Some common stressors for African women
Kathy Jackson, Okey Abosi

Stresses relating to education, reproductive and child health limit the development of girls and the well-being of women and their children in rural villages and poor urban areas across Africa. African girls are socialised to believe that they are less important and less intelligent than their brothers, and should do more work than them while at the same time deferring to male superiority, beliefs that are held by parents and teachers alike. Once girls reach maturity they are under social pressure to become sexually active at an early age although they do not have sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions about this important aspect of their lives. Strategies used to cope with these stressors range from traditional practices such as invocation of magic, through to using new information to solve or reduce the impact of previously intractable problems.


Africa; women; stress; education; reproductive health

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