What are the Negative socio-cultural practices?
Culture refers to the totality of society’s way of life. It includes the customs, art, beliefs and social organization of a particular group of people .In different societies, there are socio-cultural practices that hinder equal participation between men and women:-
1. Wife inheritance, To inherit means to receive something such as a house, car, farm or money from someone when he or she dies. Some societies in Tanzania regard women as property that can be inherited. In these societies, when a woman’s husband dies, another man who is a member of her husband’s family can inherit her. This practice de-humanizes women and contributes to the spread of diseases such as HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Female genital mutilation, Female genital mutilation is the removal of the outer part of the sexual organs of a woman. It is also called female circumcision. Some communities in Tanzania still practice female circumcision. It is taken as part of the initiation process in which girls are trained to become responsible women.
3. Early marriage, Early marriage is the marriage of people who have not yet reached the legal age for such a union. In Tanzania, this age is 18years.
4.Discrimination against women; This is a situation whereby women are treated badly compared to men. This is because of the traditions and customs that exist in some Tanzania communities. For example, men are the heads of families and are also decision –makers. Women have no rights to land, property, education and employment opportunities.
Socio-cultural practices which discriminate against women should be abolished. This is because if women are given a chance, they can contribute a lot to the family, community and society. They are as capable as men in any profession necessary for national development.
5. Cruelty/violence against women; Some Tanzania communities have traditions and customs which give men power to oppress women. Domestic violence is becoming a major problem in many families.
Some husbands beat their wives because their traditions and customs encourage this practice. Women are forced to endure this mistreatment because they are dependent on their husbands.
6. Regarding women as sex objects; Some societies in Tanzania regard women as sex objects. A woman has to remain at home so as to refresh a man when he comes from work. She is not allowed to work outside the home.
These societies do not allow girls to get higher education, with the belief that it is a waste time and money because girls are married off to serve their husbands.