Women's work in the economy of the Cocoa belt: a comparison
Guyer, Jane I.
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This paper is an empirical study of the cultural context and historical development of the division of labor by sex in two farming systems of the West African cocoa belt: the Yoruba of Western Nigeria and the Beti of South-Central Cameroun. Both societies are patrilineal. Both peoples inhabited the forest zone before the period of colonial rule, so that their hoe-farming systems had already adjusted to the forest environment before the cocoa era. The two societies differ, however, in overall political structure. The Yoruba had a centralised form of city-state government, while the Beti were organised in small village communities under autonomous headmen. The major difference which forms the theme of this paper is the different division of labor by sex in the indigenous economy. In a rough categorization of African farming systems, according to which sex does most of the work, the Yoruba would be classified as a male farming system, the Beti as a female farming system. [TRUNCATED]
African Studies Center Working Paper No. 7
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