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Gender Education

I was having a discussion with some friends recently, and it occurred to me that a person can be educated and literate, but also gender illiterate at the same time. The discussion centered on women being victims of various forms of abuse from their husbands or men they had been living with, without being married.

The tendency in my community is for women to do traditional marriage rites and assume they are married under the law. They forget that only marriages registered in courts are recognized by Cameroon law.

The excuse given by many, both men and women alike, whether educated or uneducated, is that women need financial support which can only come from a man. These gender illiterate persons say that an educated but jobless woman needs the support of a man to survive and the surest way of getting this support is to live under his roof with or without a legal document to prove that they are married.

My response usually is that men also suffer the same unemployment as women. The high unemployment figures in Cameroon are for both men and women, yet jobless men do not rely on successful women for survival.

Those with a different view point say it is different for a man because a man could be jobless for half his adult life but he could grab a fantastic job at fifty and marry a girl of twenty. A woman could not marry again after thirty five so she’s desperate to secure a man at any cost.

In such a relationship the woman is at a disadvantage from day one. The man is usually aware of her desperate position and could manipulate her in many ways.

Give a woman financial stability and you solve half of the problem.


LauraB's picture

Financial stability


Your comments struck me. Deciding to follow artistic passions and cut my teaching job to part-time, I cut my income in more than half. Now my partner brings in the bulk of our money. At first this worked very I am itching to bring in more cash. Earning a living on your own gives you a sense of empowerment unlike any other...I want every woman to have that experience.

It's a tricky thing- marriage and financial stability. I think the key is deep respect between the partners looking at contributions. Realizing that nurturing children, cleaning house, cooking meals, washing clothes, watering the garden, etc- these take time, effort, work. To value these as much as earning $$, I think is part of the equation for women's empowerment.

You always have thought-provoking posts!


Nelly2.0's picture


Respect is certainly important in every relationship but a majority of problems crop up because of lack of mutual respect. A lot of men are threatened by women who earn more than they do. And yes, earning a living gives you a great feeling of empowerment. Which is exactly why men feel threatened.

thanks for your comment

aliĝngix's picture


Finical income is the way to go. After all, if you do not have fate in you own hands, what can you do?

Woman everywhere are working with micro-loans from loans and banks and groups that will sponger financial aide for them. Trying to change this fate put to them. It's inspiring, and will surly change this notion that woman need men when ti is quite the other way around.
After all, who provides free slave labor while he is at work? Who provides the core strength of the family when times go down? Who raises them and does her job, even at the cost of herself? If you ask me, woman pose a much better candidate for work than any man, looking from this point of view.
I think if you have to create a system that gives better odds to meals just because their are males--(In America, a statistic showed for every $1 men will get, woman will get 73 cents. That is not include what ethnicity you are, even though it takes going through hellfire to get public acknowledgment of this fact.)--it really makes you wonder how come woman don't think they are worth it themselves sometimes, and are scared to go through this rigged challenge that is already set up against them. I think what they hear and what is need to be sorted out before you can get a good footing in what you need and want to do.
After all, when you take into consideration that banks are more willing to lend money to woman rather than man, that does say something against the perceived notion that woman are helpless in their cause to secure their own fate.
Ah, well, we all know what we need, we just need the resources to do it! That can be a problem, while a long tunnel, is a straight shot nonetheless. With time the system will grow and become stronger, and we can mold our own image of what we want to be.
Well, thanks for posting this subject and putting up with my long comment. :) See you around.

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