Monday, 14 March 2016

Elimu bora iwe daraja la kufikia usawa wa kijinsia : Faraja Nyalandu

Faraja Nyalandu, aliyekuwa Miss Tanzania mwaka 2014. Picha ya UNICEF.
Leo ikiwa ni siku 9 zimepita ya wanawake duniani, Balozi mwema wa Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa la Kuhudumia Watoto UNICEF nchini Tanzania, Faraja Nyalandu amesema ili kufikia uwiano wa hamsini kwa hamsini kati ya wanaume na wanawake, lazima wanawake wapewe fursa ya kupata elimu bora.
Amesema hayo akizungumza na idhaa hii, akiongeza kwamba kupitia elimu bora wanawake watapata fursa ya kuwa nguzo ya ustawi na maendeleo na kunufaisha taifa kwa ujumla.
Bi Nyalandu amesema tayari hatua kadhaa zilichukuliwa ili kuwapatia wanawake nafasi zaidi.
(Sauti ya Bi Nyalandu)
Aidha amesisitiza umuhimu wa kuendelea kuweka nafasi za upendeleo zilizowekwa kwa ajili ya wanawake katika sekta ya elimu na uongozi akisema

Everyday sexism: Laura Bates at TEDxCoventGardenW


Childhood Gender Roles In Adult Life

Gender roles: Men and women are not so different after all

Gender differences image
An Iowa State professor says we tend to focus on the extremes when looking at differences between genders, but men and women are really quite similar. Image courtesy of
AMES, Iowa – Gender is a large part of our identity that is often defined by our psychological differences as men and women. Not surprisingly, those differences are reflected in many gender stereotypes – men rarely share their feelings, while women are more emotional – but an Iowa State University researcher says in reality men and women are more alike than we may think.
Gender stereotypes can influence beliefs and create the impression that the differences are large, said Zlatan Krizan, an associate professor ofpsychology at ISU. To separate fact from fiction, Krizan and colleagues Ethan Zell, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Sabrina Teeter, a graduate student at Western Carolina University, conducted a meta-synthesis of more than 100 meta-analyses of gender differences. Combined, the studies they aggregated included more than 12 million people.  
Their report, published in American Psychologist, found an almost 80 percent overlap for more than 75 percent of the psychological characteristics, such as risk taking, occupational stress and morality. Simply put, our differences are not so profound.
“This is important because it suggests that when it comes to most psychological attributes, we are relatively similar to one another as men and women,” Krizan said. “This was true regardless of whether we looked at cognitive domains, such as intelligence; social personality domains, such as personality traits; or at well-being, such as satisfaction with life.”
The similarities were also consistent regardless of age and over time. However, researchers don’t dispute that men and women have their differences. They identified 10 attributes in which there was a significant gap between genders. Some of these characteristics fell in line with stereotypes. For example, men were more aggressive and masculine, while women had a closer attachment to peers and were more sensitive to pain.
If we’re so similar, why do we think we’re different?
The purpose of the meta-synthesis was not to identify why men and women are different, but measure by how much. The results contradict what many people think, and Krizan has a few explanations as to why. One reason is the difference in extremes. The evidence researchers aggregated focuses on a typical range of characteristics, but on the far end of the spectrum the differences are often exaggerated, Krizan said.
“People tend to overestimate the differences because they notice the extremes,” Krizan said.
He used aggression as one example. “If you look at incarceration rates to compare the aggressiveness of men and women, the fact that men constitute the vast majority of the prison population supports the idea that men are extremely more aggressive. However, it’s a misleading estimate of how much typical men and women differ on aggressiveness, if that’s the only thing you look at for comparison,” he said.
Additionally, people notice multiple differences simultaneously, which can give the impression of a larger effect. Researchers looked at the average for each trait individually rather than a combination of differences.
“The difference on any one trait is pretty small,” Krizan said. “When there are several smaller differences, people might think there’s a big difference because the whole configuration has a different flavor. I think they make a mistake assuming that any given trait is very different from typical men to women.”
Researchers also point out that they did not try to determine to what extent these differences reflect real, physical or biological differences between genders. For example, do men tolerate more pain because they believe that is what they should do as a man? Krizan says some behavioral differences may be learned through social roles. Although men may be said to come from Mars and women from Venus, these findings remind us that we all come from Earth after all, he added.

Gender Roles and Gender Differences

In addition to the influence on gender behaviors of biological factors, there are four principle psychological explanations of gender-linked behavior patterns: Freudian theory's process of identification, cognitive social learning theory, gender-schema theory, and Kohlberg's cognitive developmental theory.
The process by which children acquire the values, motives, and behaviors viewed as appropriate for males and females within a culture is called gender typing. Children developgender-based beliefs, largely on the basis of gender stereotypes; the latter are reflected in gender roles. Children adopt a gender identity early in life and developgender-role preferences as well.
Both within and across different cultures we find great consistency in standards of desirable gender-role behavior. Males are expected to be independent, assertive, and competitive; females are expected to be more passive, sensitive, and supportive. These beliefs have changed little over the past twenty years within the United States and apparently around the world as well.
There is some variation in cultural gender-role standards both within the United States and across cultures, however. Within the United States, standards vary depending on ethnicity, age, education, and occupation. For example, African American families are less likely to adhere to strict gender-role distinctions when socializing their children, whereas Mexican-American families are more likely to highlight gender differences.
Divergence between cultures is also clearly seen in Margaret Mead's study of differences between three primitive tribes. In two tribes both men and women displayed what the Western world considers to be either feminine or masculine characteristics. In a third tribe the genders reversed the traditional Western roles. However, even within groups, individual differences in the strength of stereotypes often outweigh group characteristics.
Of the many presumed differences between the behaviors of males and females, some are real, some are found only inconsistently, and some are wholly mythical.
Girls are more physically and neurologically advanced at birth. Boys have more mature muscular development but are more vulnerable to disease and hereditary anomalies. Girls excel early in verbal skills, but boys excel in visual-spatial and math skills. Boys' superior mathematic abilities, however, reflect only a better grasp of geometry, which depends on visual-spatial abilities. Boys are more aggressive, and girls more nurturant. Boys have more reading, speech, and emotional problems than girls.
More equivocal are gender differences in activity level, dependency, timidity, exploratory activity, and vulnerability to stress. There are no gender differences in sociability, conformity, achievement, self-esteem, or verbal hostility.
Although differences exist, it is important to remember that the overlap between the distributions is always greater than the differences between them. In addition, noting the existence of the differences does not tell us why they exist. It is clear that girls and boys have many different experiences and opportunities as they develop, which may lead to divergent outcomes or highlight existing differences.
Developmental Patterns of Gender Typing
Children develop gender-typed patterns of behavior and preferences as early as age 15 to 36 months. Girls tend to conform less strictly to gender-role stereotypes than do boys, possibly because there is greater pressure from parents and teachers for boys to adhere to the masculine role. Girls may also imitate the male role because it has greater status and privilege in our culture. Although some boys and girls receive support for cross-gender behavior, most are encouraged to behave according to traditional stereotypes.
Stability of Gender Typing
A longitudinal study found that adult heterosexual behavior could be predicted from gender-typed interests in elementary school. Greater stability was found when a characteristic was related to culturally accepted standards; culturally nontraditional childhood behaviors tended to emerge in divergent forms in adulthood. Thus gender-typed interests tended to remain stable from childhood to maturity.
Research indicates that gender roles fluctuate across the life course as adults change to meet the demands of new situations and circumstances, such as childrearing. Whatever their roles up to this point, women tend to show more expressive characteristics in parenthood and men more instrumental characteristics.
Hormones, Social Behavior, and Cognitive Skills
Biological factors that are thought to shape gender differences include hormones and lateralization of brain function. Hormones may organize a biological predisposition to be masculine or feminine during the prenatal period, and the increase in hormones during puberty may activate that predisposition. In addition, social experiences may alter the levels of hormones, such as testosterone.
Brain Lateralization and Gender Differences
Gender differences in the organization of the brain may be reflected in the greater lateralization of brain functioning in males, which may help explain male success at spatial and math skills. It may also explain female tendencies to be more flexible than males and to withstand injury to the brain more effectively.
Biology and Cultural Expectations
Androgenized female fetuses may become girls who behave more like boys and have more traditionally male interests. Such girls are also better at visual-spatial tasks than other girls. However, environmental factors are also influential in boys and girls developing nontraditional gender-based abilities and interests.
Kohlberg's Cognitive Developmental Theory
Cognitive factors in children's understanding of gender and gender stereotypes may contribute to their acquisition of gender roles. Two cognitive approaches to gender typing have looked at when children acquire different types of gender information and how such information modifies their gender-role activities and behaviors. Kohlberg's three-stagecognitive developmental theory of gender typing suggests that children begin by categorizing themselves as male or females, and then feel rewarded by behaving in gender-consistent ways. To do this, they must develop gender identitygender stability, and gender constancy.
Gender-Schema Theory: An Information-Processing Approach
Gender schema theory suggests that children develop naive mental schemas that help them organize their experiences in such a way that they will know what to attend to and how to interpret new information. According to this theory, we should expect individual differences in how gender-schematic children will be.
A Comparison of Cognitive Development and Gender-Schema Theories
According to the cognitive developmental theory, we should not see gender-typed behavior until after gender constancy is reached (around age 6). However, gender-typed toy and activity preferences are seen much earlier and show a preference for same-sex playmates later. These findings suggest that the link between the acquisition of gender concepts and behavior varies depending on gender understanding and kind of behavior.
Parents' Influence on Children's Gender-Typed Choices
Families actively play a role in gender-role socialization by the ways in which they organize the environment for the child. Boys and girls are dressed differently, receive different toys to play with, and sleep in bedrooms that are furnished differently.
Parental Behavior toward Girls and Boys
In addition, girls and boys are viewed and treated differently by their parents, particularly their fathers. Boys are thought to be stronger and are treated more roughly and played with more actively than girls as early as birth. As children get older, girls are protected more and allowed less autonomy than boys, and girls are not expected to achieve as much in the areas of mathematics and careers as are boys.
Modeling Parents' Characteristics
As predicted by cognitive social learning theory, parental characteristics influence gender typing in terms of the role models that are available for the child to imitate. Parental power has a great impact on sex typing in boys, but not in girls; femininity in girls is related to the father's masculinity, his approval of the mother as a role model, and his reinforcement of participation in feminine activities.
Parental Absence or Unavailability
Because the father plays such a critical role in the development of children's gender roles, his absence has been related to disruptions in gender typing in preadolescent boys and to problems in relationships with peers of the opposite sex for adolescent females. Studies show that the effects of a father's absence on his daughter's interactions with men are long-lasting, extending to marital choices.
Gender Roles in Children of Gay and Lesbian Parents
There is no evidence of differences in the gender roles of boys and girls raised in gay or lesbian families. Most children of such families grow up to have heterosexual sexual orientations.
Books and Television
Many extrafamilial influences affect gender-role typing. Male and female roles are portrayed in gender-stereotypic ways in television and many children's books. Males are more likely than females to be portrayed as aggressive, competent, rational, and powerful in the workforce. Females are more often portrayed as involved primarily in housework or caring for children.
Females are less likely to be leading characters on TV, and male characters are over represented in children's books-although some change toward more equal treatment has occurred in recent years. Children who are heavy TV viewers hold more stereotyped views; however, this may be due to their interpretations of what they see based on previously held stereotypes. A few attempts to use television to change gender stereotypes have been successful, but the effects typically have been modest and short-lived.
Peers, Gender Roles, and Self-Esteem
Peers also serve as an important source of gender-role standards. Children who have masculine or androgynous characteristics are likely to have higher self-esteem than those who have traditionally feminine characteristics.
Children are likely to react when other children violate gender-typical behaviors, and boys' cross-gender behaviors are more likely to meet with negative reactions from peers. Reactions from peers typically result in changes in behavior, particularly if the feedback is from a child of the same sex. This pattern of responsiveness may lead to gender segregation, which, in turn, provides opportunities to learn gender-typical roles. In self-socialization, children often spontaneously adopt gender-appropriate behavior.
Schools and Teachers
Teachers also treat girls and boys differently. Due to the emphasis in school on typically feminine characteristics such as quietness, obedience, and passivity, girls tend to like school better and perform better than boys in the early grades. Even in preschool, boys receive more criticism from teachers, who often react to children in gender-stereotypic ways. The implication of young boys' perceptions of school as gender-inappropriate may be lowered motivation and interest in school activities, leading to the higher rate of learning problems found in boys during the early grades.
The kinds of conforming and dependent behaviors encouraged in girls may be detrimental for their later academic success. The lack of public awareness of research findings, such as that in most areas of math girls do as well as boys, may prevent parents and others from encouraging girls to excel in these areas.
Most people are not strictly feminine or masculine but androgynous, that is, they possess both masculine and feminine characteristics. Children who are more androgynousmake less stereotyped play and activity choices.
Research interventions and the experience of nontraditional preschools indicate that children's gender stereotypes can be reduced. Similarly, children of nonconventional parents who place a high value on gender egalitarianism are less gender typed in their beliefs about possible occupations for males and females, although they are no different from other children on play preferences and knowledge of cultural sex typing. In other words, they are multischematic, holding more than one gender schema for responding to the world.

Gender Roles

As we grow, we learn how to behave from those around us. In this socialization process, children are introduced to certain roles that are typically linked to their biological sex. The term "gender role" refers to society's concept of how men and women are expected to act and behave. Gender roles are based on norms, or standards, created by society. In American culture, masculine roles have traditionally been associated with strength, aggression, and dominance, while feminine roles have traditionally been associated with passivity, nurturing, and subordination.

Gender roles

The term "gender role" refers to society's concept of how men and women are expected to act.

Gender Socialization

The socialization process in which children learn these gender roles begins at birth. Today, our society is quick to outfit male infants in blue and girls in pink, even applying these color-coded gender labels while a baby is in the womb. It is interesting to note that these color associations with gender have not always been what they are today. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, pink was actually more associated with boys, while blue was more associated with girls—illustrating how socially constructed these associations really are. 
Gender socialization occurs through four major agents: family, education, peer groups, and mass media. Each agent reinforces gender roles by creating and maintaining normative expectations for gender-specific behavior. Exposure also occurs through secondary agents, such as religion and the workplaceRepeated exposure to these agents over time leads people into a false sense that they are acting naturally based on their gender, rather than following a socially constructed role.
Children learn at a young age that there are distinct expectations for them based on their assigned gender. Cross-cultural studies reveal that children are aware of gender roles by age two or three; at four or five, most children are firmly entrenched in culturally appropriate gender roles (Kane, 1996). Parents often supply male children with trucks, toy guns, and superhero paraphernalia, which are active toys that promote motor skills, aggression, and solitary play. Female children are often given dolls and dress-up apparel that foster nurturing, social proximity, and role play. Studies have shown that children will most likely choose to play with "gender appropriate" toys even when cross-gender toys are available, because parents give children positive feedback (in the form of praise, involvement, and physical closeness) for gender-normative behavior (Caldera, Huston, and O'Brien, 1998).
The drive to adhere to masculine and feminine gender roles continues later in life. Men tend to outnumber women in professions such as law enforcement, the military, and politics; women tend to outnumber men in care-related occupations such as childcare, healthcare, and social work. These occupational roles are examples of typical American male and female behavior, derived not from biology or genetics but from our culture's traditions. Adherence to these roles demonstrates fulfillment of social expectations but not necessarily personal preference (Diamond, 2002).

Sexism and Gender-Role Enforcement

The attitudes and expectations surrounding gender roles are not typically based on any inherent or natural gender differences, but on gender stereotypes, or oversimplified notions about the attitudes, traits, and behavior patterns of males and females. Gender stereotypes form the basis of sexism, or the prejudiced beliefs that value males over females. Common forms of sexism in modern society include gender-role expectations, such as expecting women to be the caretakers of the household. Sexism also includes people’s expectations of how members of a gender group should behave. For example, women are expected to be friendly, passive, and nurturing; when a woman behaves in an unfriendly or assertive manner, she may be disliked or perceived as aggressive because she has violated a gender role (Rudman, 1998). In contrast, a man behaving in a similarly unfriendly or assertive way might be perceived as strong or even gain respect in some circumstances. 
Sexism can exist on a societal level such as in hiring, employment opportunities, and education. In the United States, women are less likely to be hired or promoted in male-dominated professions such as engineering, aviation, and construction (Blau, Ferber, & Winkler, 2010; Ceci & Williams, 2011). In many areas of the world, young girls are not given the same access to nutrition, healthcare, and education as boys. 

Gender stereotypes

Every time we see someone riding a motorcycle and assume, without looking closely, that they are male, we are engaging in gender stereotyping. This particular gender stereotype assumes that women are too timid or weak to ride a motorcycle.
Gender roles shape individual behavior not only by dictating how people of each gender should behave, but also by giving rise to penalties for people who don't conform to the norms. While it is somewhat acceptable for women to take on a narrow range of masculine characteristics without repercussions (such as dressing in traditionally male clothing), men are rarely able to take on more feminine characteristics (such as wearing skirts) without the risk of harassment or violence. This threat of punishment for stepping outside of gender norms is especially true for those who do not identify as male or female. Transgender, genderqueer, and other gender-nonconforming people face discrimination, oppression, and violence for not adhering to society's traditional gender roles. People who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer are also ostracized for breaking the traditional gender norm of who a person of a given sex "should" be attracted to. Even people who identify as cisgender (identifying with the sex they were assigned at birth) and straight (attracted to the opposite sex) face repercussions if they step outside of their gender role in an obvious way.

Source: Boundless. “Gender and Sociology.” Boundless Psychology. Boundless, 08 Jan. 2016. Retrieved 14 Mar. 2016 from