Men are farmers, women are housewives

Working in the field is an excellent way to get to know a culture, as one can observe people’s daily life. One of the saddest things that I have noticed in Nicaragua is the attitude of rural women towards their role, as they rarely appreciate their own effort and never call “work” to their contribution to the family and community. For them, being a woman means being just a housewife.

 The reality is very different, economically speaking. For example, most women help their husbands to crop and harvest but they are not regarded as farmers. Other common practice among women is to clean and cook not only for their family, but for others, to get some cash. Preparing food to sell it in buses and stations is just one example, as they also sell fruit by the roads; create ceramics, clothes, etc. They spend great part of their time earning money but nobody considers them workers, not even themselves. They are just housewives.

 This may be partly explained by the fact that women’s jobs are informal, unrecognized by the government and society. Also, since their childhood, kids are taught to perform a role. Boys go to the farm and help with the crops or the livestock, while girls stay at home and learn to cook, clean, fetch water and firewood. They learn that a woman is a spouse, a mother, a daughter and a daughter-in-law.

 Women are not taught to “work” but to be dependent on men, who will provide social and economic security. However, due to the delicate economic situation of rural families, extra cash is needed on a daily basis so women try to solve the problem with the available resources. They work in the informal sector almost exclusively, which is incredibly extensive in Nicaragua. 86.3% of Nicaraguan rural families have a member working in the informal sector[1], which is not recognized by the government, the society, neither by their own family. Likewise, when women work in the formal sector, they cover lower paid positions, thus prevailing inequality among men and women.

by Ainara Casajús



0 comentarios

Dejar un comentario

¿Quieres unirte a la conversación?
Siéntete libre de contribuir!

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *