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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Role of Women in the Changing Family and Social Organization of Ahamda Pastoralists (Central Sudan)
Author:Casciarri, Barbara
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Sudan
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Family Life
Cultural Roles
Labor and Employment
Sex Roles
Status of Women
Abstract:This paper examines ongoing change in a pastoral society - that of the Ahamda, a Muslim, Arabic-speaking, pastoral group of central Sudan - through an analysis of women's roles in the passage from nomadism to sedentary life. Two patterns typifying the role of Ahamda women in socioeconomic life are compared: the woman of the desert camp and the woman of the settled village. Though some elements persist, there have been some noteworthy changes, concerning chiefly the involvement of women in extra-domestic activities linked to production processes, the female right to property and the degree of sexual segregation. Sedentarization brings forth a debasement of the female condition, the loss of every sort of autonomy for women in determining their own lives and a worsening of their condition inside the overall society. In a situation of general pauperization, the attitude preventing women from getting involved in extra-domestic wage labour may appear as anti-economic. There are two constraining factors which contribute to increased domestic segregation with sedentarization: a sense of honour and the strength of religious ideological pressure. These factors ought to be included in the analysis of the dynamics of economic and social transformation. Fieldwork was carried out in five stages in the period 1989-1995. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French and Spanish.