Men's perception of women and women's self-image in Lusaka, Zambia
Obbo, Jovent K.
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There has been a growing concern on the situation of women particularly because of the conscientization , which resulted from the UN women's decade (1976-85) with its themes, "peace", "development" and "equality". Various reasons have been given for the failure to improve on the situation of women. One of them has been the persistence of traditional attitudes towards them. This study was an attempt to examine the above issue. It looked at both men's perception of women and women's self-image in the Zambian context.The main objectives of the study were to identify how women are perceived by men in the Zambian context; examine whether men's perception of women is influenced by the variables of age, education, marital status, income and place of residence; identify how women in Zambia perceive themselves; find out the relationship between men's perception of women and women's self-image; and whether women's self-image is influenced by the variables of age, education, marital status, place of residence and income. The following were hypothesized: men have a negative perception of women in terms of socio-economic status; women have a negative self-image in terms of socio-economic status; men's perception of women and women's self-image are positively ?^elated to the variables of age, marital status, education, income and place of residence; men's perception of women is positively related to women's self-image. The study employed the survey design. Data was collected from 200 male and female residents of Lusaka urban. These were Zambian citizens of twenty-one years and above. The person to person interview was utilized. Computer techniques were used to process and analyse the data. In the analysis frequencies, percentages, cross tabulations and correlations (Pearsons Chi-square) were used. The main findings of the survey were that women in Lusaka, Zambia are generally positively perceived by men and they have a positive self-image, in terms of socio-economic status. This finding did not support the theoretical hypotheses that (1) "men have a negative perception of women" (2) women have a negative-self-image in terms of socio-economic status". The findings partly failed to confirm the hypothesis that "men's perception of women and women's self-image are related to the variables of age and marital status, education, income and residence as mixed results were obtained. Finally, it was recommended that more education opportunities for women be promoted; agents of socialization be sensitized to socialize members of the society in a way that will make them have high regard for women; efforts be made to have more women in higher occupations in the public sphere; restrictive policies which hinder women's involvement in the public sphere be removed and that future studies concentrate on how culture affects perception of women in Lusaka, Zambia.