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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gendering Social Destiny in the Proverbs of the Baganda: Reflections on Boys and Girls Becoming Men and Women
Author:Kiyimba, Abasi
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Uganda
Ganda (Uganda)
Ganda language
gender inequality
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Education and Oral Traditions
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696850500448360
Abstract:This article examines the portrayal of boys and girls in the oral literature, notably proverbs, of the Baganda of Uganda. It assesses the near-indelible impressions that oral literature creates, and how they impact on gender relations. In particular, it looks at the way these impressions lay down rules of social behaviour that determine how boys and girls eventually view each other as wives, husbands, parents, political leaders and owners of resources. The main argument of the article is that the unequally gendered relationships among the Baganda have their foundation in early childhood. Children begin, in these early stages of life, to develop life-long attitudes towards themselves and each other, which attaches socially ascribed - and prejudicial - meaning to gender. Predominant amongst these prejudices is the idea that it is more socially rewarding to give birth to a baby boy than a baby girl. A related idea is that a beautiful girl has many social advantages over a woman who is less beautiful. Major among these advantages is that her beauty constitutes a social passport to the resources automatically held by men. The proverbs in this category firmly suggest that a woman's worth is measured by her beauty, while that of a man is measured by his lineage and abilities. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]