Asking why women are being marginalized is like asking why people have desire. There are a million reasons to give and yet not one answer will suffice. The simple answer I can give for this blog is: the patriarchy.
Now before you go thinking that I am some militant, bra-burning feminist, I will admit that 1) I am a feminist and 2) I have a very realistic view of the world.
If I look at why women are marginalized in the Western world, I can attribute that to a lot of the expected “traditional” role of women. They must be nurturers and caregivers but never breadwinners. A lot of this marginalization comes from the idea that women cannot perform in roles that are not domestic.
I cannot even imagine how the role of women in sub-Saharan Africa come into play for when they try to get jobs. Women are subject to the burden of domestication and fulfilling family building roles but anything that can be categorized as something that is simply not that.
Looking at Ghana, which is the focus of my final project, it is a very male-oriented society. Daughters are given off to be married by their fathers and husbands can take any number of wives they see fit. Their role was mainly to bear children.
The Education Act of 1960 in Ghana gave way so that all children should receive and have the right to elementary education. But even more than 50 years later, families are still slow to accepting and open to the idea of sending their daughters to school. There is a fear that women would lose their chance of getting married.
The marginalization of women exists in the idea of family building. If a woman works and is educated, there is a chance that she will not be desirable for marriage and thus bear no children. The honor of family is still the highest and it will continue to prevent women from receiving certain resource whether it is by men or by their own accord.
After the lecture, I really do believe in the power of micro-financing. Perhaps I show some Western narcissism, but I feel grateful that I can provide resources for others, especially these woman who probably could not obtain loans such as these in their respective nations. Considering that in many of these cultures, women would more than likely be denied loans for their ventures and passions.