Discuss the status of women in Africa, past and present. Is it getting better or worse.

Essay by hyphen79University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2006

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The status of women has changed little in Africa since the adoption of the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. However gender inequality is still present. An African woman's social and economic status continues to be largely defined by customary rules that are deeply rooted in country-specific historical, economic, and social factors. In modern day Africa, women are still looked at as being subordinate to the man. From birth, females are considered inferior to males. A woman's role is to bear children, to serve her father, her brother and later her husband and her family which in some cases includes her in-laws. In most cases, women do not have any property rights, or if they do, they cannot inherit any property. This makes the African woman separate from society and keeps her marginalized.

In most of the African countries, women experience discrimination and racism from the dominant cultures and laws.

Their ability to control resources, make decisions and inherit and participate are contained in the law, but never practiced. Their participation in and receipt of benefit from the formal and informal economic sector is impended by laws and regulations, while their enormous contribution in both agriculture and livestock production is made invisible. For rural and urban poor women their countries' legal systems are either irrelevant to their lives or constitute systems that reinforce constraints, as most of the times they have no one to explain to them nor are they aware of the laws of their respective countries.

A high rate of illiteracy among women still prevails in much of Africa. This is due to the lack of schooling made available for girls and young women Africa. This is still happening because it is felt that it...