International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Comparative analyses of linguistic sexism in Afan Oromo, Amharic, and Gamo

Amanuel Raga
  • Amanuel Raga
  • College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Jimma University, P. O. Box 5219, Jimma, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 December 2014
  •  Accepted: 21 July 2015
  •  Published: 30 September 2015


This study tried to examine how linguistic sexism manifests through the lexicons of Afan Oromo, Amharic and Gamo in the light of the social and cultural lives of the speakers. The data for this study were collected from native speakers through elicitation. These data were analyzed based on Critical Discourse Analysis approach. As the study showed, among the three languages, semantically asymmetric terms, metaphors of terms that denote human beings, use of man/he as generic, and administration titles exhibit sexism. This has resulted from the male dominance in the socio-cultural lives of the societies. The linguistic sexism observed in this study are now conventions of the languages. Researches show that language conventions shape the way speakers think. Hence, it is believed that these sorts of linguistic sexism among the languages maintain the socio-culturally created gender bias ideologies of the societies. This scenario would be a challenge for the current gender mainstreaming endeavors of Ethiopia. Therefore, a thorough study should be carried out on these languages and the rest of the country’s languages to assist in combating the broader gender inequality scenario in Ethiopia.

Key words: Linguistic sexism, Afan Oromo, Amharic, Gamo, Male dominance.