Africa

Africa

´╗┐ As we revisit the roots of conflict in Africa, it is evident that economic war is often based in politics and is heavily influenced by tribalism, dictatorship, ethnicity and other factors which ultimately offer a rationale for the African situation. To this extent the era of globalization of economy and culture, as it follows the colonial period of forced labor and dehumanization, brings into effect the program of structural adjustment and other international programs of restructuring of African economies. Consider, for example, the geography of wars and its consequences on women in Africa.
Countries where women suffer the most as a result of wars are paradoxically the richest countries coveted for their raw materials. When we think of poverty, rape, mistreatment, deprivation, suffering and any form of humiliation upon African women, we must think simultaneously of the diamond, copper, gold, oil, and other mineral resources of sun-Saharan region. The Africa where there is mistreatment of women is the same Africa rife with economic warfare.
In most of Africa the process of structural change accompanying increasing industrialization has barely begun, and features of African land tenure and family organization that encourage high fertility remain largely intact. Because of unequal spatial distribution of the population, industrial development is constrained by insufficient markets; and in- come-earning opportunities in the vast sparsely populated regions are few. Long-fallow agriculture makes extensive use of the labor of women and children. This feature and common property practices make the status of men dependent upon family size. Young female age at marriage, large age differences between spouses, polygyny, unequal work burdens between the sexes, and low female educational levels keep the status of women low. Land reforms that give property to men may further erode the status of women. Since fathers pass most or all of the burden of family support onto...

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