Plus, some men feel so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus lobola doesn’t necessarily protect the woman from infidelity. issue. corruption, ethnic violence), many economists argue that the absence of economic growth is in part due to a detrimental geography that impacts on … These average life expectancy figures are the lowest compared to other continents. It claims that conflict in Africa does not always stem primarily from crises of national governance and the failure of governmental institutions in African countries to mediate conflict, and revisits the colonial factor as the root of many conflicts in Africa. doesn’t necessarily protect the woman from infidelity. We've joined the BHM Digital family of websites and have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. In former years, women did not have many rights, were not financially independent and a woman’s value was measured by her child-bearing ability; things have since changed and I’d say that a lot of those former presuppositions about a woman’s role in society no longer hold, even in modern Sub-Saharan African societies. Plus, some men feel so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus. 3 Because of its own history of colonization, China saw itself as the leader of Third 2 Piet Konings, “China and Africa: Building a Strategic Partnership” Journal of Developing Societies, Vol She also went on to say, “The woman goes and lives with her in-laws and is accepted as part of the family there. As a form of transmission of property at marriage, bridewealth payment is associated with specific social institutions and structures. A consequence of the continuation of the. The payment of bridewealth is most often a matter of social “Bridewealth is not about purchasing the woman- it’s just a gift to the parent’s of the woman to thank them for raising a good daughter,” I explained. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. Death occurrence in the African continent is mainly due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and respiratory infections. It suggests that the one function of bridewealth common to African societies is the legitimation of marriage, a function that enhances rather than diminishes the status of women in the African context. Lobola was simply just another fact of life and, dare I say, something that I looked forward to participating in one day. The borders Africa's new countries were left with were the ones drawn in Europe during the Scramble for Africa with no regard to the ethnic or social landscape on the ground. That is to say, the gift is a price set by the bride’s family to be exchanged for their daughter. For example, high bride- Upon the death of a woman, the value of her dowry was to be divided only among her children—it was not to go to … American Ethnologist is a quarterly journal concerned with ethnology in the broadest sense of the term. Poverty and crime 3. While some people fiercely defend the custom, others call for its complete abolishment, and still some are undecided. Anecdotally speaking, Africans remain divided on the lobola issue. “No, you misunderstand the culture,” I smugly replied. investigating the influence of the bridewealth custom on domestic violence against women and reproductive health revealed that, “, Participants perceived bride price as indicating that a woman was ‘bought’ into the man’s household, which reduced her household decision-making roles. Bridewealth exists in societies where manual labor is more important than capital. Also, since in many past societies, women did not receive an inheritance from their parents, the dowry served as a substitute for the woman’s inheritance. ‍Poverty in Africa - Map of the places connected to electricity network Better off rich or poor? Also, it serves as a tool against easy divorce. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. “It just seems like buying a person,” he’d said. Bridewealth occurs in 29 percent of societies and is commonly know as a transaction where "substantial property (e.g., animals, money) which the groom or his relative give to … Bridewealth has no precise analogue outside of Africa, but the bridewealth transaction is comparable to the Western marriage contract in certain respects. Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. The relationships between descent rules and incidence of bridewealth, dowry, and gift exchange are examined and several patterns emerge from empirical analysis. Black women From a male perspective, my unmarried African friend asserted that lobola makes the man treasure the marriage more.“If something doesn’t cost you anything, you won’t take care of it,” he said. Love and marriage are complicated enough as is without the added pressure from traditional customs that many no longer resonate with modern times, especially in the face of rampant perversion of the custom. It limited women’s independence and perpetuated unequal gender power relations, especially regarding health-seeking behavior.” Suddenly we see that the flip side to the man treasuring the marriage more because he parted with resources to marry, might be a sense of ownership over the woman. Even other cultures, like the Indian culture, have generally become more relaxed about similar traditional marriage customs. “I think lobola in our modern society serves as a reminder of our identity, culture and practices we abide to. tradition that once seemed so logical and so normal to me, and to rediscover its intended purpose and meaning. This item is part of JSTOR collection perpetuates heteronormative gender roles. This chapter considers several forms of wealth transmission at marriage. Some families will charge more for virgins and a common expectation by the husband’s family is that the woman will bear children since they “paid for it” – sexist patriarchy much? The study finds little evidence to support previous conclusions about the functions of bridewealth and women's status in Africa. of Contents. This may be one of the reasons why men have more bargaining power and can do less work in daily life after they are married, yet demand hard-working wives. paid by the bridegroom (or his family) to the bride’s parents. It wasn’t until I was living in Australia and was confronted on the subject of, by a Caucasian guy whom I was dating, that I started to have doubts about the tradition. seek information on a wide variety of topics including African-American hair care, health issues, relationship The subjects of these colonies often had many identities that trumped their … Causes of poverty 2. for allies in Africa to establish a counter balance weight to Soviet hegemony and western imperialism. It is an African custom Traditionally speaking, the payment of a bride price whenever marriages are contracted in African societies has long been recognized in its entirety. black entertainment news, parenting tips and beauty secrets that are specifically for black women. Bridewealth, payment made by a groom or his kin to the kin of the bride in order to ratify a marriage. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. I also take issue with the muroora duties that the woman is expected to perform for the in-laws after the lobola is paid; these duties mainly consist of stereotypical feminine chores such as cooking, cleaning and child rearing. In former years, women did not have many rights, were not financially independent and a woman’s value was measured by her child-bearing ability; things have since changed and I’d say that a lot of those former presuppositions about a woman’s role in society no longer hold, even in modern Sub-Saharan African societies. In traditional African society, men guarded the home and the cattle, or went to war. Last year, we were able to reach over 9.2 million people with our health and nutrition initiatives, and improved the food security and livelihoods of 4.5 million. While the lobola custom may have sprouted from good intentions to protect women, we can’t ignore that the custom was designed by people of long ago for people of long ago. Marriage is defined by Maxwell Assimeng (1999) as “the coming together of a man and a woman from two different clans to establish a family such that offspring could ensue to replenish and perpetuate the … Families are of supreme importance in Africa, and the bridewealth payment cements this relationship. custom may have sprouted from good intentions to protect women, we can’t ignore that the custom was designed by people of long ago for people of long ago. Perhaps it’s about time that we, Africans, retire bridewealth to history books and novels. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Select a purchase As a result, average life expectancy for African men is 58 years while for women is 61 years. Family poverty 6. Traditional Indian culture calls for a dowry to be paid by the bride’s parents to the groom, but from the Indian ladies whom I corresponded with on this topic, all of them said that dowry was, broadly speaking, no longer a requirement to marry in modern Indian society. Throughout the continent, the diversity of systems reflects the traditions, religions, and economic circumstances of a wide variety of distinct cultures. In Sub-Saharan Africa where land was abundant and there were few or no domesticated animals, manual labor was more valuable than capital, and therefore bridewealth dominated. * The only industrialized nation we have in Africa is South Africa. Wiley has partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies and publishes over 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols in STMS subjects. 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