The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Women Rice Producers in Ndop, Cameroon and the Implications for Gender Roles

By Fonjong, Lotsmart N.; Athanasia, Mbah Fongkimeh | Journal of International Women's Studies, May 2007 | Go to article overview

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Women Rice Producers in Ndop, Cameroon and the Implications for Gender Roles


Fonjong, Lotsmart N., Athanasia, Mbah Fongkimeh, Journal of International Women's Studies


Abstract

In most communities in Cameroon, traditional norms mandate that rural women fulfill the reproductive roles of child bearing, home management and food provision for the family. Thus, these women are unable to exercise any influential economic voice-they can hardly earn income. Cash agriculture like rice production provides a possible outlet for the empowerment of these women in rice producing areas. However, this agricultural work would solve one problem for the women and create another. Any attempt to encourage these women to work outside their homes may increase their workload. This paper examines the situation of female rice farmers in Ndop, Cameroon and argues that although rice production may have been beneficial to women and the society as a whole, it has implications for gender roles that go beyond the purview of women's empowerment.

Keywords: rice production, gender division of labour, gender roles, Ndop, Cameroon

Introduction

Many authors (Moser, (1993), Mosse, (1993) and Taylor, (1999), have recognized women's triple roles in development as meeting their strategic and practical gender needs. Moser (1993, 48-49), for example, classifies women's triple roles into reproductive, productive and community management. Although Taylor (1999, 18) acknowledges this categorization of women's triple role by Moser, she argues that women perform multiple roles, which are too simplistically enveloped into Moser's framework of triple roles. Many societies, particularly in developing countries, usually emphasize only women's domestic and community roles. The economic and political spheres are considered in these communities as exclusive domains reserved for men. Even where women's economic role is obvious such as in the case of water and fuel wood collections, vegetable gardening, dairy and poultry keeping, these economic contributions are minimized and dismissed as emanating from their biology (Mosse, 1993, 30). Thus, women's productive work is often less visible and valued than men's (Williams et al. 1994).

Nonetheless, with increasing economic intensification and diversification as a result of the emergence of new challenges, there is a gradual movement away from the status quo. The forces of colonization, and globalization accelerated the circulation of new ideas and cultures around the globe. As a result women are being gradually brought into the center of development. In the economic domain for example, rural women are involved in the cultivation of crops like rice, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, wheat, and others for cash, which are considered male crops. Their expanded economic activities significantly alter their traditional gender roles with far reaching effects on their empowerment and national development.

Rice is one of the most remarkable of cultivated crops in the world. It is a staple diet of over half of the world's population, most of whom live in developing countries such as countless millions in Asia who subsist almost entirely on rice. Although irrigated rice is grown in the tropics, Jesse et al (1995) noted that 90% of the world's supply comes from the monsoonal lands of Southern and Eastern Asia.

The cost not withstanding, the taste and nutritive value of rice as food explains the shift in consumer preference from other traditional food crops to rice in West Africa (Nyantang 1983). As a consequence, the consumption of rice has increased much faster than that of other food crops in the sub region. In addition to its availability through imports and food aid programs, the demand for rice increases as income rises for the poor. According to WARDA (2003), the most important factors contributing to the shift in consumer preferences from traditional staples to rice are rapid urbanization and associated changes in family occupational structures. Rice is easy to prepare, takes relatively less cooking time, and it is also easy to handle and serve. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Women Rice Producers in Ndop, Cameroon and the Implications for Gender Roles
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.