Djiguene ak Gor (Woman and Man)

Senegalese culture is patriarchal- it is so ingrained in this country that it is difficult to talk to people about gender equality. Not only with men, but also with women. I have noticed that most women in Senegal don’t understand gender ‘equality’. Equality means that both male and female share the same rights and help each other to keep that balance.
However, when the topic of sexism comes into the conversation, Senegalese women tend to see ‘equality’ as a reversal of patriarchy…

“You males should do all the housework!” (But housework shouldn’t be something that is divided…it is something that should be shared.) Equality means sharing the loads and responsibilities one has…
How difficult is this however, when tradition, religion, family… define your role within society? If a male cooks or helps with the housework, he will be seen as weak (controlled by his wife). Some people will make fun of him telling him he is getting beaten by his wife.

The roles for female and male are still so defined, that it is difficult to step out of this square box- everyone has a role to play in society.

As a husband, you are responsible to make money, to take care of your family, to protect them, to make sure your wife and children are healthy…

As a wife, you are responsible for the housework, the children, the cooking, the washing and you need to take good care of your husband.


4 thoughts on “Djiguene ak Gor (Woman and Man)

Add yours

  1. I think every culture and even every relationship looks at woman/man differently and that’s okay as long as there is respect for each other on both sides 🙂

  2. I think you got a good point: equality is not about being similar.

    Of course men and women are different. Of course most men are physically stronger than women and therefore more apt to certain task than them. (See what the Chinese revolution did to women, just because they wanted to free them from the burden on inequality).

    However, being equal, as you mention is about respecting others, not wanting to control their live and not making rules which are gender related.

    This applies to the men and women relation, but also to any relation (friends, parents, children, interracial etc)

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