This article reports on a study of the effect of matrilineality on a community’s social fabric in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. We used water information-sharing networks as a proxy for social interaction, with water accessibility, functionality, and quality being highly problematic in the area under study. This is a situation that particularly affects women, who are generally responsible for household water provision yet are excluded from water management institutions. Drawing on network and survey data and focus group discussions, the differences in inter-gender interaction, inclusiveness, and women’s status were explored by comparing a matrilineal and mixed patri-matrilineal community. We found less gender homophily and exclusion of women divorcees in water-related information networks in the matrilineal community. In both villages, chairmen received and shared most water information while women acted as informal information hubs. While there was no clear difference in women’s participation in local water decision-making bodies between the two communities, intrahousehold decision-making data showed that women in the matrilineal community made more decisions on their own regarding water investment.
Aernout, Ruth; Dewachter, Sara; and Holvoet, Nathalie
"Matrilineality, Water Knowledge and Networks, and the Position of Women in Rural Tanzania,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 26:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol26/iss1/8