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Accepted Paper:

The one who walks is a cow, the one who sits is a bull: identities of women in a patrilinear society in southern Ethiopia  
Sophia Thubauville (Frobenius Institute)

Paper long abstract:

Being a patrilinear society, it is obvious what the proverb of the Maale The one who walks is a cow, the one who sits is an ox wants to say. Women move from one homestead to another one, while men usually stay with their patrilineage from childhood until death. Asking people about the connotations of the proverb, they explain that moving is seen as a constructive act that ends in reproduction. But this very act that is appreciated in women, seems to weaken their identity. By leaving their patrilineage and moving in with their husband, women have to redefine their identity, what makes it weak compared to the one of men, who continuously live at the same place. With examples from the Maale of southern Ethiopia, I would like to show, that women in patrilinear societies while struggling with redefining their identities, gain multiple identities, which they rationally utilize.

Panel W089
Gender and identification in patrilinear societies
  Session 1