Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Zimbabwean marriages in the Diaspora suffer the same problems as others

When men can't be the head of the household, what country they're from doesn't make a lot of difference. The marriage struggles regardless.
"The evidence suggests that a “dependent” husband lacks the authority to make major decisions within the family. Migration to Britain has catapulted some women from the confines of the domestic sphere into the public sphere of work. While women have moved significantly into the public sphere, men have moved to a lesser degree into the private sphere, a process that has shaken up men’s authority in the household. As Tonderai Ncube noted from his own experience: “Now she is going to work and she is getting £5 an hour and I am getting £5 an hour and now there is nothing I can tell her.”23 In this case, his primary breadwinner role had become less relevant and he was no longer the sole authority. His position within the marriage was thus becoming increasingly insecure. Moreover, he thought that the UK government had also usurped his power to maintain and control his children and family by giving them state benefits, which are directly paid to his wife: “So the government is the hero of my family. What would I say, that’s the end of the story.” Hence, men’s authority and power as head of the family, previously derived from having access to economic resources and through kinship relations, has been contested and weakened."
Regendering the household

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