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The African women in the twentieth century

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  1. How women were especially oppressed by colonialism and its aftermath
  2. How women found new possibilities and potentialities as the ''traditional household'' lost its hold over them

Traditionally and historically, women are considered as invisible: wars are fought by men; money is earned by men; nations are led by men etc. The only roles held by women are reproduction and housekeeping. However, since the middle of the 1970s, gender issues have become an important theme. Globalization not only affects men but also women, although in a different way. Gender, which is often used as a code word for women, not only refers to women or men but to the socially defined roles of each sex. So gender and sex must be differentiated, sex is connected with biology whereas gender is seen as a social construction. It is important to emphasize that gender roles vary from region to region, women and men will play different roles in accordance with their tradition, their history and their culture. Furthermore, cultures evolve, which means that gender evolves too, the roles played by men and women are not only determined by culture but by socio-political and economic factors.

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