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Old 08-08-2013, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dub dub II View Post
It's also interesting to note that Africa already has had its first woman president and politically, in some countries, (like Rwanda), they're really well represented. Last I heard they actually had a majority in parliament...(may be a bit outdated...)
Yes Africa has two female presidents. Rwanda has a female majority largely due to the fact that so many men were killed during the genocide (Rwanda was 70% female post-genocide) AND it is mandated by quota that women occupy at least 30% of the seats.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DahomeyAhosi View Post
Africa is too diverse to have one statement apply to the whole continent in terms of family structure. Whereas there are some matrilineal family structures (i.e. Igbo, Ashanti) there are also many Patrilineal family structures (i.e. Fon, Bambara). However I don't know of any matriarchal societies in the sense that women dominate family, social, and political life. If anyone knows of one where the men look good let me know because I'd love to visit lol!
What's your opinion on what Dr John Henrik Clarke says about pre-colonial African societies having gender equality?




Pt 1/8 African woman in world history - YouTube
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Motion View Post
What's your opinion on what Dr John Henrik Clarke says about pre-colonial African societies having gender equality?
There was a woman who said that the first African feminist was the one who refused to be buried alive when her husband died. I don't remember her name but that is where we were prior to colonialism. Colonialism brought a lot of cultural changes into Africa but it didn't import the lack of respect for women's lives that is rampant in our cultures. That is homegrown.

I respect Dr. Clarke as someone who sought alternatives to Eurocentric models for black people. I am an Afrocentrist also as I can't help but see the world from an African perspective and am always trying to take actions that benefit traditional Akans. However I find that most Afrocentrists tell very tall tales when they discuss the role of African women. Dr. Clarke is guilty of this as well as other male and female Afrocentrists. It is not at all honest to insist that Africa was a utopia of gender balance. The only African culture that I'm personally familiar with which had a semblance of gender balance is that of the San of southern Africa. It is also no accident that this culture had no word for virginity. The others, including my own, have quite a way to go.

There was a recent documentary done that spotlights a Western woman but I think it's a really good way to open an ear to what rural East African women experience (do yourself a favor and skip over the Brit) :


Tribal Wives: Afar - YouTube

Or for a shorter message you can check out a Nigerian actress discuss the child marriage law that was or perhaps is still being considered Nigeria:


Child marriage:Actress Stella Damasus blasts Senate #ChildNotBride - EDUCATION not EJACULATION ! - YouTube

Keep in mind that other countries (i.e. Niger, Mali) do not debate child marriage at all. It just happens as it has for centuries.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:36 AM
 
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^

I got familiar with the child brides issue through a lady named Seodi White of Malawi. She's been fighting it there.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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For some reason I used to think that most African societies were quite matriarchal and the women were strong (maybe because of AA stereotypes) but of course I knew little of the actual cultures and the diversity of cultures in Africa. Half of Africa is Muslim, too.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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From what I have read about FGM, these procedures are imposed by and carried out by the women themselves. Like childbirth and breastfeeding, this is a part of the daily life that takes place behind closed doors, with men told to wait outside. If African women simply refused to circumcise their daughters, would men take the matters into their own hands?

But this is one of those "media taboo" subjects (like suicide), in which details and particulars are neatly excluded from discussion about the larger topic. Does anybody have any useful citations about the place of men and women in the cultural perpetuation of FGM?
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,269,803 times
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In fact, just a few minutes ago, I read an article on this subject in the current edition of The Economist http://www.economist.com/news/intern...still-bleeding . A chart showing statistics from 12 African countries, and in all but two of them, a majority of the women who have had FGM themselves, are opposed to abolishing it. Only in Sudan and Ethiopia are women themselves, in the majority, opposed to continuation of the practice. In the other countries, a majority of the mutilated women remain in favor of the practice.

So in many countries, the "status of women in Africa" is driven by the women themselves, not inflicted upon them by some other gender.

Also of interest, with no statistical breakdown, the article states that in many cases, the circumcision is not comprehensive, but is simply a ceremonial "nick" as a part of a cultural "coming of age" procedure. How many girls are actually mutilated to a degree that actually affects their sex lives in adulthood is probably not statistically available. But it unlikely that it is horrendous or life-threatening in a large number of girls.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-12-2013 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post

So in many countries, the "status of women in Africa" is driven by the women themselves, not inflicted upon them by some other gender.
Here's what some Kenyan men have to say on that.



Quote:
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of independent Kenya and an ethnic Kikuyu, wrote in "Facing Mount Kenya", his 1938 study of his people's traditions, that "No proper Gikuyu [sic] would dream of marrying a girl who has not been circumcised ..."


IRIN Africa | KENYA: Justifying tradition: why some Kenyan men favour FGM | Kenya | Gender Issues | Human Rights
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:02 PM
 
671 posts, read 597,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
From what I have read about FGM, these procedures are imposed by and carried out by the women themselves. Like childbirth and breastfeeding, this is a part of the daily life that takes place behind closed doors, with men told to wait outside. If African women simply refused to circumcise their daughters, would men take the matters into their own hands?

But this is one of those "media taboo" subjects (like suicide), in which details and particulars are neatly excluded from discussion about the larger topic. Does anybody have any useful citations about the place of men and women in the cultural perpetuation of FGM?

'I will never be cut': Kenyan girls fight back against genital mutilation - YouTube

The root word of culture is cult. There are so many reasons given for why FGM started and they vary by ethnic group but they all go back to serving men by reducing or eliminating the female sex drive. Of course women uphold FGM and it wouldn't survive without us. It is part of the cultures that we have absorbed as the rules that dictate our lives. For many women they simply can not imagine a world without FGM. They abide by it regardless of the pain and suffering it has caused them because it is the "right thing to do." When you control the way a people think you do not have to worry about what they do. If you are really interested in hearing about how African women feel about this issue then please listen to them and ask them. There are very few African women on this board but there are plenty of African boards you could visit.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:15 PM
 
671 posts, read 597,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Also of interest, with no statistical breakdown, the article states that in many cases, the circumcision is not comprehensive, but is simply a ceremonial "nick" as a part of a cultural "coming of age" procedure. How many girls are actually mutilated to a degree that actually affects their sex lives in adulthood is probably not statistically available. But it unlikely that it is horrendous or life-threatening in a large number of girls.[/b]
I find it hard to understand how you have come to this conclusion after reading an article that begins with the sentence “I NEARLY bled to death" and makes me wonder if you are listening or reading at all. It is indeed horrendous and life threatening for the following reasons:

1. Infibulation requires a woman to be uncut and then sewn back up after birth. Childbirth is one of the biggest risks to a woman's life in Africa because of the birthing process and this is a huge reason why.

2. Painful urination and recurring infection related to urination.

3. The overwhelming majority of women's sex lives are affected. East African Muslim women on female genital mutilation: ‘We were not meant to enjoy sex. We were supposed to be machines to have babies.’ | Musa Okwonga | Independent Editor's choice Blogs

Note that title We.were.not.meant.to.enjoy.sex.we.were.supposed.to .be.machines.to.have.babies.

Emphasis provided by me. The women who are affected this way are the ones who undergo infibulation which is most of the East Africans.
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