Gender Roles in Economics

Rural Bamileke are primarily farmers, but also keep pygmy goats and sheep, and engage actively in commerce. Since precolonial times, women have been the major producers of food crops, including maize, beans, peanuts, and cassava. Men have been responsible for tree crops (plantains, and since the colonial era the cash crops coffee and cacao), clearing women's fields, and building fences. Hunting, small-animal husbandry, and war were also precolonial male pursuits. They have been replaced by cash-crop cultivation, shopkeeping, and taxi and truck driving. Women continue to grow food crops, and began commercializing their food crop production as early as the 1920s (before men become involved in cash-crop production). Women and men are both involved in marketing; until recently, men were more often involved in longer-distance trade, while women sold foodstuffs (both raw and prepared) at local markets and roadside stands. In the current economic crisis, women are particularly involved in the informal economy, making ends meet by selling foodstuffs, soap, cooking oil, and other items at small roadside stands.

Women can inherit movable property and traditional titles from any matrilineal female relative as long as they are the designated heiress. Likewise, men can inherit real estate, wives, and titles from any patrilineal male relative, as long as they are the designated heir.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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