Gender role is a set of behavioral and social norms that are considered generally to be appropriate for either a man or a woman within a social setting. Male or female roles are created by the society. For instance, in most cultures, male roles are commonly associated with aggression, strength, and dominance, while female roles are commonly associated with subordination, passivity, and nurturing.
A cross-cultural research in Brazil reveal a varying roles of men and women depending of the social class they belong. In the upper class, men have traditionally played the role of the family’s primary breadwinners and women playing the role of caregivers. On the other hand, the lower class of the Brazilian society, women both play the role of being wage earners and also being as caregivers. However, in the contemporary Brazilian society, the pattern is changing for women less than 45 years (Countries and Their Culture, 2014). They are acquiring university degrees, and getting more respect as professionals earning themselves greater freedom and independence.
In Rwanda, the male and females have different roles traditionally. However, after the Rwandan genocide of 1994, women were empowered more. Traditionally, there was division of labor between the male and females. Men were to clear the land and help the females to break soil. Women engage in various daily farming activities. Males bear the role of taking care of the livestock and also involved in house construction.
Women play the role of maintaining the household, taking care of children, and cooking food. Even though formal employment is still dominated by males, women have taken up corporate and political roles in the modern Rwandan society especially after the genocide in 1994. Rwanda is one of the leading countries in the world where women are significantly represented in political administrative roles (Diaz, 2014).
- Countries and Their Culture. (2014). Brazil. Retrieved 12 November 2014, from http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Brazil.html
- Diaz, E. (2014).The Role of Women on the Redevelopment of Rwanda. Retrieved 12 November 2014, from http://www.perspectivesonglobalissues.com/archives/spring-2011-women/redevelopment-rwanda/