October 1, 2020

The African Woman, The Soul of a Continent

Women members of a agricultural cooperative for women, after finish the work in the field. The women of Inhanrrime are organized for stimulate the female develop. Photography by Jose Cuesta.

Text and pictures by Jose Cuesta.

In Africa, more than 70 percent of people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and livestock for their food and sustenance: most of the work in these fields is done by women.

According to a report by the United Nations, women’s economic activity represents a large part of the workforce engaged in agriculture (70 percent), livestock (50 percent), and trade (50 percent), as well as the totality of the food processing sector. 

Two women are combing one to another in the hut of one of them, in Kerteibe, Senegal.

Women are the backbone of African society, although they rarely appear on the front pages of newspapers or in news headlines. Daughters, mothers, wives or grandmothers support the family and the tribal economy.

On their shoulders lies the responsibility of transporting water from the wells, generally far away, carrying the wood, feeding the children and monitoring their health, as well as many other responsibilities.

Orphanage La Poupouniere in Dakar, all workers are women. Senegal.

Moreover, their memory stores and relays the traditions that pass from one generation to the next one, thus strengthening the social and cultural cohesion of the communities.

Since dawn they work tirelessly to maintain their homes. However, their role in the tribe is generally considered peripheral. They often have no voice when it comes to economic or family matters, and only a few gain recognition for their public or political activities.

Woman pygmy of the Badgeli tribe fishing with traps for the all the tribe, she is the only one can do it because she talk with the spirits of the fish in the river, the tribe live in Masue Masue, a settlement to more of one day walking through the jungle of the city of Lolodorf.

Women are the basic and essential pillar of the subsistence economy. From Morocco to South Africa, women are the true driving force of a society that often relegates them to the care and work of the land.

To them: farmers, merchants, housewives, fisherwomen … who sustain life and who put their body and their strength so that we can move towards a better world.

Women of the pygmy tribe Baka caring for a child and cooking in front a Mongulu, traditional household of this tribe, is a semispherical hut made with branches and leaves of tree. The Baka live in the jungle near Dja river beside to the Congo border, they are Nomadic Hunter-gatherers and one of the oldest human groups in the world.
Texts and pictures by Jose Cuesta.

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