The influence of migration on gender hierarchies within the African household

  • Monica Njanjokuma Otu
Keywords: African households, gender relations, feminism, migration and patriarchy.

Abstract

Most African cultures operate under dominant patriarchal norms that undercut women's activities and headship-related roles both within the private and public domains. In this article, I present a discourse on how increased migration undertaken by African women has contributed to changing patterns of gender hierarchies within an African household. I further argue that the theory of migration can present new ways of understanding intra-household gender dynamics within the African context. Gendering migration requires one to place the role of domestic gender leadership within cultural and contextual discourses. Through an empirical study conducted among African women from both formal and informal sectors, this article illustrates how migration redefines power relationships between African men and women within the household domain. The article examines how feminism can be used to transform cultural structures that promote unequal gender relations between men and women as well as other unequal power relations within the household.

Keywords: African households, gender relations, feminism, migration and patriarchy.

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Articles

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eISSN: 1012-1080