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CULTURAL RESTRICTIONS FOR WOMEN

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CULTURAL RESTRICTIONS FOR WOMEN

Cameroon by 2008 estimate has a population of 18,467,692 with a land area of 181,251 sq mi (469,440 sq km) and total area of 183,567 sq mi (475,440 sq km). The country is called "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity with about 250 different ethnic and linguistic groups.

Most of the various ethnic groups by their tradition restrict women from certain activities and foods. In the old ages before civilization, women who experienced menstrual flow were sent to the bushes to stay until the end of their flow, for women with blood flow living amongst people was considered a taboo. In some areas since women were eaten by wild animals, they started building a tall wooden frame structure for the women to stay during their menstrual flow as a means to protect them from any wildlife attack while food was brought to them.

Most cultures hold women are not allowed to eat the gizzards of fowls it is meant only for men. And some men in these traditional settings are so engross about the whole idea that if his wife prepares fowl and the gizzard is missing she may be asked to leave her marital home.

In the Bamvele tribe around Nanga Eboko women are not allowed not eat porcupine if they do they are attacked by a rare disease similar to leprosy. The men in the village have a special hut where they prepare and eat porcupine for it is also alleged that even if the bone of this animal pierce a woman she would still be infected and that even women who have migrated to other areas if they dare eat this forbidden meat they still suffer from the same effect like in their villages. But other women in other tribe eat porcupine. Some even bars women and children from eating eggs.

Please do share by telling us about cultural practices in your country that restrict women.

Comments

jap21's picture

Cultural Restrictions for Women

Dear Enie: Hello from Bolivia, South America. Even though I live in a very poor country (the second poorest in America), I have never heard of such restrictions for women in my homeland or elsewhere in America. Women here have a different kind of restrictions, much less harmful to the basic existence, but equally harmful psychologycally speaking.

Bolivia is the home of brave, hard working women who in most cases take over the daily task of bringing food to the table. About 85% of households are supported by women who work in low salary jobs at around 90%. Cultural restrictions work here in the sense of not letting women earn as much as men for the same tasks. Another cultural restriction comes in form of sexual discrimination, as men are considered 'manly' when they have more than one partner, but women who do that are considered whores.

So, to me, it is surprinsing to hear that in Africa women are not allowed to eat some kind of meat, for instance. I think that is soooo unfair, soooo inhumane, sooooo outrageous and unbearable, that if I lived in your country, I would surely be the first to shout out loud every day in the streets, taking my protest to any kind of limit, and I would not mind to be killed by men. Better dead than treated worse than an animal.

I understand women in Africa are also brave and hard working. I understand also that they bring food to the tables. So, dear, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??????? You, dear, being physically present in the territory, are the ones called to STOP THIS NONSENSE.

Don´t relax. You have a lot of work to do. Remember that she who closes her ayes to the reality of girls and women, is also implicitly giving her permission to men that do this. Don't be an associate to this incredible amount of madness.

Let me know if I can help in anything.

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Hi Jap21, thanks for your comment and what you said about women in your country is kind of general and prevalent in developing countries.

However i wish to clearify that the nutritional restriction like eating porcupine is not for the entire Africa. Africa is a continent with many nations and cultures.

More so,this actually happens just in the village of my late husband not where i come from nor in any other part.

Again, the restriction is not just traditional but witchcraft has been attached to it, the reason why the women can be affected by the disease even though they nolonger live in the village, as such they are now scared. So there is nothing one can do about it, except the traditional council of that village have a way to reverse the curse which i think is unlikely.

As for me that is one of my best meat and i am glad where i come from we really don't have such restrictions.

Thanks again and best wishes

First of all, I want to show appreciation, Enie Ndoh Cecile, because I feel you already have taken a large step in this lywomen's issue you are confronting. You are sharing the Knowledge. Isn't this a major key World Pulse is trying to expand: we may not always be able to travel to ones' country, but communication via the web is intense. I believe women in Cameroon are already thanking you.
I live in the Midwest of Northern America and, most frequently, I feel the restrictions women hold are from our populations', and their own, mental pollution. I believe one of the premier igniters of this was the well known typical era when woman literally just stayed at home, took care of children, home, meals as the men felt satisfied bringing home cash considering money started to be a necessity as well as a fashion.
Since then, mainstream media has crept its unconscious and glittery lifestyle into the brains of men and women: women are becoming individualists, though most, in a man's liking; even if they may not be aware (that is the trick). It is almost as though media and the system (not saying that are separate) want to make it harder for women (well actually men as well) to realize the true beauty and real strength of a woman.
Speaking of strength, this mental pollution has well hit its' ground in majority of our businesses. It can be seen in simple tasks that a woman is "too fragile to do", "too emotional" or, often, "too ignorant" as well as the unfortunate case that a woman may be payed less than a man for an already low-wage job or even a decent pay job.
I know the above is not at all the only restrictions women in America have, I understand, women are in abusive relationships (which is where help and personal strength and knowledge can come in), sexual abuse situations ( we could definitely make self-defense a requirement), prostitution, insecurity...
I know this is all universal. Majority, intense problems that may take more time then than ourselves can witness. But I do feel the with knowledge, connection and true hope (just to start) we truly an make things even slightly better. And through our proper guidance of our children, we can have better hope for their futures as well.

Hello Corinnasp, thanks for your words of apprecaition and your contribution.

However, i wish to clarify that the restriction of porcupine for instance is just from one tribe in Cameroon out of about 250 tribes. That village is where my late husband comes from.

The sad aspect is that most of these restictions are tied with witchcraft which must have been initiated for generations, the reson why it has an effect for the women of that particular village whether they reside in the village or not. For this reaon the women are now frighten and stay away from that forbidden meat.

I guess they hold there are varieties of meat existing so why suffer a curse just for a particuar meat no matter how tasty it is. It is noted that most of the stuff the men restrict the women are usually those foods they know taste really good.

My Warm Regards

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