chapter
4 Pages

Conclusion: The Future

ByCatherine Coquery-Vidrovitch

There has been a lack of understanding between Western women and women from the developing nations, especially African women, no doubt because they have not yet reached this point but especially because the assumptions governing their lives are different. Generally speaking, there are cases in which Roman law is superimposed on matrilineal custom and diminishes rather than affirms women's rights. From a legal perspective, in tradition or in modern legal codes, with few exceptions women remain inferior to men on paper even though they have gained the right to vote almost everywhere. On the economic level, the degree of women's autonomy remains variable across the continent. On the political level, except for a few women who manage to come forward in national struggles and a few flamboyant individuals, participation by women is still the exception. On the social level especially, cultural constraints weigh heavily on women.