This article analyses intrahousehold decision-making in extended households of the matrilinear Luguru community in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania. Our research focuses on the participation of adult “extended” household members, mainly relatives such as in-laws, grandparents, and cousins, in household decision-making. It complements studies that conceptualise household decision-making as a bargaining process between two decision-makers. We explore whether factors such as age, education, life cycle and gender play a role in this process. As decision-making processes often vary depending on the decision-making area, we differentiate between seven broad decision-making fields which are relevant in their respective settings. Our study adopts a qualitative approach and mainly draws upon data from primary sources, including expert interviews, life stories, participatory spider diagram exercises, and participant observation. The findings underscore the complexity of decision-making in extended household structures, with some decisions taking place within sub-units and others at the extended household level. The involvement of “extended” household members also differs according to different decision-making domains. Participation is overall more pronounced in the areas of agriculture (particularly minor decisions), money management, and child and family matters in comparison to employment outside the household and more generally labour allocation, and access/control over land/assets. Factors such as age, education level, gender, and life-cycle position of the “extended” household member are important to consider; an intersectional perspective is necessary for studies that aim to unravel intrahousehold decision-making processes.
De Backer, Kamille; Holvoet, Nathalie; and Milanzi, Mursali
Intrahousehold Relationships and Decision-making in Extended Households of the Luguru Community.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 22(5), 57-71.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss5/4