Cultural Practices that Affected the Status of Women in Benishangul Gumuz Mandura Woreda

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Addis Ababa University


This paper has the objective to assess the major cultural practices that affected the status of women in a society. The research was conducted in one of the traditional societies in which gender inequality is highly prevalent, that is the Gumuz community in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State of Mundura Woreda. Both primary and secondary data were employed in this study. Qualitative method of in-depth interview, participant observation, semi-structured and unstructured interviews and focused group discussion were utilized for primary data gathering. Four kebeles’ from the Woreda were selected purposively and a total of 57 respondents participated in this study. Men and women farmers, young girls, community elders, midwives, policeman, nurse and nun were included. Findings of the study show that there are various cultural practices in Gumuz community that undermine the position of women in the society. Unfair sexual division of labor, lack of women’s right to inherit property, various marriage practices, menstruation taboo, segregation of women during child delivery, food discrimination, son preference at birth, demanding greater number of children, domestic violence and sexual violence are the major cultural practices that put women at a lower status in Gumuz community. Furthermore, lack of awareness about the importance of family planning and girls' education is also another factor that puts women in a subordinate position



Gender Studies