Women in Tafi

When I first arrived in Tafi Atome there was a definite division of gender. At first we lived with Wilson who had a women, Agnes, to clean his house. After living there a while I realized that Agnes was also Wilson’s mistress and she heavily relied on him for a place to sleep and eat. A few weeks into our trip Wilson’s wife, who he called our Mother, came to visit. She lives in Accra and visits Wilson once a month or so. While she was there she seemed to be working the whole time; cleaning and cooking, even freezing meals for him to eat when she was gone. Coming from the US this was a big shock to me but I realized it was the culture. At Josephine’s it was a little different but still the same premise. I learned that Josephine’s mother was in charge of the house but because the father had another wife and lived with her in the village. Her mother was constantly cooking, cleaning, and working on the farm. After talking to Queen Mother about this she made it clear that men are lazy and women do all the work for themselves, their homes, and their children. It’s hard for women to make money because of all the domestic duties they tackle everyday. Apparently men, who should be working on their own farms, pick up jobs at others farms to get money. But this money does not reach the families. Queen Mother is hoping for a better future for the women. She is the head of the women’s group that Hannah is working so hard to get running. They hope it will be an source of income for the women of the village. This is very reassuring to me because although I accept the culture, I am in no way at all supportive of it. After becoming so close to a number of girls and women here I hope for nothing but a bright future for them.

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