There has been a raging debate about the duties of an African Woman. These have actually changed over the decades, and in my opinion, not for the better. An African Woman of the yester years was well respected, knew her duties and everyone in the community knew exactly what to expect of her. In turn, she took her responsibilities very seriously, and she would have died fulfilling those responsibilities.
Times have changed. In my opinion, these are the major factors that have contributed in the redefinition of the role of the African Woman.
In the years of our grandparents, the role of education, child birthing and rearing and home duties were the responsibilities of the whole clan. Everyone lived a stones throw (literally) away from everyone else. This meant that not only was education easier, but it was disseminated by people who had real experience and who really cared for the children and young adults that they were teaching. It also meant that chores were easily distributed between the men and women in that clan. Enter westernization, and everything went bye bye. Suddenly, the elderly were not qualified to teach their children. Suddenly, the worship methods of the Africans became barbaric. Circumcision rites became unhygienic and medicine men were labeled witch doctors. This in turn brought about greed and distrust amongst ourselves. Given the chance, going back to the olden days would be the best thing that happened to Africans.
After westernization, everyone decided that clans are overrated. How many people for example, after adulthood take time to visit their parents, let alone their grandparents? It is now taken as a chore and when one does it, they are just trying to keep up appearances or they need something from their parents. Due to disintegration, demands have become very high. Food that was easily found in farms has now to be transported to different cities and thus making it very expensive. Due to the nature of nucleus families that have been created, then the African Woman has been forced to go to work, and literally compete with her male counterpart. Down goes her duties of taking care of the house, taking care of the children, and if she is lucky enough to have a husband, then he is also in the list of being neglected. Divorces become high, robotic children is what we bring up and of-course, hiring house help becomes in style.
Granted, there are still some African tribes who have still maintained their cultural practices. I admire them and it is my hope to meet these women and find out how they have managed to maintain their cultures. My only hope that in pursuit of wealth, we shall not forget to stop and look at what we are missing along the way, and realize that we had survived for so many years without westernization. To educate enable the African Woman to embrace their role and to bring sanity to a world that is headed for destruction.