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Gender Inequality in the Division of Household Labour in Tanzania

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Abstract:

This study examined the gender norms and the language used for rationalising gender inequality regarding the division of household labour in Tanzania. Tanzanian university students and secondary students participated in interviews, focus groups, and surveys for this study. Findings suggest that Tanzanian men have very traditional expectations regarding gender roles while Tanzanian women have more progressive expectations. Some gender norms, including the expectation that women should be responsible for the children and should do more work than men overall, were demonstrated. Naturalisation, the attempt to justify an inequality such as sexism by claiming that the disparity is simply natural, was used to explain inequalities; as was minimisation, the attempt to justify an inequality by reducing the significance of the problem. Lastly, cultural sexism attempted to justify gender inequality by explaining the differences between genders as a result of cultural practices rather than sexism.

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