Gender Roles in Economics

There is a clear-cut sexual division of labor. Women are in charge of upkeeping the home and thus take turns cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, and vacuuming floors. Men will chop wood and bring it into the house, take out the trash, do yard work, and repair things around the house that are broken. Ideally, men run the financial side of the family but in practice mature women actively monitor household income. If women are employed outside the home, they often have a voice in how the family's income is spent. If they are on public assistance they tend to have a diminished voice in family affairs.

Different communes are better off depending upon the overall development of the region. Outside the home men work in construction, metal-working, education (as teachers and administrators), retail business, finances, and in the insurance industry. In every plural family, with the exception of the truly wealthy, husbands cannot always feed and clothe their families. Women are compelled to find employment outside the home, often working in nearby towns to which they commute daily.

Given the limitation of finance, there is strong incentive for women to do most of the work themselves. Therefore, women will can fruit and vegetables, stitch quilts, sew bedding and clothes, and buy bulk foods and goods whenever possible (Bennion, 1998, p. 29). In some families, men are absent from home for a long period of time, and to cope with this women form a support system among themselves (Bennion, 1998). This is especially true for women living in the Le Baron and Allred Montana communities.

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