Tanzania - ANT335H5F: Anthropology of Gender

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The Course

Survey of the function of gender roles from evolutionary and cultural perspectives. Cross-cultural variation in human sexual behaviour and gender will be examined. In some years, as part of this course, students may have the option of participating in an international learning experience that will have an additional cost and application process. See Anthropology department website for more details. [24L]

Exclusion: ANT331Y5, ANT343Y1, ANT343H1, ANTC15H3

Prerequisites: ANT204H5/207H5/204Y5

Recommended Prep: ANT(202H5, 203H5)/203Y5

Additional Eligible courses: ANT204, ANT206, ANT354, ANT463

The Trip

The Gender in Development program immerses participants in Tanzania’s rich cultural landscape for a hands-on experience of how notions of gender are both locally situated and also shaped by global, religious, and different cultural influences. Travel with classmates, Professor Sarah Hillewaert, and a UTM staff member from the urban metropolis of Dar es Salaam to the rural settlements of the Serengeti and Old Town on the island of Zanzibar, we will explore how local understandings of femininity and masculinity have been shaped historically by mainland African, (transoceanic) Arab, and British colonial traditions, and how gender roles are renegotiated in contemporary Tanzania.

Upon arrival, we’ll orient ourselves with good food, language emergence, and a few meetings with local officials and NGO’s to learn about the country’s cultural, socio-economic and political context. Next, we’ll journey West to the regions of Kilimanjaro and Arusha where we’ll work alongside Femme International to explore how women in Tanzania’s Chagga and Masai communities are confronting gender inequality. Subsequently, we will immerse ourselves in family homestays while participating in workshops and small-scale community-based development projects initiated by local women. Finally, we’ll return to the coast and visit the historical capital of Zanzibar. Amongst the narrow alleyways and bazaars of Old Town, we will study the mixture of Arab, Indian, and Swahili influences to experience, yet again, different notions of gender and gender roles. While in Zanzibar, we will reflect upon our experiences in Tanzania; we will discuss lessons learned and share stories in preparation for the return journey home.

The combination of hands-on projects, cultural immersion, and adventure will provide an incomparable space for us to challenge ourselves and each other while reflecting on the links between gender, culture, (colonial) history, and notions of social justice.

Want a student perspective? Read these student blogs from the students who went on the experience in the past!

Journey to Tanzania Blog

Activities Include

  • Swahili lessons (local language);
  • Travel to Kilimanjaro and Arusha and work alongside local organizations to learn how women are confronting gender inequality;
  • Immerse yourself in family homestays;
  • Visit the island of Zanzibar where you'll experience notions of gender, different from the Tanzanian mainland.

Why Participate

  • Travel and experience the unique culture Tanzania has to offer;
  • Learn about the diversity in culture that exists in East Africa and its influence on gender;
  • Explore a variety of locations ranging from urban cities to islands with gorgeous sceneries;
  • Add international travel and learning experience to your resume;
  • Connect with your classmates and the professor.


Estimated cost of International Component*: CAD$3800-4100

*The amount posted is currently under review by the University Business Board. Approved amounts will be confirmed in March 2018. 

What is Included: Flights, transportation, accommodation, meals and in-country activities associated with the course. Funding Available!

What is NOT Included: Course fees, fees associated with travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance, additional optional tours/activities while abroad, visa applications, medical exams, vaccinations, and any other additional costs.

Funding: This experience is offered with the generous support of the Office of the Dean, which means;

  • All undergraduate UTM students enrolled in the course will receive $500 towards the international component of the course, should their application be successful.
  • Plus, additional bursaries will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need (not linked to OSAP) as shown in your funding request in your UTM Abroad application.
  • Read more about funding here!

Important Dates

Date Description
Monday, January 22, 2018 Applications Open

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Applications Close
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 Second Instalment Due
Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Third Instalment Due
Friday, September 7, 2018 Fourth Instalment Due
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Orientation
Friday, September 28, 2018 Fifth Instalment Due

September & October - exact dates to be determined

Mandatory Safety Abroad Workshop
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Pre-Departure Session

Thursday, October 4 to Sunday, October 14, 2018

Travel Dates
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 Post-Trip Session

Need To Know

  • The cost and itinerary are subject to change.
  • Students must be enrolled in one of the approved courses and will be required to abide by the corresponding UTM Abroad application requirements and deadlines to participate in the international experience.
  • Fees must be paid in full by the required deadlines.
  • To prepare for the trip, students attending will participate in a mandatory pre-departure and safety abroad session during the month of September.


Day(s): 1-3

Location: Dar es Salaam

Description: After getting picked up at Julius Nyerere International Airport, we will have an in-country orientation in the capital city of Dar es Salaam. We’ll acclimatize to life in East Africa, trying local cuisine, getting in some Swahili lessons (the local language), and acquainting ourselves with the city and culture. We will engage with NGOs and local groups, as well as government departments regarding issues of gender both in urban and rural areas. It’s an intense but incredible introduction to the fast-paced life that is metropolitan Africa!

Day(s): 3-7

Location: Moshi, Kilimanjaro & Jifundishe, Arusha

Description: Next, we’ll journey to Moshi, Tanzania—the country’s hub of social innovation and home to many new and established NGOs. We’ll partner with Femme International (whose co-founder is an OG alumni!) Femme works to advance the rights of women and girls through programs that address sexual health, menstruation, and feminine hygiene – topics that are largely stigmatized and taboo in the region. Besides learning about the upstream factors affecting these issues, we’ll travel to the regions Chagga and Masai communities, immerse ourselves in local homestays, and help Femme’s staff execute their educational programs.

Day(s): 7-8

Location: Old Town, Zanzibar

Description: To complete our journey, we’ll fly to the island of Zanzibar. Here in it’s historic capital, Stone Town, we’ll play in it’s narrow alleyways and famous bazaars. We’ll interact with its Swahili, Indian and Islamic influences while celebrating our adventure with a proper disorientation. A staple of every OG program, this is an opportunity to kickback, relax and reflect. We’ll discuss lessons learned, assess our impact, and prepare for the trip home.

Day(s): 9

Location: Dar es Salaam

Description: Finally, we’ll return by ferry to Dar es Salaam where we will say a fond farewell and participants will meet their return flights back to Canada.

*The itinerary is subject to change based on availability and requirements of the program

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