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Discuss gender inequality (and social stratification) from an anthropological perspective, using examples from Monique and the Mango Rains


According to the history and beliefs of the human race, women are taken as of second importance from men. Men have always had more social and physical power accorded to them than their counterparts; women. Men and young boys are expected to uphold their society alongside making rules and laws, which govern all people living there. They hold public offices and the best or all job positions in the job market and simultaneously, control the women in all their activities. Women, however, are not allowed by law of the land to own any property and in case they do, then it is assumed to belong to the immediate male over them. They are not to be listened to since their views are underrated. Traditionally and historically, some chores are considered ‘masculine’ and no woman is allowed into these fields no matter their qualifications. This is male dominance and sexism, which fiercely promotes gender inequality in the society. These are some of the truths that have shaped unspeakable gender inequality.

In the book ‘Monique and the mango rains’, Kris highlights on the different areas where women have been discriminated against in the Mali community, bringing about gender inequality. This essay highlights these concepts of inequality and how they have hampered women rise to higher positions in the community. Kris presents a personal encounter of the life situations in the western country; Mali, painting a pathetic picture of what women undergo. Women, here, are given less significance by the community as a whole. They are not given adequate maternal care in the case of reproductive health. In the building of the economy, the feminine gender is neglected. Even the little that they earn out of their hard work is planned for inappropriately by the men who control them. They are given no option to choose or decline marriage, whereby, they are mostly forced into it. It is very worrying, how they are multitasked with most of the chores in their homes and community (Holloway & Bidwell, 2007).

There are various components that are seen as promoting gender inequality among the Malian women portrayed by Holloway. Some of these components include issues on reproductive health. It is, for instance, mentioned that, among the community of over 1,400 occupants, there is only one midwife; Monique. She is overwhelmed with activities ranging from helping expectant mothers to deliver, advising of health since they are mostly malnourished and even on matters of birth control, which is almost unheard of in this society. This is too much for only one woman; therefore, most of the reproductive health issues are left unattended to. Mortality rate among pregnant mothers is given as very high; every one women out of 12 die out of reproductive related issues (Holloway & Bidwell, 2007).

There is the component of gender inequality on the part of economy streamlining. The only salaried working woman mentioned here in the Mali community, is Monique. She is seen working the whole day in a makeshift birth centre under a torn roof. Her salary, however, goes to the extravagant father-in-law and unfaithful husband. She cannot be able to plan for her salary independently. This shows that a woman in Mali is voiceless even in managing her own resources. Outside this clinic picture, the woman is also overworked. There are, however, no accounts of productive use of these funds, which mostly goes to their male relatives. They are left with little, if any, to manage and help in economic growth matters………………


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