Crisis in education and culture and its social reflection on women: A case study of Zimbabwe
Makoni, Blandina M.
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This paper looks at the crisis of women's education in Zimbabwe from a socio-cultural point of view; or what the author terms "educulture". The main argument of the paper is that in spite of numerous post-independence changes, such as free primary education, the Legal Age of Majority Act, the creation of a Ministry dealing specifically with women's affairs, etc, women still find themselves in a man's world. This is evidenced by institutionalised biases against women in education and training, which tend to channel women towards "female" courses, such as nursing, teaching, hairdressing, etc., while keeping them out of "male" jobs such as engineering, mechanics, architecture, and limited decision-making powers. The bias against women exists at various levels, argues the author. For example, if a schoolgirl falls pregnant, she is automatically expelled from school, while her partner is free to continue his education. This type of discrimination goes beyond the realm of the classroom into the domain of law which regards abortion, baby dumping and prostitution as crimes but only punishes the woman. Adult literacy, which was introduced to redress past injustices - both colonial and traditional - has not benefited the majority of women, either. This is because women, particularly in the rural areas, must bear the treble workload of tilling infertile land, raising children and single-handedly maintaining cohesive families, not to mention fetching water, collecting firewood, etc. In her concluding remarks, the author calls for a change in society's attitudes, greater access to decision-making powers for women and equality before the law in matters pertaining to abortion, baby dumping and prostitution which are conveniently labelled "female crimes".
Additional Citation InformationMakoni, B. (1991). Crisis in education and culture and its social reflection on women: A case study of Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies,. 41p.
Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies