Exploring Gender Cross-Culturally: Africa, Gender and Development

In the representations of Black America we see through media and even through our neighborhoods, patriarchy tends to dominate. Even when it is said that women run the church, the school and even the home, it is men whom tends to be seen as the head of the household. Even his absence points to this as we speak often about the impact of not having a father on the wife/female partner, sons and daughters not to mention the community from both a generational and an economic development perspective. Women are increasingly becoming the heads of households around the world and since women tend to be paid less than men but often have children, this has led to the increasing femininization of poverty. So gender and economic development should be a concern for us all.

PRIORITY AFRICA – Gender Equality

Today, I found an interesting article online by Elizabeth ANNAN – YAO titled “African Gender Research in the New Millenium” She writes:

Gender relations in patrilineal communities differ greatly from those in matrilineal communities. In the former, women tend to be totally submissive to men (their
father, brothers, husband, uncles… ) and have hardly any decision-making powers nor the freedom of speech in public. Some common examples are that women easily yield to forced marriages; they have no political attributions and cannot inherit property…

On the other hand, in matrilineal communities, although women are submissive to men, they have some decision-making powers and liberty of expression and can generally choose their own husband. They can be Queen-Mothers in the political domain and can even inherit property from their maternal uncles and their mother…

Gender relations in general, but particularly in Africa, are always patriarchal in nature … whether in a matrilineal or a patrilineal community, or whether in the upper classes of society, men always impose themselves on women and insist on the subordinate status of women. There is therefore the need to challenge gender inequalities, gender stereotypes, biased attitudes and harmful practices against women and also all forms of discrimination against women in order to promote gender equality which is a necessary tool for development.

I know you readers out there are reading. I can see I get hits everyday. My blog gets traffic. What would really make a difference is for this blog to live in both a read and write culture. Try commenting once a week if you read once a week.

Stephen Lewis on Gender Equality and the Women of Africa. – 1 min – Sep 29, 2006

Here’s a question for the day: What differences do you perceive around your gender expression or role and your relationships with the economy, finances, money, your earning power aka your job/career, power relations at work or home, and even in dating or marriage relative to money?

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