Transitions of Family System and Externalization of Women’s Roles in Sub-Sahara Africa: A Case Study of Rwanda

Yuka Shimamura, The University of Tokyo
Hirotaka Matsuda, Tokyo University of Agriculture
Theogene Abaho, None

Socio-demographic, economic, and legal transitions having led by the modern-westernization has transformed the patterns and the functions of family in sub-Sahara Africa. This study examines how women’s roles in sustaining the family as a fundamental unit of production and reproduction have been changing overtime in Rwanda. Rwandan women have been responsible for providing their adolescent nieces with trainings on housework and sexual education. This practice has been dissolving in rural areas as the transition from extended family to nuclear family has weakened the women’s commitment as a relative/kin. In cities, this role has been outsourced to a female gynaecologist due to the increasing women’s engagement in economic activities, which indicates that women’s traditional roles in the family have been gradually externalized. The findings suggest that the demand for sexual education for youth would increase and the externalization of women’s reproductive roles would diversify the reproductive practices of future generations.

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  Presented in Session 140. Understand Changing Patterns of Unions, Families, Households: Factors and Consequences on Child and Elders