Endogenous African Governance Systems: What Roles do Women Play in Rural Malawi?

Citation:

Msukwa, Chimwemwe A.P.S., and Marion Keim-Lees. 2014. “Endogenous African Governance Systems: What Roles Do Women Play in Rural Malawi?” Development in Practice 24 (5–6): 735–42. doi:10.1080/09614524.2014.938613.

Authors: Chimwemwe Msukwa, Marion Keim-Lees

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT

Endogenous African governance systems are criticised for excluding women. This critique ignores several realities that women have played roles different from those of men. This article examines the roles that women play in endogenous governance structures of patrilineal and matrilineal ethnic groups in rural areas in Malawi on leadership, violent conflict prevention, and transformation. It argues that these endogenous governance systems inherently contain features that enable women to actively participate and play powerful leadership roles, though men dominate in terms of numbers and authority. These gender patterns do not seem to change much despite the changing political, social, and economic environment.

FRENCH ABSTRACT

Les systèmes endogènes africains de gouvernance sont critiqués parce qu'ils excluent les femmes. Cette critique ignore la réalité selon laquelle les femmes ont joué des rôles différents de ceux des hommes. Cet article examine les rôles que jouent les femmes dans les structures de gouvernance endogènes des groupes ethniques patrilinéaires et matrilinéaires dans des zones rurales du Malawi sur le plan du leadership, de la prévention des conflits violents et de la transformation. Il soutient que ces systèmes de gouvernance endogènes présentent de manière inhérente des caractéristiques qui permettent aux femmes de participer activement et de jouer de puissants rôles de leadership, même si les hommes dominent en termes de nombre et d'autorité. Ces schémas de genre ne semblent pas beaucoup changer malgré l'environnement politique, social et économique en mutation.

SPANISH ABSTRACT

Los sistemas endógenos de gobernanza en África han recibido críticas por el hecho de excluir a las mujeres. Sin embargo, tales críticas pasan por alto la realidad de que las mujeres han desempeñado roles diferentes de los cumplidos por los hombres. El presente artículo examina los roles que, en las áreas rurales de Malaui, han desempeñado las mujeres en los ámbitos de liderazgo, de prevención de conflictos violentos y de transformación, dentro de las estructuras de gobierno endógenas de los grupos étnicos patrilineales y matrilineales. Al respecto, se sostiene que, aun cuando los hombres dominen en términos de presencia numérica y autoridad, dichos sistemas contienen modalidades inherentes que permiten la participación activa de las mujeres y que éstas desempeñen roles fuertes de liderazgo. Estos patrones de género no parecen haberse alterado mucho a pesar de los cambios ocurridos en los ámbitos políticos, sociales y económicos.

Keywords: gender, diversity, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2014

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.