Details for Underplaying women’s sexuality to control women– the case of polygyny

Name:Underplaying women’s sexuality to control women– the case of polygyny

This essay is an analysis of how women’s sexuality is played out in polygynous unions by showing that women are not actors, nor are they decision-makers over their bodies and sexuality. The analysis is based on research I carried out for the Women’s Law Diploma, (Nzira, 1995) and uses the sexual and rights framework as defined by the women’s coalition to the Cairo and Beijing conferences as well as the principles of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to show how the Zimbabwe law discriminates against women in polygynous unions, as well as the impact of the institution in the spread of HIV/AIDS. As feminists have shown that women’s bodies are sites for male dominance, the purpose of the essay is to call on gender activists and/or feminists to bring the issue of women’s sexuality to the fore otherwise talking about women’s empowerment will remain an academic exercise as men will continue to control women’s sexuality as a means of keeping women down.

By Tsitsi Masenda-Nzira

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Created On: 03/22/2011 00:09
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