Zoe Blog 6

I used to want to grow up really fast but now after being here i’ve decided that i don’t ever wanna get older, being a kid is way more fun.

The Tanzanian culture is so different compared to the canadian, especially relationships. Men have many more rights than women. The wives do all the labour (like walking for water, collecting wood, taking care of the kids, cooking,cleaning…). The most different thing about the relationships here though is that men can have multiple wives. Moshi told us a bout this man from the Masaii tribe that had 45 wives. I thought that was insane. How could someone have 45 wives? I can’t even get 1 boyfriend! Having multiple wives is wrong in my opinion, especially how they are treated, with no respect. The normal number of wives is 4. You can have them all spread out in different countries or all in the same one country. Usually the richer men have more wives than the poorer because they can support all of the families. Each wife has at least 2 children with the husband, so if you have 4 wives that would be 8 kids. So, the man with 45 wives would than have more than 100 kids! I sort of understand the that someone could really love two people at the same time but not 4-45 people. I wonder that if you were a homosexual man could you have multiple husbands? Would that situation be the same as men marrying multiple women? Obviously no one thinks about that here but for me as a kid who’s growing up on the east side of Vancouver I am very open and accepting of things that many aren’t.

The thing that makes me the most unhappy about this situation though is that the women can be married off by their parents at very young ages. The legal age is 14 with parental consent which doesn’t seem so bad considering the legal age for marriage in Canada is 16 with parental consent but the marriages are far different. In Canada when your 16 and getting married it’s usually just high school sweethearts eloping but in the African marriages they might be a way of paying off debts. The girls are often married to much much older men. They are also sold to their husbands. It varies for the exchange of wives and I’m still not completely sure how much you can buy them for. In many situations i believe that a wife costs two cows or even in some tribes only 40 litres of beer. Personally I think that i’m worth more than 40 litres of beer.

I’m aware that this does not exist everywhere in Tanzania but I know that its very common in the small villages. I might not have all the right information about these things but i am well aware that it still goes on. Right now if i lived in Tanzania i might already be married with a kid.

I could probably go on about these things because there is lots i still don’t understand but the truth is that the way women are treated here is wrong and it should change.