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Title:Gender relations and economic transformations among the Hausa in Niger
Author:Lefebvre, AlainISNI
Book title:Natural resources and social conflicts in the Sahel / ed. Leon Brimer, Lars Krogh and Marlene Meyer. - Frederikberg: Institute of Pharmacology and Pathobiology
Geographic term:Niger
subsistence economy
Abstract:This paper examines gender relations and economic transformations among the Hausa in Niger, based on fieldwork carried out in 1991-1992. The author argues that Hausa villages are confronted with a vicious circle. Bad economic conditions have led to the deterioration of croplands and a disruption of traditional social organization. Villagers' economic strategies have become more and more individualistic and money-oriented, while communal efforts are necessary to solve their problems. Frustrations between the sexes are expressed in increasingly frequent marital conflicts, and these lead to a lack of motivation on the part of women to invest their labour force in the family production unit and women's aspiration to have access to new economic resources. Thus women do not require incentives for taking part in development programmes, but they do have to cope with the limitations imposed by men. The control of society has traditionally been in men's hands. Therefore, women are largely excluded from land distribution, from agricultural information, from access to agricultural credit and machines, from decisionmaking in production cooperatives, from literacy programmes. Development programmes which support a greater female participation in income-generating activities have to take these changes touching gender relations into account. Bibliogr.