Compare and contrast gender roles in African states and the West?Help?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Largely, this depends on which African state you are referring to, and which level of society. Africa is, after all, a very diverse place. Issues involving gender roles in Africa have attracted world attention in a negative way, including the infamous examples of stoning women for adultery in Nigeria. Some tribal societies in Africa (like some Native American tribes) still maintain some aspects of their original matrilineality, which confers considerable political and social influence on women.

wanderista | Student

You would need to specify which area or state of Africa you are referring to, as Post 2 outlines. This is due to the different cultures, traditions and laws each state has that affects the daily lifestyle of people living there. Also, some states are in drought, flood etc. and require less or more from the people living there.

But generally speaking, the role of African women is somewhat similar to Western people pre-1500's. Many African women are sent to collect water, and usually this water is kilometres away from their home and tends to be dirty. African women also tend to care for the children until they reach a certain age; around 6. At that age, they can contribute to the operation of the household and work and support the family.

Women in the western world today seem to have more freedom and choice in their decisions and lifestyle opportunities, unlike pre-1500 where they were expected to work in the kitchen and care for the children. Pre-1500, women were rarely seen in high working positions, couldn't vote and were forbidden to work upon marriage. Now, these practises are considered immoral and unfair (which they certainly are) and women are given more respect, opportunity and freedom.

To sum this all up, the majority of women in developing countries such as Uganda, tend not to have the same rights and opportunities women do in developed countries, such as the United States.