As poor and agricultural Africa shivers at the gates of the rich world, the women of Africa carry an untold burden for the welfare of the family. In this 21st century, African women are not just the most vulnerable subjects of the hunger and civil war rigged society; they are the ever-most diminished economic agents; ones who work harsh and long hours on the farms or in the ill-equipped agro-industrial factories.
Various reports from across Africa agree that for any given identical profitable activity, female laborers are paid a third or a half less compared to a male income. In addition to the burden of being remunerated poorly, women carried out exhaustive unpaid domestic activities ranging from childcare and housekeeping to providing meals and clean water for the entire family.
Traditional views in rural Africa and their consequential mentalities among urban communities need to be addressed first. In effect, in African society, women are confined to specific and immutable roles. For example, women have the duty to grow and maintain the crops up to the harvest; this is painful and daylong work in the heat of the sun on the farms. Hence a large percentage of African women are anemic as a result of their continued exposure to the hot sun.
Men frequently migrate for modern jobs, whereas women don’t, as they stay put due to family responsibility—at early ages, females babysit their siblings; teenage pregnancy and early marriages tie them in place as responsibilities grow. One may add the low rate of female scholarship, as the tradition still underestimate a female’s ability to pursue modern education.
In small towns and villages it is hard to break taboos. Africa is one of those societies. In rural African societies, no one component can just change the way of life. For example, no African woman can’t successfully speak out against housekeeping, which is a task earmarked for females. In fact, in many countries, legislations enforce certain discriminative roles.
Education is the ultimate solution. However, help must address the needy African woman’s immediate burden. Indeed, in their present conditions, African women need to be free from the diverse exploitations to which they are subject. They must receive help with childcare; they must have been provided access to modern medical care. Women’s reproductive rights must be acknowledged and respected, and options made available for them.
Such help to African women must be provided not just sporadically, but rather as a sustained long-term help.
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