• Ayeah Joan Chufi
Marriage is the fundamental unit on which the family and society are built, so it is a legal institution that draws much attention. Marital stability is essential for every couple, so research about it, its challenges, and how they can be ameliorated are paramount. This research observes the differences between the two societies (Cameroon and Denmark) concerning gender role stereotypes and practices. Observing that both societies are directly opposite (arguably), whereby Cameroon is a patriarchal society, and Denmark is more egalitarian, leaning towards matriarchy, it is intriguing to research the effects these differences have on patriarchal-oriented Cameroonian couples' marital stability living in Denmark. The patriarchal system subjects’ wives to dependency on their spouses as there is an imbalance of power in the couple. The data is primarily collected through interviews with Cameroonian couples living in Denmark and interpreted using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach. This research approach shows respect and sensitivity to the 'lived experiences' of the research participants. As a qualitative research approach, IPA allows multiple individuals (participants) who experience similar events to tell their stories without distortions and prosecutions.
The theory of marriage by Gary Becker (Becker, 1973) argues that marital stability is threatened when the gains from being single outweigh the gains from being married. It is criticized for being static even though no definite explanation or meaning is attributed to human relationships, as humans ascribe different meanings to things and experiences. This theory explains why empowerment, particularly on the part of wives, could negatively affect marital stability and how it ameliorates the relationship in some cases. The Practice Theory Perspective on Doing and Undoing Gender Equality (Grzelec, 2022) argues that it takes practice(tradition) to rule out another. So, it suggests that for the ongoing 'disadvantageous' stereotypes, a new practice has to be consistently practiced until it becomes a norm, encouraging the Cameroonian couples to embrace a different approach to handling their gender roles and responsibilities, empowering each other, and fostering their marital stability.
Keywords: Patriarchy, empowerment, Cameroonian couples, Denmark, marital stability
SpecialisationGlobal Gender Studies
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages54
ID: 532381498