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Gender Roles in Pastoralism
Transcript of Gender Roles in Pastoralism
Pastoralism is a subsistence lifestyle whereby people make a living by taking care of and raising herds of large animals (animal husbandry).
What is Pastoralism?
Where does Pastoralism occur?
(Labels on the map are the names of Pastoralist communities)
Origin of Pastoralism
Neolithic and Chalcolithic time period
As the final Ice Age came near (12,000 years ago), earth experienced dramatic change
Open plains became thick forests that offered bountiful resources
The hunter/gatherer sought after a new role: pastoralist or cultivator
Pastoralist culture is extremely male-dominated. Its society is patrilineal, therefore herds get passed down from father to son.
Men in Pastoralism
Responsible for herding livestock
Leaders in their community
Leaders need to direct movement of herd and decide strategies without consulting others
Defend the herd if ever in danger
Receive status and power by being brave and accumulating large herds
Women in Pastoralism
Care for children
Perform domestic chores
In charge of feeding their family
Responsible for handicrafts, food production and processing, herding small livestock and milking livestock
Relationship between Men & Women
Polygyny is a conventional pastoralist marriage practice
Forced marriage is also a common practice among pastoralists
Customary for older men marry younger women
Men care for the herd, women care for the family
Change in the Pastoralist way of life
PWC works towards minimizing inequalities and advocating justice for the female members of Maasai.
Their ultimate goal is social change within the Maasai community through education, values, leadership, and more.
This video gives insight into Pastoralism in Kenya
PWC focuses on...
Maanda Ngoitiko, a Maasai pastoralist, defied pastoralist lifestyle and left her home at the age of 15 to pursue secondary school education. After completing her studies and receiving her diploma, she realized that something had to be done about the hardships faced by Maasai women and girls. In 1997, Maanda, along with nine other women, founded PWC.
Maanda at a women's meeting
A Snapshot of PWC's Accomplishments
Over 450 children have been sponsored to complete secondary school
Graduates work as lawyers, teachers, accountants, and more
2,670 women have financial support
Impact of education on girls sponsored from PWC
7,000 adults are now informed of their land rights
Hundreds of Maasai girls have been able to escaped forced marriage
organization that was created to introduce and implement long-term resolutions to the adversities faced by Maasai (African
The Pastoral Women's Council of Tanzania is an
pastoralist community) women and girls, initiating a paradigm shift.
1) The lack of education for Maasai
Maasai women are expected to build and repair houses, retrieve firewood and water, milk animals, and raise and feed their families
Therefore, few Maasai girls attend school and receive an education
The lack of educated Maasai women lead to the lack of
2) The lack of economic opportunities
Women are financially dependent on their husbands due to their lack of education, property rights, and income production opportunities
PWC's Economic Empowerment Program enables self-reliance within women by providing income production opportunities
This program also offers activities for men working with women to strengthen gender relationships
Rights, Land, and Leadership
2) The lack of rights, land, and leadership available
There is a large gap that exists between norms
meetings, and action will
lead to the emancipation
PWC's Women's Rights Committee educates women on the rights they presently have and also teach them how talk to and consult governance institutions
Acculturation - a direct change occurred when weather patterns changed and forced the hunter/gatherer to adapt and transform
This traditional lifestyle further perpetuates the patriarchal oppression that pastoralist women experience.
Empowerment for Tanzania's Maasai. (n.d.). Pastoral Women's Council.
Retrieved October 29, 2013, from http://www.pastoralwomenscouncil.org
Introduction: Pastoral Systems Worldwide. (n.d.). Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from
Neolithic / Chalcolithic Period. (n.d.). World Museum of Man. Retrieved October
20, 2013, from http://www.worldmuseumofman.org/neolithic.php
Pastoralism. (n.d.). Patterns of Subsistence: Pastoralism. Retrieved October 20,
2013, from http://anthro.palomar.edu/subsistence/sub_3.htm
pastoralist female leaders which ultimately perpetuate the adversities these women endure
PWC offers educational opportunities for girls from nursery school until university through their sponsorship program
PWC's efforts lead to more gender equality within the Maasai community. As a result, women and girls become more intelligent, self-reliant, and independent.
PWC is constantly expanding and continues to help more and more Maasai girls and women. Hopefully, PWC, or something along the same lines, will expand to all areas where Pastoralism currently resides.