated financial support and have influenced the passing of traditional land tenure structures as well as the establishment of government-led programmes that focus on the poor
In most of the African tradition has dictated that women have been among the poorest in African nations. Majority of Maasai women in Kenya are known to live a life of poverty and cultural repression. A few years ago, very few if any of Maasai women attended school. Even with the free primary education in Kenya which started in January 2003, only forty eight percent of Maasai girls enroll in school, with only five percent of those girls who enroll making it on to secondary school. To mark entry into adulthood, the Maasai girls are circumcised between the ages of eleven to thirteen. with this they are deemed fit for marriage and they are therefore married off to a man chosen by her father in exchange for cattle and cash. Divorce is never allowed to any Maasai woman except in the most egregious cases of physical abuse, after which she is not allowed to marry again regardless of the age at which she was married or the husband’s age. She is inherited and becomes the property of one of her husband's brothers becoming one of other multiple wives, later bear more children regardless of her health or ability to provide for them. And then take on other domestic chores. The Maasai woman’s life expectancy is 45 years.
The Maasai community found in the eastern part of Africa are one of the most impoverished tribes in East Africa who have for years reserved their tradition lifestyle as well as their traditional lifestyle and cultural identity despite pressures of the modern world. They lead a nomadic lifestyle which is mostly characterized by raising cattle and goats, wearing traditional clothes, and living in small villages known as manyattas, which have a circular arrangement made up of mud huts. The Maasai women are responsible for almost all domestic tasks which include building of houses as well as making of their homesteads. Their houses are made from an assortment mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and urine.
The life of Maasai women is full of opportunities and when they are their personal best, they are powerful. A Maasai woman may not see it from where she is standing, but she knows there is always something better just around the corner. A Maasai woman therefore can also be a powerful change agent in her own community. A Maasai woman's task list includes: building a house which require her to travel long distance to get building materials. She has to smear the house made of mud with more wet soil mixed with cow dung when it rains she is the one who milks the cows, inspects the heard for sicknesses, she is the one who opens for the cows and goats every morning and evening. She is involved in preparation of food for everyone in the homestead as well as any visitor present, she collects firewood for cooking, water for domestic use, collects herbs for use as well as all other domestic chores.
They are the ones who do the milking of their cows, collection of water which is a heavy and arduous task due to the scarcity of water, cooking and looking after the children. The Maasai women are a favorite of tourists who visit their areas. They are tall, slender and bedecked with large beaded necklaces and long braided hair, they are a favorite among tourists taking their holiday snapshots.
With advancement in technology, need for farming land and more demand for land has become a threat to nomadic life which the Maasai lead. This therefore leads to need for educating the current generation of boys and girls. The right to education, right for the women to control their bodies human basic rights, the right to choose whom and when to marry, the right to express an opinion have been denied of women by the lifestyle they lead as well as their tradition and beliefs. It proves very had for girls to get an education in the Maasai community. This is due to the high cost of education as compared to what the can afford. The cost of education is prohibitive for most families, and the promise of a dowry is a powerful incentive for arranging a daughter's marriage as soon as she becomes an adult according to their culture which is signified by circumnisation of the girl child. Due to its wilderness state, the Maasai culture and the ecosystem, Ngorongoro District has been a major tourist attraction.
Despite this, the community here and especially women have fallen prey to crisis facing the pastoral communities in other parts of the world in their livelihoods, culture and way of life which have come under threat. The natural resources that tend to help communities have been locked out of reach of the Maasai who are pastoralists among others like hunters and gatherers since Tanzania came under German rule in the 1880s and enjoy little access to their environment. This has led to pastoral communities lacking confidence to defend their rights due to the fact that they are not aware of their own citizenship rights. Failure to know their rights means that others make decisions without their input or consultation. The government does not recognize Maasai traditional land rights, nor their right to full access and control of the natural resources therein thus leading to high levels of alienation with National interest, promotion of tourism, commercial farming and hunting are all cited as justification foor the alienation of land and natural resources. Migration by Maasai youth from their urban areas into towns has led to low income jobs for such young people and this in turn means low class form of life for those young people.
Due to their socio-cultural practices and norms which are deeply rooted in their growing and upbringing which govern the community, the Maasai women are highly marginalized leaving them little room for external influence and makes it difficult to introduce and accomplish social change. This socio-cultural dimension has negatively affected Maasai women, who have experienced high levels of marginalization. All these things combined lead to Tanzanian Maasai women to be among the most marginalized and poorest women in the region. In whole, of the whole of Tanzanian GNP, women contribute fifty eight percent but the conditions are getting worse. In representation, Tanzanian Maasai women lack enough representation in all levels and there is also little respect and appreciation for them. The seeds for subsequent tensions are often sown by this lack of participation, while the potential for peaceful coexistence between.
Although for quite a long time the Maasai have been reserved to their own culture, the advancement in life has made it possible for the to freely interact with other communities where they have even started indulging themselves in other activities of life other than pastoralism. Such has been promoted by intermarriages with the neighboring communities which are mainly involved in farming activities. Changing of deep rooted norms in any given society is a daunting task. This therefore means that a lot of work is needed so as to change and adjustments are needed within new socio-economic platform. Comparing the above discussion to the current advanced society, much needs to be done to ensure positive outcome and a bright future for the marginalized group. Decision making improves with education. The more people are educated, the better they will be able to make decisions which will better their lives. Education therefore should be advocated for in the Maasai community mostly for the girl child so as to empower the women for betterment of their lives. Shedding of norms and culture should be encouraged by the government by showing interest in the community beliefs and teaching them about which norms are beneficial and which are not. Provision of education therefore should be a key role of the concerned sectors of government to ensure that women and girls as well are empowered to make wise decisions which would in turn ensure that they lead better lives.
Unlike urban areas where basic necessities are readily available, in Maasailand, water is a rare commodity and it has to be sought from far and wide. Provision of this important commodity would mean more time for the women which would be used in other development activities like getting quality education which would prove important for their future. Due to lack of basic education for many women in the community as compared to advanced communities lead to lack of informed decision making capacity. The government should therefore be at the forefront in the provision of chances of taking place in decision making on things affecting them. This way, they would be empowered and would have more trust in their government. This would also mean faster solutions to things affecting them because they are the same ones who would be better suited to know remedies to their problems. With all these factors that hinder and marginalize the Tanzania Maasai, coupled together, it therefore follows that even in job placement, there is expected to be a very low number of Maasai women if any working in white collar jobs (Briggs, 210).
It has been particularly important to raise women’s awareness and critical understanding of politics, legislation (and rights), and their role in development. Activities include paralegal training on civil and land rights, study tours, meetings and talks by experienced guest speakers. Work in this area also involves supporting victims of domestic violence by first linking them with the village government (which as a legal entity is responsible for conflict resolution at the village level) and encouraging them to talk openly about their problems. If they fail to settle their dispute at this level PWC advises them to take their complaint to the nearest police station which will inevitably call both parties and the village government leader in attempting to solve the problem.
Occasionally cases are taken to the primary court and PWC’s role is then to help inform the magistrate of the necessary facts on a particular case, which in turn will determine the decision made at court. With the knowledge of the need to empower women in this community, things have been put in place which has resulted in women now feeling empowered and are not as marginalized as in the past. They are able to identify, prioritize, plan and implement issues affecting them in a participatory way. For example they are able to produce enough food for the household and can even sell some. Seven girls have escaped forced marriages in the last 18 months alone this was seldom heard of five years ago now, women are participating in politics, village government meetings and school committees. Poverty is being tackled through economic empowerment brought about by the successful women’s action groups. This initiative is expanding every year.
The existing groups are very innovative and active in reducing household level poverty. Girls who have received training have returned to assist their fellow community members. Nineteen girls who have all graduated from secondary school now teach in the nursery schools and one runs PWC’s pharmacy. Another young woman now works as an Assistant Coordinator in the District Council Women’s Development Department. She is using her position to support Maasai women in the district and due to the impact of her work she has been contracted to undertake additional work for an international NGO. There is increased ownership and leadership of the programme by local women. PWC’s women-led Executive Committee is one of PWC’s key strengths. Members of the Executive Committee have gained confidence, skills and knowledge through their work with the organization and the work of PWC is becoming increasingly recognized and respected by communities.
The credit scheme has provided women with tangible financial support. For the first time, women in Ngorongoro are engaging in cattle trading – something that was previously the sole domain of men. This change has been made possible through the credit scheme. Credit also enables women to travel and meet women in other towns; for the first time, Maasai women are traveling to sell goods at markets in Narok, Kenya and Arusha. Women now own property, unlike before, and are able to learn new skills for becoming financially independent. An increasing amount of money is being raised locally. PWC has encouraged women to take a self-help approach in raising funds for community projects, building primary schools and funding teachers’ salaries for example. This approach has enhanced ownership of projects by the women involved, as well as increasing trust between PWC and the community (Amin, 34).
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