Sample Essay

All aspects of African social life and religious philosophy were greatly affected by the advent of colonialism and the competing worldview and set of philosophies that it sought to impose on the colonized people.  Lastly, colonialism did not only significantly alter the relationship between various communities and ethnicities, resulting into conflicts – some of which continue even till today, but also resulted into a gender imbalance that the African society had never experienced before.  Both of these last two changes were further exacerbated by the exploitative nature of the African slave trade, resulting into social imbalances that continue to plague the African society till today.

The traditional African society viewed the relationship between its men and women from a significantly different vantage point when compared against that of the Western world.  Rather than seeing one as a subordinate to another, often locked in a conflictual relationship, it viewed men and women as having complementary functions.  The African women hence enjoyed a status far different from their European counterparts.  They were allowed a great degree of social mobility and were viewed not in the context of their gender alone, especially its reproductive aspects, but also in terms of the fruits of their labor and how they contributed positively to the society.  (Diop, 1987).

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