Monday, February 06, 2006

Gender Sensitivity & Education


I made a comment this weekend to a friend after a discussion on gender sensitivity that left her quite upset. I told her that as long as society views women’s problems as just that - ‘women’s problems’ and not society’s problems as an extension, then all these ‘women’s caucuses’, ‘maendeleo ya wanawake’, ‘educating the girl child’ initiatives championed by women would continue to lag in the back burner of society’s ‘hot stove’. I went on to explain that such causes had a delicate balance and needed a well-calculated approach, which I honestly don’t think we have. My bone of contention was the fact that all these societies are run exclusively by women, for women. I explained that it even seemed hypocritical to advocate for ‘gender equality’ while sitting on a board whose membership comprises exactly 12 women.

Her retort: No one understands women’s problems better than women themselves.

Am I missing something here?


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Whispering Inn said...

My friend you're doing jumping jacks in a mine field.
Of course you're right on point but women see you the way an African American would see a WASP lecturing him on affirmative action.

At 1:36 AM, Blogger Prousette said...

Let me try.
Women are people first and foremost, with unique problems undoubtedly. The integration is kinda difficult because
-We do not trust the men to look out for us , I mean what do they know?
-Deep down most women view men generally not specifically as the source of the problems so we shall exclude them!
Lastly for a long time 'gender' was synonymous with 'women and their issues' so when you are talking equality it applies only to women not men.

At 2:21 AM, Blogger dangerously_shy said...

Hello Magaidi, thanks for stopping by my blog..

I recently watched a documentary presented by the Deputy Editor of the Times and she was pretty much asking the same question, infact she reckons we women have shot ourselves in the foot, to a certain extent I do agree, infact as much as I love being a feminist I firmly believe that women and men have different roles to play and while in an ideal world it would be great if we were equal, in reality it will never happen, but in this case I have to disagree with you, we do need these “societies” run for women by women and this links in to my earlier statement, women and men have different roles to play (I think that’s probably what your lady friend meant) surely the same can be said for societies such as free masons or Bohemian Grove which are run for men by men?

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Instigator said...

Magaidi I agree with you 110% as long as women keep their problems exclusively for themselves and fail to connect them with the problems of the whole society they will remain just that women's problems.If they dont make men stakeholders in anyway whatsoever men will remain aloof and oblivious to them.As for gender equality for some women it equals gender superiority.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Keguro said...


just because I'm three weeks late doesn't mean I can't comment.

I'm male. I'm feminist. I teach it. I preach it. I live it.

Women welcome it. I'm not unique.

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