Why Women have a high status in San society
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While in the West men dominate, in little old Africa the San People (Bushmen) have a far more liberated attitude towards their women!  The San govern themselves solely on the basis of group consensus; there is no formal authority or chief to muddy the waters, and while disputes may require very lengthy discussions, everybody gets the opportunity to voice their thoughts, until an agreement is reached, peacefully.

 

The San have a fantastic balance between leisure, hunting and gathering, leisure is important to San of all ages; we can certainly take a leaf out of their book here!  San children have absolutely no social duties; their only duty is to be children and to have fun in their close knit family and extended family circles.

 

Music, sacred dances, joking and conversation are all part of the San way of life and their celebration of their connection to the earth of Africa and its animals; it is a conglomeration of all these components that make up a culture which is entertaining, respectful and soulful.

 

The women in San culture have a high status in their society, they are greatly respected and often take leadership roles in their own family groups, making important family and group decisions as well as being able to claim ownership of water holes and foraging areas.  This is a lot of power in a world overwhelmingly dominated by men, harking back to ancient times when women were leaders and decision makers.

 

Despite the respect and high social status of women in the San culture, they still play a major role in the gathering of fruit, tubers, berries, bush onions and any other plant stuffs that can be put to use by the family. With the importance of water in San life, women also adopt the role of gathering the Ostrich eggs which are used as water containers once emptied, and while San women may be the gatherers, they are also hunters when it is necessary.

 

There is no doubt that the San women are the epitome of a woman who can be a mother, a provider, a negotiator and a hunter!

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Ben

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