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“Half women, half men” - A field study on gender complementarity and its impact on female participation in community politics in rural Bolivia.

Emilsson, Cecilia LU (2016) SIMV18 20151
Graduate School
Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender
Department of Political Science
Abstract
Gender complementarity is an indigenous model of gender relations that values the female position and her tasks by tradition the same way as that of the man. The idea is that the man and woman complement each other as opposite parts of the cosmos. In Bolivia, with 65% of its population and the president being indigenous, the concept is widely used. This thesis will investigate the impact the gender complementarity concept has on female participation on local level in rural Bolivia. Based on participatory observations and 23 interviews with indigenous women and men in the two rural areas of Pojo and Kyuoj Qocha, in combination with a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework, I find that the answer to my research question is twofold:... (More)
Gender complementarity is an indigenous model of gender relations that values the female position and her tasks by tradition the same way as that of the man. The idea is that the man and woman complement each other as opposite parts of the cosmos. In Bolivia, with 65% of its population and the president being indigenous, the concept is widely used. This thesis will investigate the impact the gender complementarity concept has on female participation on local level in rural Bolivia. Based on participatory observations and 23 interviews with indigenous women and men in the two rural areas of Pojo and Kyuoj Qocha, in combination with a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework, I find that the answer to my research question is twofold: Firstly, there is the division of everything as male-female, entering both private and public spheres, limiting the indigenous women from actual political power and decision-making in their
local communities. Secondly, there is the conflicting ontologies of the equality concept between the current government, indigenous groups and Bolivian feminist movements. The complementarity concept is supposed to possess an inherent harmony and duality between the man and the woman and thus a form of gender equality – but according to my analysis, local implementation of the concept in Pojo and Kyuoj Qocha rather shows a negative impact on the female participation in creating strong patriarchal structures, discriminating the rural indigenous women. (Less)
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author
Emilsson, Cecilia LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV18 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
community politics., machismo, decolonisation, Evo Morales, Mujeres Creando, Bartolina Sisa, postcolonial feminism, peasant unions, indigenous groups, gender complementarity, Bolivia
language
English
id
8522970
date added to LUP
2016-01-21 16:27:16
date last changed
2016-01-21 16:27:16
@misc{8522970,
  abstract     = {Gender complementarity is an indigenous model of gender relations that values the female position and her tasks by tradition the same way as that of the man. The idea is that the man and woman complement each other as opposite parts of the cosmos. In Bolivia, with 65% of its population and the president being indigenous, the concept is widely used. This thesis will investigate the impact the gender complementarity concept has on female participation on local level in rural Bolivia. Based on participatory observations and 23 interviews with indigenous women and men in the two rural areas of Pojo and Kyuoj Qocha, in combination with a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework, I find that the answer to my research question is twofold: Firstly, there is the division of everything as male-female, entering both private and public spheres, limiting the indigenous women from actual political power and decision-making in their
local communities. Secondly, there is the conflicting ontologies of the equality concept between the current government, indigenous groups and Bolivian feminist movements. The complementarity concept is supposed to possess an inherent harmony and duality between the man and the woman and thus a form of gender equality – but according to my analysis, local implementation of the concept in Pojo and Kyuoj Qocha rather shows a negative impact on the female participation in creating strong patriarchal structures, discriminating the rural indigenous women.},
  author       = {Emilsson, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {community politics.,machismo,decolonisation,Evo Morales,Mujeres Creando,Bartolina Sisa,postcolonial feminism,peasant unions,indigenous groups,gender complementarity,Bolivia},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“Half women, half men” - A field study on gender complementarity and its impact on female participation in community politics in rural Bolivia.},
  year         = {2016},
}