Prisca report on Women, Gender, Violence and Stigma
Input from Michelle Harris, UNC Public Health Student, Research Assistant Duke.
The meeting began with a discussion of the issues of Violence towards women, women’s roles and gender imbalance. Much discussion from the group about how Tanzanian family roles expect that the woman be the person to take care of children and older family members. Problems occur when men cannot get work and women can.
Michelle presented her story of stigma from the view point of a person with Multiple Sclerosis and how stigma could apply to other diseases as well. And asking the question, Do men feel that they have more stigma than women.
There was heated discussion about men not having an international Men’s day, but that in their culture actually women could be considered “products”. Much discussion about how women were breaking the mold, but how it is harder and harder for men to get jobs and that can cause friction because men are not prepared to do women’s work. Also discussion of how if man and wife work, and man makes less than woman, that causes friction. Then even more that both man and wife work, the man takes care of the house and the women treasures her salary for clothes and jewelry and other things.
Also discussion about women going out for a beer. This seen as bad behavior if they are married or not as you think that they are prostitutes. And even further if they have declared their status to be positive, men will still flock around them! Lots of questions around this, but most of the youth men agreed. And most of the girls agreed that going for a beer was like saying I am doing prostitution.
Everyone agreed this had been a good meeting and we need to continue discussion on Stigma.