Despite growing international interest in policies and practices to enhance women’s status and well-being in the Global South, ideological constraints to structural transformation and increasing opportunities available to women are widespread. There is thus considerable need to examine how ideological processes surrounding women’s status and value can be challenged. In the current study we used mixed method analyses to examine a process of deideologization—the contestation and transformation of traditional ideology—among a group of Maasai women in northern Tanzania. First, thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative interviews conducted with 16 Maasai women. Themes involving traditional ideology, the value of popular education, and components of a deideologization process were identified and assessed. Second, quantitative structural equation modeling was used to test a process model connecting women’s participation in popular education classes to increased political efficacy, decreased discomfort speaking at community meetings, and, in turn, deceased patriarchal beliefs about women. Overall, findings provided evidence for an iterative deideologization process catalyzed by popular education that led to improvements in women’s lives. The importance of promoting processes of deideologization via locally driven efforts to improve the status and well-being of women are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 11, 2017
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