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Law and Women in the Middle East

The legal status of women in the modern Middle East has been in transition since the early part of the twentieth century. Customary laws, Islamic laws, imported European laws, and reformed versions of Islamic laws affect women in" Varying degrees in the different Middle Eastern legal systems, and the status of women does not seem to have been settled in any of them. Legal issues involving women'…

Introduction - 8.2

As tribal groups and ethnic minorities are incorporated into larger economic and political systems, a number of changes affect the women in these societies. While it is difficult to generalize about the current situation of women in the thousands of ethnic groups in the world, this issue identifies some apparent trends. The articles that follow - as well as a number of other publications, some of…

"All the news..."

For two years CS Quarterly has identified global themes important for an understanding of the current situation of tribal groups and ethnic minorities and has brought the urgent situations confronting specific groups to the attention of our readers. While our approach has been well received, many points of view are excluded from the thematic section of the Quarterly and many urgent stories go…

Overcoming Death in Chile

Women's resistance to Pinochet and their struggle for a return to democracy In 1983 Chileans lost their fear of their military government and its coercive apparatus - the army, navy, police and air force. The majority of Chilean citizens have been living in a climate of tension and agonizing fear for over a decade. Now they are taking to the streets by the thousands, unarmed, to protest against…

One Step Forward - Two Steps Back

Shavante women of central Brazil, 1958-1982 Twenty-five years ago the only way to reach the Shavante Indians near the Rio das Mortes in central Brazil was by plane or boat. By boat the journey took weeks, through territory inhabited only by nomadic Indians. Luckily, my husband, baby son and I went by plane, but even so it was days before we were finally deposited at a roughly cleared landing…

Guatemalan Refugees in Chiapas

While much has been written about the current situation of Indians in Guatemala, less attention has been focused on the 100,000 Guatemalans who have fled into Mexico, clustering in over 90 camps along the length of the Mexican-Guatemalan border in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas. These camps are closed to all foreigners, especially journalists, therefore perpetuating the lack of available…

Yemeni Women - Still at Home

Labor migration has become a major issue for many developing countries as migrant remittances increasingly form a major portion of both family and national budgets. In the Yemen-Arab Republic in 1978-1979, perhaps a million male migrants remitted an estimated US $1.3 billion, lessening the tremendous import-export deficit. Yemeni women's lives are changing as a result of the massive flow of…

Women Migrant Workers in the US

We usually imagine migrant workers as young men who travel abroad to find jobs in agriculture, construction or restaurants. Less attention is paid to women, who also migrate; we tend to think of them as passively accompanying their husbands. In fact, more than half of the Latin American migrants to the U.S. are women searching for jobs as domestics or in light manufacturing such as garment or…

Women in Southern India

The plight of landless agricultural labores Thanka is a 55 to 60 year old widow. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she helped her village to unionize, and even became famous locally for having lain down in front of a tractor during an anti-tractor demonstration. But now, things are different. Tractors are such an accepted part of village life that even the Marxist leaders will tell you how…

Woman's Role in Social Change

P>Education and the Kikuyu of Kenya The contribution of women to a society's smooth transition from preliterate to literate, from a relatively autonomous community to a member of a nation enmeshed in a world economy, has received too little attention from social scientists and policy makers. When the economy and political organization of a society change, families who can adjust to the new…

Third World Women in Factories

There is a debate among feminists as to whether industrialization is "good for women." Industrialization offers the chance for at least some women, especially poorer women, to get out of the home, to break away from the stifling constrictions of domestic patriarchy. For example, while working in a textile mill (in Massachusetts, Manchester or Hong Kong) may bring hardship, it does offer women the…

The T'Boli - Profiles in Transition

She is up and at the water faucet before most in her area of the village. With only four faucets to serve at least 650 people, the sooner one reaches the faucet, the sooner one can wash one's dishes, clothes and self. After tending to herself, she hoists the filled plastic container to her shoulder and walks home. These may be the only moments she has to herself that day. After boiling water for…

The Mbuti of Northeast Zaire

Women and subsistence exchange The Mbuti (Pygmies) die semi-nomadic people who live in the Ituri Forest of northeast Zaire. While their traditional way of life is often described as centering on hunting and gathering of wild food resources, the Mbuti rely for a large part of their subsistence on cultivated foods acquired in exchange from village-living horticulturalists. Most cultivated foods are…

The Batek De' of Malaysia

Development and egalitarian sex roles The Batek De' Negritos are one or-several aboriginal people, called Orang Asli, living an unassimilated life in Malaysia. Numbering about 350, the Batek De' (hereafter simply Batek) live in camps of five or six nuclear families in the rain forest regions of the state of Kelantan. They maintain themselves by hunting, gathering, and trading forest products. In…

The Anuak - A Threatened Culture

The Anuak are a Nilotic people who live in southwest Ethiopia and adjacent areas or southeast Sudan. In 1958 it was estimated that they numbered 30,000 to 40,000, of whom two-thirds were living in Ethiopia. Originally the Anuak lived on land near the Pibor and Sobat rivers south of Gambela and near the Adura and Mokwau rivers to the north. They were forced out of these areas by other groups and…

Schooling or Seclusion

Choices for northern Nigerian women Of Nigeria's nineteen states, those in the Muslim north have lagged far behind the others in providing Western education. This situation has been cited as one of the causes of Nigeria's civil war, and as the basis for inequitable access to many occupational opportunities. Successive Nigerian governments have attempted to remedy this situation and in 1976 the…

Exxon and the Guajiro

The White Man eats coal," said the Guajiro Indian woman, "but neither us nor our animals eat coal, that's not our life." With this statement she underscored the basic incompatibility between the Guajiro notion of well-being and the Western notion of development as embodied in El Cerrejon Coal Mining Project in northeastern Colombia. This project, a seven billion dollar open pit mining venture of…

Cultural Change and Women's Work

The sedentarization of the Rashiidy Bedouin in the Sudan Economic changes in a given society are often accompanied by changes in that society's culture. This paper describes some of the changes taking place among the Rashaayda, Arabic-speaking nomadic pastoralists living in northeastern Sudan. Generally speaking, the Rashaayda engaged in new economic activities have become sedentary and now…

Can the Partnership Last?

Btsisi' marital partners and development The penetration of capitalism and planned development into subsistence economies usually lowers women's status. Women rind themselves locked in the household, economically dependent upon an individual man or perhaps doing wage labor along with their household tasks. Thus far, Btsisi', an indigenous people (Orang Asli) of the west coast of Selangor,…

Awa Women in Papua New Guinea

Exploited laborers on the capitalist fringe After a quarter-century as colonial subjects and nearly a decade as citizens of the new nation-state of Papua New Guinea, Awa women have experienced many changes, but few improvements, in their lives. The usual signs of "development" - roads, schools, health clinics, retail stores - still are at least a one-day walk away, and government services, such…

Agta Forager Women in the Philippines

Problems in the 1980s Agta women face a number of difficulties as they enter the last years of the twentieth century. Like men in this former hunting-gathering society, they must adjust to an onslaught of social, economic, and environmental changes now transforming northeastern Luzon from remote virgin tropical forest to a multiethnic industrial and agricultural corner of a nation-state. As women…

Delivering Health Care in the Andes

Women as the connecting linkEfforts to provide cosmopolitan health services to indigenous rural populations in developing countries are closely tied to the emergence of health as a global priority following World War II. In 1946, the World Health Organization (WHO) was created as a separate agency out of fragments of the League of Nations. Like public health movements in England in the late…