The effects of wives' economic power on gender relationships in Tanzania households: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya urban areas 1993/94

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University of Dar es Salaam
Deliberate efforts to emancipate women made by the International community and National Governments have not made much significant impact, and the achievements have remained minimal, After declaring 1975 a women's year, the UN entrusted women with the task of devising means to accelerate their liberation. The role played by economic power of the empowered against the disempowered as exemplified in world politics has stimulated hope that economic empowerment would play a decisive role in changing gender relations and acceleration of women's liberation, This research has thus been conceived within this argument with the view of trying to contribute to solve problems surrounding women's liberation. The research objective was to investigate gender relations in households where wives had an upper hand in economic achievement over their spouses. Observations concentrated on establishing the positions of men and women in different spheres; investigating gender roles. responsibilities and divisions of labour: revealing men's attitudes and fears towards economically empowered women: mechanisms used to maintain men's superiority over women: techniques and strategies women use to self empower and achieve their goals without antagonizing their spouses; and the impact of the extended family on spouses relationships. Forty business people in big and small business categories were interviewed, twenty (10 men and 10 women from both Dar es Salaam and Mbeya towns, Strategic sampling, questionnaire and practical observation were the methods used for data collection. This research has revealed changes in the nature of gender relationships whereby the economically powerful wives assume most of the husbands responsibilities although they shoulder bigger workloads in the households, The husbands who are not as economically powerfully as wives tend to withdraw support from households. This report is based on a study carried out in Dar es Salaam city and Mbeya municipal on the Big and small business Men and women, The study was conducted between October 1993 and March 1994.
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Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Women, Mbeya, Social conditions, Sex role
Kaihula, N. A. M (1995) The effects of wives' economic power on gender relationships in Tanzania households: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya urban areas 1993/94,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (