Friday, March 3, 2017

Milk? that's a matter for the minister of Interior!

During our visit in Bama, in Burkina Faso, we talked for some hours with the livestock union. At the certain stage of the discussion, we asked them about gender roles.
Milk is clearly a matter for women, who handle both the milking and the sale. This makes sense as milking cows just like women tend to stay home when young men go on transhumance with the rest of the herd.
the representative of the livestock union
But we digged further... we discovered that men and women own their livestock within a herd. We were told that in some households women own more cattle than men, but men would take care of them. So we dug even further. So who decides about the sale of an animal? then it became very complicated and the men started talking and laughing.

the goats in the back not bothering about our gender discussion
The translation for us then was : madam is the ministry of Interior, she takes all the important decision in the household, but never openly, men will implement the decision from their ministry and do as if it was theirs!
The men going home after our meeting

We were discussing just with men. Next time we go back we will need to talk to women to see their version of the story!

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