Sample Essay

Since women did not enjoy any legal entitlement against the agricultural land that they labored on, their influence in the decision-making process involving distribution of land and its cultivation was subject to the social milieu and the economic conditions that they operated in.

Once again, the influence also did not flow from a hereditary entitlement and hence was subject to approval by the patriarchal elders in case of each successive generation.  It was the level of this approval, which had a direct bearing on the level of influence that these women could enjoy in such matters.  Lastly, being subject to variables of seniority, social rank prior to marriage and the value given to one’s contribution in agricultural production, this avenue was not open to all women, free and slave, working on the farm.  Furthermore, it was a cumbersome approach even under the best of circumstances since it was only once a woman had had several children and had spent a great deal of time tending to the affairs of the farm that she was granted this influence in a piecemeal fashion by the elders charged with overseeing her progress. (Hilton, 1983)

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