African American History


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Berida’s story exemplifies the issues facing women in Africa in general and Kenya in particular, especially with respect to gender and class in many ways. Berida explains in her story the hardships that women have in providing for themselves as well as their families. Some of the hardships that Berida talks about are in the article “The African and Kenyan Contexts.” The article states that, “across the continent, people of many African nations have been troubled by low levels of economic productivity, environmental degradation, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, the exigencies of structural adjustment, and the battering of declining commodity prices.” The hardships that are discussed are in the areas of education, economics, and ecological.
     One of the most important issues discussed is economics. Everyone in the world today needs money to survive. Berida explains how she had to work hard day and night to provide for her for her family. She was the breadwinner in the family because her husband was an alcoholic and would spend all the money. She tried to make money any way she could. Berida and other women would go from city to city buying and selling goods for more than what they had paid for them to make a profit. Berida also worked for others, farming when she could not afford to buy and sell. When the trade business it depends on what the state of the economy is in to make good profits. African cities tend to be very poor and do not receive help from the government or other countries. All of the money that Berida made went to food, clothing, and education for her children.
     Compared to European Nations there are few educated people in Africa. Education in Africa is very expensive and many families cannot afford to send their children to school until they graduate. Although Berida had very little education; she did what she could to keep her children in school. Depending on how much Berida made when her trading business was good, some of her children received more education than others. Berida feels that poor families should not have too many children because a decent education costs too much. Females in most families had to stop going to school to help take care of the younger children and out their parents while the younger children go to school. The less education that one has the less chance there is of getting a decent job.

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Because Africa is so poor, many times even the educated do not get good jobs.
     Many ecological problems exist in Kenya because of the soil becoming eroded and the growing population. There are many uneducated people in African because the population is growing. The population is growing because men have more than one wife and has children with each of his wives. The soil in Kenya is very bad and at times it so bad that families cannot grow food. That causes the food prices in the market to rise and less families can afford to eat. One of the reasons for the soil becoming eroded is from when the dams were built through ancient Nubia by the Europeans. The other reason for the soil being eroded is that Kenya has lots of droughts. The article “The African and Kenyan Contexts” states that “cleaning land for agriculture, cutting wood for fuel, and oversizing of animals “contribute to the ecological problems in Kenya.
     Another problem facing the women in Kenya is that are in a low class. The women most times had to take care of the family. Berida talked about how her family had to move from place to place because they could not afford to build a decent house. When the weather would get bad their house would fall and her husband would be to drunk to fix it or had spent all the money and they would have to move. She talked about how many families did not have a home and would have to stay with friends. Families that have some money can build a decent house. Families that did not have a home could not eat properly and died from malnutrition. They also died of diseases because they did not have enough money to go to the doctor. Many children died at birth because the mother could not get proper medical care for herself of the baby. The less money you had the lower your class was and the more people that would die in that family.
Berida’s story exemplifies the issues facing women in Africa in general and Kenya in particular, especially with respect to gender and class in many ways. The women had to do most of the work and make sure that their families were taken care of. In order to survive, Berida became very good at trade is what most of the women did.
biblograhphy
ndambuki,Berida and Robertson,Clarie C. "We Only Came Here To Struggle". Indiana University Press, 2000. Bloomongton, IN.


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