LINGUIST List 14.240

Thu Jan 23 2003

Books: Sociolinguistics: Zigira

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  1. LINCOM.EUROPA, Religion, Culture and Gender: Zigira

Message 1: Religion, Culture and Gender: Zigira

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 12:44:26 +0000
From: LINCOM.EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Religion, Culture and Gender: Zigira


		
Title: Religion, Culture and Gender
Subtitle: A Study of Women's Search for Gender Equality in Swaziland
Series Title: LINCOM Cultural Studies 01
			
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Lincom Europa
 http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA/

Availability: Available
		
Author: Christopher Amherst Byuma Zigira, University of South Africa 

Hardback: ISBN: ISBN389586840X, Pages: 250pp., Price: USD 67.90 / EUR
67.70 / GBP 42.40
			
Abstract:
			
Although Swazi women's contribution to national development has been
phenomenal, they like any other women in patriarchal societies
confront an overbearing situation in which they have been regarded and
treated as minors, both in the family and most spheres of public life.
This has largely been due to the social construction of gender.
Traditional gender-based attitudes, deeply ingrained in the people's
mind set, not infrequently, have limited women's access to and control
of various aspects of public life, and impinge on their rights, most
especially the rights to self-determination and equal participation in
the decision making process. Coupled with religion which influences
the deepest level of what it means to be human (King, 1994:4) and
zealous cultural conservatism, the Swazi women, with a few notable
exceptions, experience an asymmetry of power due to the pervasive
nature of gender. Nonetheless, the history of Swaziland bears
testimony, however muted, to a legacy of women's struggles to overcome
gendered conditions imposed upon them either by taking full advantage
of their spiritual endowment and charisma to overcome attitudinal
barriers or by organising themselves into groups to work for the
social transformation of their conditions and status.

This study examines the Swazi women's search for gender equality. It
discusses the social and cultural context of gender in Swaziland, the
various moments in the Swazi women's quest for equality and its
manifestations, and the push and pull effect of religion and culture.
Particular attention is given to four organisations, namely Lutsango
lwakaNgwane (loosely referred to as women's regiments), the Council of
Swaziland Churches, the Women's Resource Centre (Umtapo waBomake) and
Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA). The study shows that
Swazi women have, across a passage of time, adopted different
strategies, including ritual, economic empowerment and creation of new
knowledge through promotion of gender awareness and social advocacy
either in a womanist approach that accepts women's embeddedness in
Swazi culture or in the liberal feminist tradition that espouses
women's indivdual rights.

However, the study shows that the women's movement has yet to reach
the critical mass level so as to influence public policy and come to
terms with the deconstruction of the dominant gender ideology.

CONTENTS
Ch. 1:GENDER RELATIONS IN THE SWAZI CONTEXT: AN INTRODUCTION
Ch. 2:THE SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT
Ch. 3: WOMEN IN SWAZI RELIGION
Ch. 4:ANALYSIS OF SOURCES OF
 INEQUALITY
Ch. 5:ANTECEDENTS OF WOMEN'S
 SEARCH
Ch. 6:CONTEMPORARY SEARCH FOR
 GENDER EQUALITY
Ch. 7:CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN THE
 SEARCH FOR GENDER EQUALITY
Ch. 8: CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INTERVIEWS, APPENDICES
			
Lingfield(s): Anthropological Linguistics
		Sociolinguistics

Areal Regions: African

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

			
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