ERIC Number: ED213553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Female Life in Mauritania.
A 3-month pilot study conducted from April-June 1979 with 16 major informants provides information for constructing a preliminary model of female life in Mauritania. An introduction gives definitions for terms used differently in Mauritania (tribe, ethnic group, and class) and discusses examples of each. The study (based mainly on repeated interviews plus some group discussions) examines all aspects of female life in Mauritania, including life cycle, occupations, economic roles and decision-making powers of women, attitudes and values towards themselves and their families, and the role they play in Mauritanian society. Information from 16 women (9 Bidans, 2 Toucouleur, 1 Bidan/Toucouleur, 3 Haratin) reveals a pattern of rural background, entry into the urban labor force as artisans or market sellers, little formal education (except Koranic), emerging but limited decision-making powers, and a desire for daughters and granddaughters to have a better way of life through education. The study suggests that economic changes brought about by prolonged drought are bringing social change, such as a decrease in forced feeding ("gavage"). The study points out that while Mauritanian women are considered among the most independent of traditional Muslim women, they still face problems associated with high divorce rate, polygamy, and lack of decision-making power at governmental levels. (BRR)
Descriptors: Change, Decision Making, Developing Nations, Economic Development, Educational Attitudes, Employed Women, Ethnic Groups, Females, Foreign Countries, Futures (of Society), Marriage, Mothers, Occupations, Parent Responsibility, Religious Education, Rural Environment, Rural to Urban Migration, Self Concept, Sex Role, Social Class, Social Status, Tribes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Agency for International Development (IDCA), Washington, DC. Office of Women in Development.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Drought; Life Cycles; Mauritania
Note: For a related document, see RC 013 215.