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Abstract

The Cameroon woman has for long been the economic backbone of the nation, yet she remains largely marginalized in society generally and in the economic sector in particular. The cumulative effects of the interplay of gender discrimination of traditional African and Western colonial as well as neo-colonial systems on the general status of the Cameroon woman has been enormous. As this paper reveals, in modern times, more Cameroon women have become more dependent on men economically than in pre-colonial or traditional times.

It is true that modernization has wrought some good for Cameroon women, but this article shows that the ills of modernization far outweigh the good wrought by modernization in Cameroon. The end result is that in modern Cameroon women occupy economically precarious positions at the lower echelons of the socio-economic scale. Women’s limited access to and lack of control over resources such as education and bank loans that are more readily available to Cameroon men has led to the further decline of women’s economic status in modern Cameroon. The vast majority of Cameroon women, regardless of educational level, find themselves in a disadvantaged position in the economic sphere. The overwhelming historical evidence presented in this paper is testimony to the above fact. In turn this pattern has had grave consequences for the country’s overall development.

Note on the Author

Nana-Fabu currently teaches and does research in the Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences at the University of Douala, Cameroon. She is also a member of the Sociology Laboratory in the University of Douala where she carries out research in Political Sociology and Women’s Studies.

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