Monday, 20 June 2011

Book - Women's role in economic development - Chapter 2, 3 and 4

Boserup, E. (1970). Womenʼs Role in Economic Development (1989th ed., p. 283). Earthscan Publications Limited.

Chapter 2: The Economics of Polygamy
Polygamy is apparently widespread in Africa, and is related to the economic conditions. Men with several wives can cultivate more land, produce more food for the household and can achieve higher status. This seems to be based on more wives = more children (particularly sons) = more labour! Sometimes more wives means more money, or sometimes the husband uses it as a way to increase his leisure time.

Apparently in shifting cultivation patterns, women bring in more than they cost. Particularly true as husbands do not provide them with everything they need, but they have to provide for themselves from their income. They can earn from agriculture, trade or crafts.

Men tend to be older than their wives, and they have to pay the bride's family. I don't think we'll include this in the game. There is a pecking order amongst the wives (in order of acquisition!).

Chapter 3 - Loss of Status under European Rule
Not relevant for our game.

Chapter 4 - The Casual Worker
Minimal amount of paid agricultural work, but women will take it if available (particularly if husband isn't paying for all of their clothes etc). African women play a small part in cash crops particularly from large plantations, but traditionally play a large part in food crops.

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