Women all over the world play a major role in economic, education, health and family structures. In Africa women are known to contribute a lot in the family structure. Traditional, an African woman is in charge of the family up bringing, providing food to the family, catering for the domestic livestock and also farming which mainly is subsistence is farming, where she sells the produce from the farm after getting what to use in the house. The woman also educates her children in ethics and morals.
It is generally assumed that the farms belongs to the man and therefore has the final decision on how household income will be spent. In contra American woman has more choices has she is more economical and social empowered. In looking at the economic status of an African woman, we find that an African woman is poor and in most cases lacks her “own” money. This is due to the fact that she is involved in domestic work which is not payable. In addition the woman is over burden by child care.
Culturally, women are supposed to give birth to a lot of children who keep them busy. Thus, an African woman normally has a big family to look after. This set up brings a lot of challenges for the woman. As for health, the African woman is at a disadvantage, in most cases there is no health facilities near by to serve them, in if they are available, women lack money to pay for the services. As Malveaux (1990) points out, it is against this background that many African women give birth at home alone or assist by midwives.
This leads to poor health and high death rates. Concerning education, a high percentage of African women are illiterate or same illiterate, this is a result of cultural, economic and government policies which don’t encourage girl child education. In contrast, an American woman is more economical empowered as in most cases she is involved in paid work. She also has a lot say concerning her income and she can invest in profitable ventures. The American women also are well educated and skilled in various professions.
Concerning family structures, an American woman has a more flexible family structure. Most of the families are nucleus and the woman can decide when and how many children she will bear, something that many African women can not debate over it with their men. In America health is a major priority and the federal government makes sure that the facilities are available to all citizens. The women also have private insurance health covers that allow them to access better health care facilities.
Accordingly, American women are in a better health shape. The major factors that contribute to these disparities are social, economic and cultural. Together with political polices. Poverty is a rampant issue in Africa and the major segment affected is the women, thus they are bound to be down economically. As seen before cultural factors in Africa also have contributed to drag down women economically. The issue of land ownership, which is the main economic asset in Africa and which is controlled by men does not help to up lift these women.
Education is power, and lack it leads to limitations in opportunities, this is what is happening, as many African women are not educated. Poor policy making from the governments has contributed a lot in under developing women. In comparison to America, women there enjoy a lot of liberties. Conclusion Women in Africa still lag behind because of the cultural practices, poor economic growth, lack of education and poor health care provision. It is also clear that African women are burden by a lot of responsibilities.
To change these, the governments of Africa should come up with policies that encourage girl child education, and avail health service to all. It’s also important for the society to change the way they view a woman and empower more socially an economically so that an African woman should also be empowered economically like their American counterparts.
Malveaux, J. (1990): Gender difference and beyond: An economic perspective on Diversity and communality among women” in Deborah L. Rhodes, edition. Theoretical perspectives on sexual difference, New Haven: Yale Un. Press, pp. 226-238