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SOC 120 week 9 final project Analyze a Sociological Issue

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Gender Stratification And Women in Developing Nations 1
Running head: GENDER STRATIFICATION AND WOMEN IN DEVELOPING NATIONS
Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations
Dawnette Dunkley
University of Phoenix
Sociology--120
Instructor: Loren Butler

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Gender Stratification And Women in Developing Nations 2
Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations
“Rwanda's economy has risen up from the genocide and prospered greatly on the backs of our
women.” These are the words of Agnes Matilda Kalibata, Rwanda’s minister of agriculture.
Kalibata is one of many Rwandan women who rose from the carnage of the Rwandan genocide
to become shining examples of what empowered and resilient women can do for society. The
1994 genocide responsible for the systematic killing of 800,000 Tutsis and Moderate Hutus
comes to mind whenever one thinks of the African country, Rwanda. The three main ethnic
groups; Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa has had a long history of social differences. However, even with
these strained relationships, especially between Hutu and Tutsi, these ethnic groups manage to
coexist in relative peace. Historians believe German and Belgian colonizers helped to incite
violence along ethnic lines. The assassination of then president Habyalimana sparked one of the
most intensive killing campaigns in human history, as extremist Hutus tried to annihilate the
Tutsi tribe. Though women and young girls were victims of these killings, in addition to rapes,
and mutilations; the Hutu’s targeting and mass slaughtering of Tutsi and moderate Hutu males,
made these killings both genocidal and gendercidal. Extremist Hutus murdered more than 70%
of the Tutsi male population throughout Rwanda, and today the scars of this genocide-gendercide
are evident in Rwanda’s demographic imbalance. Sociologists believe demographic imbalance
will continue to affect this country for generations. One profound effect is the seismic shift in
power for women in every aspect of this country. The purpose of this paper is to provide an
analysis of gender stratification as it relates to women in Rwanda; and it will also examine the
implications of demographic imbalance in post-genocide Rwanda. Furthermore, it will provide
information about the current roles women play in Rwanda’s economic, political, and social
development in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

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Gender Stratification And Women in Developing Nations 3
To appreciate the current state of Rwanda and the emergence of empowered women in this
society; one has to understand its history and the cumulative factors that played significant roles
in the ensuing 1994 genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and Moderate Hutus. About 85% of the Rwandan
population consists of the Hutu tribe, 14% is Tutsi, and one percent is Twa (Pigmy) tribe. The
Twa are indigenous to Rwanda and unlike the more powerful Hutu and Tutsi; they had less direct
involvement in the power struggles. Twa tribe is racially the same as Hutu and Tutsi and they
primarily made their living from forestry; however, years of deforestation and subjugation from
other groups served to separate them from main stream society. Rwandan society essentially
installed them as the lowest caste in Rwandan society after the Hutu and Tutsi moved into that
region as well as after subsequent colonization by Germany and Belgium.
Traditionally, Hutu were agriculturists and Tutsi were cattle herders. Racially, both Hutus and
Tutsis are the same but the differences in features set them apart. The Hutu are stocky and short
with rounded face, flat nose, and dark skin. Tutsi, on the other hand, are much taller, lighter skin
tone with oval-shaped face and straighter nose. The Tutsis’ physical appearance led many to
believe they are of Ethiopian descent (History, 2010).
The Rwandan society is traditionally patriarchal with men typically in more powerful
positions than women. Although men and women share the workload of agricultural work; men
would only clear the fields, leaving the day-to-day agricultural activities for the women such as
breaking the grounds, weeding, planting, and harvesting. Men’s responsibilities primarily involve
overseeing livestock with the assistance of younger men in the community. Though women
usually involve in market trading; males mainly dominate employment outside the home; with
women relegated to maintaining the home, preparing food, and raising children.

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Anonymous
Very useful material for studying!

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