Gender Roles and Statuses

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Division of Labour by Gender

In most areas, women are responsible for feeding their families. They grow staple food crops, while men clear the land and provide meat, oil, and salt. Men grow the cash crops. Among the pastoral populations, men herd the livestock and women process dairy products.

The Relative Status of Women and Men

In general, men have higher social status than women. They have more rights with regard to marriage, divorce, and land tenure within most local systems of social organization and more access to government bureaucracy and the courts. However, women may have informal power within households, enforced through their control of subsistence activities and their role as channels to female ancestors. Many women are prominent in higher education and government ministries.