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Lilian Cheelo Siwila 1. Siwila ukzn. The paper discusses the conceptualising of the presence of women in the Copperbelt mine compound in Zambia during the period Like many other mining companies across Southern Africa, The British South African Company which owned the mining rights on the Copperbelt imposed certain restrictions on women who came to the copperbelt province. Initially mine owners did not favour the idea of allowing women to live in the mine compound for the fact that women were seen as a distraction to production in the mines.
The outcome of this decision was that as time went by most of the men left their jobs to return to the villages to be with their spouses. Those who were single took advantage of the neighbouring villages during weekends and stayed on with their girlfriends and sometimes only returned back for work later in the week. This affected production in the mines and made the mine bosses to propose rules on how to incorporate women in the mine compounds. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how patriarchy played an important role in excluding women from participating in the economic development that took place on the copperbelt during that period.
The paper further highlights ways in which the colonial government displayed some ambiguities in the exclusion and inclusion of women in the economic development of the copperbelt mines. The article will also show how labour markets exploited women's rights to participate in the economic development in the copperbelt and how when access was granted women's productive and reproductive labour was used as a form of economic drive. The paper further argues that when it comes to women' s bodies, Single female seek girlfriends 4055 history, religion has played an important role in defiling women' s bodies.
It is this negative perception that was also perceived in the mining company in the copperbelt during the period under study. While women were seen as a threat to economic development, their presence in the copperbelt also played a ificant role in the economic development of the copperbelt mining companies. Therefore, women' s contribution during the foundation of modern African life in Zambia needs to be acknowledged in our discussion of the development of the copperbelt mines. Women' s bodies, production and reproduction, Religion, labour market.
A historical study of gender during colonial era will show that although colonial masters and missionaries may not have used the word gender in their debates on women, gender differences still played a ificant role in the way in which these colonial masters and missionaries perceived the position of women in society. A critical analysis of the history of colonialism in Africa reviews that African women suffered double oppression during this period.
Firstly, women suffered the patriarchal oppression derived from their African cultures; second, the western patriarchal colonial system oppressed them further. The oppression faced by African women during this era has contributed to how women who leave their homestead in the rural area to go to the city to seek economic stability are viewed by society even today. In the Zambian context, the history of industrial development that took place on the Copperbelt province in the s Single female seek girlfriends 4055 an ambiguous position in the way in which women were perceived by both colonial masters and the missionaries.
Single female seek girlfriends 4055 of the literature present a negative perception of women in the urban city during this period. What normally comes out is what Hodgson and McCurdy call 'the wicked' woman phenomenon. Interestingly the wicked woman phenomenon that was pronounced during this era continue to be reflected on women even in the present context. In most of the Zambian villages the dominant discourse for unskilled women who leave the village to go to the city to look for employment especially without the accompaniment of a husband remain negative.
These women are defined as wicked with a mind-set that the only work they would be able to perform in the city is what was called prostitution. Hence they are viewed as irresponsible citizens. A brief background of the colonial era in Zambia shows that since the advent of colonialism, Zambia has undergone social, economic, political and religious transition.
The country moved from a traditional self-sustaining agriculture community to a strong capitalist economic system that depended on copper. Zambian communities progressed from tribal oriented type of leadership to the amalgamation of different ethnic groups under the umbrella of one colonial control. The merger of ethnic groups came as a result of movements from the rural areas into the urban cities where people from different ethnic groups came together and engaged in paid labour.
From a Christian perspective, David Livingstone stands out as a first prominent figure that visited the country during the 19 th century in an attempt to open a way for Christianity in central Africa. And from an economic perspective the Charter in incorporation with the British South African company and according it broad monetary and administrative opportunity opened doors for economic development in the country. During this period, the Copperbelt province became the hub for economic development and attracted many men to migrate from rural areas to go and work in the mines.
At first the mobility attracted only men but as time went women too began to leave the villages heading to the copperbelt to seek for employment. Factors that Led to the Migration of Women to the Copperbelt. As at the beginning of the Great Depression it was difficult to find any group of people in Zambia who were not enormously dependent on the market economy. During this period, most of the Zambians begun to earn cash income.
This meant migrating long distance to seek for work as wage laborers in industries such as the mines in the copperbelt and South Africa. Within this economic awakening, scholars have argued that at the end of the great depression in there was a growing desire for native women to seek for status that is more independent. This also led to the migration of women into the city especially on the copperbelt province. Therefore, we cannot understand the current Zambian society in relation to women migration into the city unless we closely look at the history of the foundation of modern life in the country.
This is because during this time the economic market began to control both men and women's desire for this new life. Parpart argues that Perhaps another outstanding effect of the men and women going off to the Copperbelt is the new independence and self-assertiveness of the young women, without going so far as to call it a definite movement, because it is in no way organized, but just simply growing up almost unnoticed Women's rights are beginning to assert themselves.
Despite this growing interest on women to leave their homeste and migrate into the city, we see a lot of resistance on women' s movements from both the colonial government and the traditional leaders through the indirect rule. The refusal of women to migrate into the copperbelt was associated with a of reasons ranging from gender, cultural and economic factors.
At the same time, this paper also reveals ambiguities associated to the decisions made by both missionaries and colonisers in response to the issue of women migrating to the copperbelt. For instance, at one point women's presence was acknowledged by the mine authorities as an incentive for male mine workers who had to rely on women' s domestic and sexual services.
According to mine authorities, this helped to boost production as it prevented men from going back to the villages more often. Chauncey Jr. Chauncey further states that by the s copper mining companies in Northern Rhodesia were faced with a challenge of labour migration in the neighbouring countries where conditions were better than those of their homeland. This challenge forced the mining company to look for incentives that would attract the mineworkers, and one suggestion was to allow women to come and live in the mine compounds.
On the other hand, even when these women were allowed to stay in the mine compounds, there were still some strict rules to follow. The permission for women to stay in the mine compounds came with conditions. One of which was that all women residing in the mine compounds were to be under the control of a male. This means women needed to be married to a miner in order to qualify to live in the mine Single female seek girlfriends 4055. While single women were to register their presence to the mine authority.
The aim was to help control their movements in the mine compound. Single women who wished to stay in the mine compounds could also take on temporal marriages as encouraged by the mine authority. How long these temporal marriage arrangements lasted was not an issue as long as all women were under the control of a man. Parpart states that those women who wished to register their marriage were given a copper bracelet called chingolongolo to wear as a that they are married to mine workers Therefore Chauncey would argue that the decision to permit women in the mines was made explicitly for the sexual, domestic and other services women provided as non-monetary inducements for men to work in the Copperbelt despite the low wages On the other hand, the colonial government, traditional leaders and missionaries were against the influx of women into the Copperbelt especially single women as these were seen as a threat to what was termed as 'traditional moral code' of society due to the fact that they were not under male control.
As the influx of women coming to the Copperbelt from the rural areas increased, the mine Single female seek girlfriends 4055 became more and more threatened by the presence of women especially single women in the compounds. This led to the introduction of stricter rules for women entering the Copperbelt province. Chiefs worked with the colonial government to also arrest any driver found carrying women going into the copperbelt. Roadblocks were introduced in the key entry points into the city. This kind of domesticating of women by the colonial government simply reinforced African cultural oppression of women that was already dominant in most African societies.
This further complicated the idea of using women's domestic labour as it contradicted with the restrictions put upon women's mobility. Scholars such as Chauncey Hansenand Parpartare among the few who have provided extensive literature on the experiences of women on the Copperbelt mine towns as reproductive labour.
When the decision to allow women to move from rural areas to urban city was enacted the women were already seen as coming to provide services to male mineworkers, other than coming as workers who will contribute to the industrial labour market by working in the mines.
This is because mine work was seen as a man' s job. This meant that women' s labour be it productive or reproductive was placed under the company' s domains as unpaid labour that would help increase productivity output on the mines.
Chauncey states that the idea of relocating women's reproductive labour from the rural to urban areas under the influence of mining companies as controlled unpaid labour own words was a great benefit to the company. He further comments that:. From the perspective of capital, women's labour was reproductive that is, it provided for maintenance of mine employees.
But from the perspective of women, such gender-specific labour tasks such as the provision of domestic and sexual services and the production and exchange of commodities such as beer and vegetables represented productive labour Although Chauncey seems to view this kind of service with a positive approach, writing from a feminist standpoint, I argue that the mine employers also exploited women' s labour. At a time of great depression and economic migration when everyone was trekking to the city for economic benefit, women were still perceived as domestic labour providers who either needed to remain in the confines of the home in the village or be used as domestic labour in the city.
The concept of viewing women as reproductive labour meant commodification of women's labour abilities and bodies. The kind of approach adopted by the mine bosses has a strong influence to the Victorian model of housewife which was also very common in their own context during that period. Both sematic religions and secular societies have in many ways been found quilt of upholding the Victorian model of perceiving women. At the same time the model found a home in the African cultural context which also saw women as home makers and 'service providers for the male'.
Besides viewing women as objects for economic productivity mine bosses also reinforced mechanisms that controlled women through social surveillance. This was done through controlling their migration into the city and controlling their movements while they were in the city. Women surveillance was a combined effort with the missionaries who also used their own biblical ideology of a woman' s position in society in their judgement.
According to parpartmissionaries saw single women as sinners who indulged in adultery. To them, 'the evils of town life' was a danger to women's lives. Therefore, women were better off remaining in the village where they would not be influenced by the city life. What is interesting with such kind of approach is that western women were already in the city and little Single female seek girlfriends 4055 said about their presence or being influenced by the dangers of city life.
A feminist reading of such kind of views depicts a colonial concept of how an African woman was viewed during the colonial era. Besides the missionaries and mine employers, traditional leaders too through indirect rule controlled women's movement into the city.
These traditional leaders worked with the colonial government to re-enforce strict rules on women's movements. Parpart states that the traditional leaders made efforts to prevent women from leaving the rural areas through the border posts that were created between the rural and urban areas. Women who were coming to the city needed to get permission from their traditional leaders and those who were caught travelling without boarding passes obtained from the traditional leaders were repatriated back to the village Border controls that were set up by the colonial government also became points of gender discrimination and women oppression.
Any overstepping of these rules was seen as threatening the moral conduct of the society and the offender was fined to the point of imprisonment 3. Jane Parpart describes how. They had to pay 10 pounds fines and were repatriated.
If a woman admitted having committed adultery, she was fined 5 pounds and declared immoral she could not claim damages from the man. A woman who had married three different men was viewed as a prostitute and banned from the Copperbelt According to Polinska, for centuries the male gaze dominated women's bodies, with no counter response from women themselves. Women were the objects of men's voyeurism Chauncey further obverses that despite all these restrictions, what is interesting to see is the way in which at one point these mine authorities ignored the call to stop these single women from coming into the cities from the villages.
When discussing issues relating to women' s bodies we should always remind ourselves that both religion and theology are not innocent of the Single female seek girlfriends 4055 conception on women and their bodies. Church fathers used their patriarchal powers to refrain women from full participation in the activities of the church mainly because of who they are and not what they are Watson Therefore, it is evident to state that the prohibition of women in the copperbelt from participating in the economic Single female seek girlfriends 4055 of the province had more to do with women' s bodies that were under surveillance by the male powers.
Isherwood argues that early fathers tried to describe ways in which women could behave as a way of controlling them. They made it a point that a woman' s world was very confined and many women were advised to remain indoors.
Male patriarchs prescribed how they ate, slept, bathed, and spoke The other point that this study addresses on the negative conception of women during this period was on the term used to describe women. One of the gender constructs that was commonly used to oppress single women who left their homestead to go to the copperbelt mine towns to seek for economic security was prostitutes. The reason for being called prostitutes was mainly because these women were associated with the selling of their sex for money.
Hodgson and McCurdy talking about the colonial perception of prostitution state that for the colonial government prostitution was a serious term that was dehumanising to women, it created complicated alliances and antagonisms between husbands, fathers, lovers and the state officials who were concerned about controlling women's sexuality Mutesi argues that the single women who came to the copperbelt were not the good wives, as they were supposed to be.
Contesting further Polinska states that:. A fifteenth-century depiction of a virtuous woman contrasts her with a prostitute. The prostitute is partially unclothed, her breasts visible and her body flaming with lustful desire; the good woman is a bloodless creature, 'pure and chaste and never disturbed by the unruly prompting of sexual desire. The good woman was therefore a safe woman whose sexual body was carefully hidden and who subdued her sexual needs' This kind of conceptualisation of women stated by Polinska suits the reflection given by the mine bosses and missionaries on an African woman who left the city to come to the copperbelt.Single female seek girlfriends 4055
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