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The Contribution of African Women to Economic Growth and Development : Historical Perspectives and Policy Implications, Part I, The Pre-colonial and Colonial Periods

ACCESS TO LAND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ALCOHOL ALLIANCES ANTHROPOLOGIST ANTHROPOLOGISTS ANTHROPOLOGY APARTHEID BLACK WOMEN BREADWINNER CAPITALISM CASH CROP CASH CROPS CHILDHOOD DISEASES CHILDREN PER WOMAN CITIZENS CIVIL LAW CIVILIZATION COLONIALISM COMPENSATION CONCUBINES COURT COURTS CULTURAL CHANGE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES CULTURAL VALUES CULTURES CUSTODY CUSTOM CUSTOMARY LAW DEMOGRAPHIC PRESSURES DEPENDENCE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPMENT POLICY DIASPORA DISABILITY DISADVANTAGED WOMEN DISCOURSE DISCRIMINATION DISEASES DIVORCE DOMINANCE DOWRY ECONOMIC CHANGE ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ECONOMIC PROGRESS ECONOMIC STATUS ECONOMICS EDUCATION FOR GIRLS EDUCATION OF GIRLS EDUCATION SYSTEMS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS EMANCIPATION EMPOWERING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN ETHNICITY ETHNOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN EXPLORERS EXTENSION FAMILIES FAMILY LAW FARMERS FARMS FEMALE FEMALE LABOR FEMALE LABOR FORCE FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION FEMALE WORKERS FEMALES FERTILITY FERTILITY RATES FISH FOOD SUPPLIES GENDER GENDER ASPECTS GENDER BIAS GENDER DISCRIMINATION GENDER EQUALITY GENDER GAP GENDER GAPS GENDER INEQUALITY GENDER NORMS GENDER PARITY GENDER RELATIONS GENDER ROLES GIRLS GLOBAL EFFORT HOME HOMES HOUSEHOLDS HOUSING HUMAN BEINGS HUMAN CAPITAL HUMAN POPULATIONS HUMAN RACE HUMAN RESOURCES HUNTING HUSBAND HUSBANDS IMMIGRANT IMMIGRANT WOMEN IMMIGRANTS IMMIGRATION INDIGENOUS WOMEN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION INEQUITIES INFANT INFANT MORTALITY INHERITANCE ISLAMIC LAW JOURNAL OF MARRIAGE JUSTICE KINSHIP KINSHIP STRUCTURES LABOR MARKET LABORERS LABOUR MARKETS LAND TENURE LEGAL REFORM LEGAL STATUS LIMITED RESOURCES LITERACY LIVING STANDARDS LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES MALARIA MARGINALIZATION MARRIAGES MASS EDUCATION MATRIARCHY MEASLES MENSTRUATION MIGRANT MIGRANT GROUPS MIGRANT WORKERS MIGRATION MIGRATIONS MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS MINORITY MONOGAMY MOTHER NATION BUILDING NATIVE WORKERS NATURAL RESOURCE NATURAL RESOURCES NORMS NURSE PATRIARCHIES PATRIARCHY PEACE PHILOSOPHY PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT POLICY DISCUSSIONS POLICY IMPLICATIONS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER POLITICAL POWER POLYGYNY POPULATION MOVEMENTS POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION POWER PRIMARY EDUCATION PROCREATION PRODUCTIVITY PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PROGRESS PROPORTION OF GIRLS PUBERTY REFUGEES RELIGION REPRODUCTION RESPECT RITES RITUALS RUBELLA RURAL AREAS SECONDARY SCHOOLS SEX SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOR SEXUALITY SINGLE MEN SLAVERY SOCIAL CHANGE SOCIAL HISTORY SOCIAL NORMS SOCIAL OPPORTUNITIES SOCIAL ORGANIZATION SOCIAL STATUS SOCIETIES SOCIETY SOCIOLOGY SOILS SPOUSES STATUS OF WOMEN SUBORDINATION OF WOMEN SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE SUBSISTENCE FARMING SYMBOLS TECHNICAL TRAINING TEMPORARY MIGRANTS TEXTILES TOWNS TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES TUBERCULOSIS UNIONS UNMARRIED WOMEN VILLAGES VIOLENCE WAR WARS WDR WIFE WILL WIVES WOMANHOOD WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE WORKING CLASS YOUNG MEN YOUNG WOMEN
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2012-04-27T07:44:48Z | 2012-04-27T07:44:48Z | 2012-04

Bringing together history and economics, this paper presents a historical and processual understanding of women's economic marginalization in Sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial period to the end of colonial rule. It is not that women have not been economically active or productive; it is rather that they have often not been able to claim the proceeds of their labor or have it formally accounted for. The paper focuses on the pre-colonial and colonial periods and outlines three major arguments. First, it discusses the historical processes through which the labor of women was increasingly appropriated even in kinship structures in pre-colonial Africa, utilizing the concepts of "rights in persons" and "wealth in people." Reviewing the processes of production and reproduction, it explains why most slaves in pre-colonial Africa were women and discusses how slavery and slave trade intensified the exploitation of women. Second, it analyzes how the cultivation of cash crops and European missionary constructions of the individual, marriage, and family from the early decades of the 19th century sequestered female labor and made it invisible in the realm of domestic production. Third, it discusses how colonial policies from the late 19th century reinforced the "capture" of female labor and the codification of patriarchy through the nature and operation of the colonial economy and the instrumentality of customary law. The sequel to this paper focuses on the post-colonial period. It examines the continuing relevance and impact of the historical processes this paper discusses on post-colonial economies, and suggests some policy implications.

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