Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
"I am very disappointed that I didn't see you or anyone else from the 'youth troop' at the Nyerere week fest at UDSM. You guys always talk about what's missing from Tanzanian discourse and here was an opportunity where there was the real deal in all its rawness..."
[In ancient times, Japanese women wielded considerable authority. Until the eleventh century, it was common for Japanese girls to inherit their parent’s house. The rise of Confucianism and a conservative moral movement that preached the inferiority of women in the early eighteenth century significantly reduced women’s role. In some respects, Japanese women today have less power in society than they did a thousand years ago. Fewer than one in ten Japanese managers is female; women in less-industrialized nations, like Mexico and Zimbawe, are twice as likely to be managers. Only 2.3 percent of Japan’s key legislative body are women, compared with 10.9 percent in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this regard, Japan ranks 145 in a list of 161 countries, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
[The public gender roles, however, are reversed when one steps inside the Japanese home. Typically, the wife handles and completely controls the household finances. She gives her husband a monthly allowance and has total control over the rest of the family income. Half of the husbands in one survey reported they were dissatisfied with the size of their allowance, but could do little if anything about it. While the husband and wife may have a joint bank account and automatic teller machines are available, wives often do not share access to these with their husbands (Kristoff 1996b). (Editor)].
Fascinating isn't it to actually have a record of how gender roles ebb and flow with time, the intrusions of religion and other cultures and economic reorganization? Sometimes it is hard to get out of my own Western bias when thinking about feminism and gender, even though I don't necessarily think this is the best model when looking at, say, Tanzania. But looking eastward (especially skipping right past India's caste system and anywhere that falls under the thrall of the Torah/Bible/Koran) often gives me more "aha!" moments than reading stuff from the West. Go figure.
And how about that bit about the iron-handed housewives, wasn't that a little unexpected? I love the contrast. Nothing is ever as it appears at first glance...
The rest of the article can be found here if you have a spare fifteen minutes to go culture-tripping.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I hear complaints about my presumed lack of leadership. Columnists criticize my frequent travels and joke about my Management by Walking About. To all of them people I say: you fail to understand. I just secured my second term; a third term is not possible. I have achieved my goals and now I focus on the future. I have three objectives.
First I will work on my legacy. I will travel the world, mediate between warring factions and become an elderly statesman.
Next I will also secure my son’s political future.
Finally, I will secure my financial future. In the beginning of my term I will take it easy as I do not want any dirt to come out before my term ends, but by the time I retire I have to be rich.
Domestically I will step back and relax. Already I have asked the youth league of the TKP to sort out dissident voices in the party. The prime minister is correcting, on my behalf, Ministers who went against my interests, including the minister of Infrastructure with his attempts to rid road reserves of billboards and other structures. Meanwhile, I will stand by and enjoy the fight between the would-be’s about who will become the next King.
Whoopie --- life is good. Time to hop on another plane for yet another good governance or transparency initiative.
01 April 2011