Form 5 General Studies (GS) Study Notes General Studies (GS) Study Notes Msomi Maktaba All Notes


(a) Basic concept related to gender

Gender refers to a social cultural relationship between men and women on basis of their functions, roles behavior and social cultural attributes practiced. Discussing issues found in gender and development area. There is a need of illustrating the social systems found and lived by the societies first as:
Gender concept terms.

 a)  Sex: Is the biological difference between men and women on basis of their biological make up function in reproduction and nature of their behavior. This difference then brings to two sex types as male and female sex.

b) Gender: is the social cultural relationship between men and women on their differences in roles, function and attributes shown between them.

NB: The difference between gender and sex is on the fact that sex is the biological difference between men and women while gender is the social cultural relationship in their difference.

This social cultural give difference to two gender type as;

 Masculine Gender – Standing for male sex and
Feminine gender – standing for female sex

c)  Gender discrimination: Is the situation in which one kind of sex is denied its rights and opportunities in the society just because of its being in that category.

d) Gender stereotype: Is the assigning of roles, tasks and responsibilities to a particular gender on the basis of interests.

e) Gender oppression is the situation where by one gender type is suppressed by another gender because of its being of that gender. It includes harsh treatment of one sex group e.g suppressing women’s rights, burning of women’s say etc.

f) Gender gap: Is a social economic and political difference in status, level of development or advancement between men and women. An experience shows that men are of higher status than women.

g)  Gender inequality: Is the situation where by there is unequal treatment of gender such that one group is given more Prentice than the other.

h) Gender bias: Is the positive or negative of attitude or practice of gender issues towards men and women e.g. Considering women inferior in front of men etc.

i)   Gender sensitivity: Is the situation of being aware of different in role performed by women and men and the needs to be planned and obtained by the two gender.

j)  Gender analysis. is a type of sociol economic analysis that uncovers how gender relations affect a development problem.

k) Gender equity: Is the fairness and justice treatment balance the recognition of both men and women potential e.g. emphasizing balanced diet to both men and women

l) Gender focus: Is the addressing of specific gender need determined by a specific gender. It is demonstration of gender sensitivity on the needs and privileges that men and women should get in society.

m) Gender balance: Is the situation where by men and women or male and female live their opportunity rights and needs equally.

  1. It can be however generalized gender inequality in society is mainly seen to be caused by nomination of patriarchal system and its important to know that whenever and wherever this gender relation exist it is women who are affected specifically is all aspect of life.

a) Patriarchal system is a social political system which is organized and run by men, in this system a father is given the power and authority to Control the Community starting from family which is the primary Unit of a society. The patriarchal system allows men to exercise power, authority and hold higher position of leadership in the society excluding women.

The word  patriarchy is from two Greek words ‘Pater’ that means “father” and ‘achy’ means to rule. The patriarchy system is originally linked to various  historical sources of data such as Theology verses(God created Adam first then later Eve) such supporting data give strength over the existence and practice of patriarchal system in all societies of the world. Example of the manifestation of this, Men hold most high social political and economic position in states, government and other organizations. The patriarchal system has therefore brought to various gender issues, such as gender discrimination. Gender discrimination, gender inequality, uneven division of work and share gap etc.


  1. In a family a father holds all power over women and children.
  2. Women are subordinates to mean’s rule (i.e. they are dependent to men).
  3. Power is held by and passed down through male elder.
  4. Marriage is based on property ownership ( i.e. men are the subject of paying bride price).
  5. Oppression of female gender.
  6. Execution of women from authority and power over the community.
  7. In marriage women always move to their husbands family empires.
  8. Men are considered to have central authority to all organizations.
  9. Marriage to women is a social bound issue i.e. it is planned under man’s final decisions.
  10. Men are given privileges of power in directing and controlling all issues in the society.

How the patriarchal system in Tanzania influence gender relations

 Patriarchal system is a system where men are dominant and women are subordinate, men are considered to have power, ownership and control over things of value while women are considered powerless and have no or fewer ownership.

In Tanzania patriarchy has been a major cultural heritage that influences the development of gender inequality in many tribes. This has been directly or indirectly practiced in different institutions in the socialization process. These institutions include the following:

  1. The family Level

As the first socialization agent it has some negative upbringing practice which has undesirable results against gender equality in the following ways:-

(i) Under patriarchal systems, girls and boys in Tanzania grow up in households and communities that treat them differently and unequally where boys are taught to learn that they have greater social value because they are permanent members of their families of birth.

(ii) The use of offensive language against female in front of children. This makes boys feel that they are superior to girls from childhood.

(iii) Division of labor. At the family level a girl child is accorded heavier and time consuming work load compared to that of boys. For instance fetching water, cooking, washing clothes taking care of babies at home are said to be quite of a girl not a boy.

(vi) Female beatings and harassment during marital conflict. Boys are trained to be aggressive and muscular with reasonable tolerance while girls are always told to have tolerance for their emotional expressiveness.

(v) Toys for children. The notion that men are stronger than women is presented in child cartoons via mass media. A child is learning how to act through observing what message is being presented through the mass media. For example, a doll for a girl and a toy gun for a boy.

(vi) Education to boys rather than girls. Many parents are reluctant to send their daughters to school while preference is given to boys.

(vii) Males have more access to control of resources and decision making while females have no right impedance of property in patriarchal families.

(viii) Females are denied access to information technology, time to relax and socialize

2. The community Level
    There are traditional norms, values, beliefs and practices that lead to gender inequality. They include the following:

(i) Initiation ceremonies: These are carried out in  some societies where by girls are insisted to be submissive to men. Hence, girls who have      undergone initiation become passive in schools and this leads to poor academic performance.

(ii) Women have no right to inheritance of property of their parents or husbands.

(iii) Women are not supposed to eat certain types of food when they are pregnant. In some societies, for instance, not allowed to eat mutton,  eggs etc. This weakens their reproductive health and affects the health of both a woman and the baby to be born as they lack nutritious food.

(iv) A girl has no right to choose her fiance. In some societies, it is the parents who decide who is to be a husband of their daughter regardless of her consent.

(V) Bride price/ dowry payment. This enslaves women and they turn out to be like a commodity bought or exchanged with another commodity. This makes their husbands to mistreat them as they think that they bought them.

(vi) Stereotyping: Stereotypes are over –generalized beliefs about people based on their membership in one of many social categories.

  •   Men are perceived as aggressive, cooperative and financial and providers while women are viewed as passive, cooperative and caretakers.
  •   Women are not regarded as important in big decisions of the community

(vii) Laws and regulations: Women are only the rulers of domestic life. For example, cooking, fetching water, caring for children.

III. Institutional Level

1. Religious Institutions

(i) Some religious doctrines emphasize on submissiveness of women to men. For example, in Islam there is provision which states that “Men are    guardians over women because Allah has made them to overstay. So a virtuous woman is one who is obedient………….. “(Quran 4:34) Also some people quote the Bible that God said to a woman “I will greatly multiply your pain in child bearing in pain you shall bring forth children. Yet your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16)

  (ii) Women are denied of high leadership positions in churches or mosques. These positions are only reserved for men.

2. The school institutions

(i) The literature used in schools portray the role of women negatively For example; women are portrayed as sexual objects.

(ii) Sexual harassment is serious to girls from male teachers. Teachers expect girls to fail while boys are considered to be brilliant. Hence, girls are not ennglish-swahili/courage” target=”_blank”>couraged to do better than boys.

 3.  The state institution

(i) There are poor government policies on women whereby most leadership positions are dominated by men while having lower percentage of women leaders.

(ii) Equal opportunities emphasized in legislation are not being often enforced.

 (iii) Some customary laws are retrogressive and most of the judicial laws are customary law.

  (iv) Confining women in private sphere.

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