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Women of Benin West Africa

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Women of Benin West Africa As seen by Netiva Caftori 2004 First impressions Colorful bombas and boubous, all traditional dress. Babies on back. A load on the head. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Women of Benin West Africa


1
Women of BeninWest Africa
  • As seen by
  • Netiva Caftori
  • 2004

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3
First impressions
  • Colorful bombas and boubous, all traditional
    dress.
  • Babies on back.
  • A load on the head.
  • Beautiful balanced walk.
  • Feeling mostly good about their looks.
  • Cooking and selling along the route.
  • Mostly women in market places.

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My women students
  • Few female students in science and math
  • Well respected by peer
  • Mostly single
  • DESS Nike, Marlene
  • Doctorate Laure, Uguette
  • Engineering Pelagie
  • Computer science Nellie
  • Math instructor Atinuke

6
Wives of colleagues
  • Not equal partners
  • Some are from polygamist families
  • Many are business women on their own
  • Usually they are not academicians
  • Girls are there to help mothers
  • Girl slaves under disguise

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Children
  • Always held and carried on backs as babies and
    young children by mothers or siblings
  • Very happy and content
  • Big families. Many orphans
  • Children are often raised by other family
    members, elsewhere
  • Many mothers dont talk to their children
  • Work at a young age to learn a trade despite
    compulsory education

9
Children
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Rural women
  • The feudal system is predominant
  • Many kids are encouraged They are the wealth of
    the family.
  • Women are mostly home with children and chores,
    but
  • Some women work the fields and manage the farm
    with the help of loans.
  • Uneducated.

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Education
  • 50 of the population is not educated
    (analphabets), or illiterate.
  • Most educated ones do not finish high school.
  • Many dialects. In school one learns French.
  • Some study abroad through grants.
  • Grant money is hard to come by.
  • Visas to leave the country are hard to get.
  • The rich, usually are educated.

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Politics
  • Kerekou is the same president in the last three
    regimes
  • Old French colony
  • French are still there committed
  • Some but very few women in politics
  • People close to the government get the money
  • Corrupted regime, but peaceful and safe country

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Health
  • My own story
  • Torn ligament
  • Broken crown
  • Broken glasses
  • Unsafe water
  • Life expectancy 50
  • Preemie story
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid fever
  • Bend back to do laundry or clean
  • No garbage cans
  • Pollution
  • Beautiful teeth

26
Family life
  • Red earth stone or cement brick houses
  • Life happens mostly in interior court yards
  • No running toilets most times
  • No paved roads Hens, goats, and pigs run free
  • Cooking on a small charcoal stove
  • Mostly no refrigeration, no electricity
  • Zem, taxi or foot transportation

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Life celebrations
  • Communions (confirmation)
  • Births
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Dance on Sunday nights
  • Salsa on Wednesday
  • Dinners at home or mackys
  • Voodoo celebrations

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Meals
  • Everyone is invited to join if dinner time
  • Women prepare all day with the help of neighbors
  • Fresh fish, chicken or meat
  • Staple food manioc, corn, rice, potatoes,
    platens, served with sauce made of hot peppers,
    pimento, special red dates and tomatoes
  • No desert most times
  • Beer or wine (vine, palm, corn)
  • Eat with hands or silverware
  • Dishes washed by hand. Sometimes share dishes
    (guests eat first).

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My friends
  • Radegonde cashier
  • Pauline artist, crafts
  • Janine crafts, seller
  • Guirlaine tennis, shop
  • Jocelyn jurist

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Professions
  • Most women are selling and buying in markets
  • Hair dressers/ Manicurists
  • Lawyers or jurists
  • Seamstresses
  • Midwives
  • Secretaries
  • Librarians
  • Financial bankers
  • Computer teachers

43
Customs
  • Phones are extremely expensive so people buzz you
    and hang up.
  • People are often late or just dont show up.
  • Houses are not decorated, and usually walls are
    in need of paint.

44
Religion
  • 30 are Muslims women are head covered
  • 20 are Christians
  • 50 voodoos
  • Most people still practice voodoo which is not
    just a religion but a culture and a way of life.
  • Old secrets though are dying with an aging
    population of wise men. Women are left out,
    though they do consult the féticheur.

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The weather
  • Two rainy seasons, water flocks, people just
    dont go out. Temperature drops from 90 to 80
    and people wear coats.
  • One dusty season when the Armattan, wind from the
    Sahal desert blows. All is white. Sun is red
    most day. This lasts one to 2 months.
    Everything is very dry then.
  • In Burkina Faso in April, it was 100-110 degrees
    everyday.

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Summary
  • Women hold their place in society, mostly second
    to men
  • Advances are slow to come by
  • In educated families women are becoming closer to
    men
  • We have lots to learn from Africa. Concentrate
    on their cultural wealth.
  • There is hope

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