In this paper, I am going to address gender stratification in relation to Marriage, Sexuality, and Reproductive health issues. I am going to use Monique and the Mango Rains written by Kri Holloway as ethnographic data, which she collected in Mali. My interpretations of gender stratification in Mali are women did not have the rights to choose their husband; women did not have ways to control the sex life and do not have ways to do birth control; women had to face extremely hard reproductive health issues.
To start with, I would like to give some background analysis about gender norms and stratification in Mali. Mali is landlocked in the West Africa and it is one of the poorest countries in the world. According
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Women in Mali were not only exposed to the marriage gender stratification, but also had to suffer the Sexuality gender inequality. For example, Korotun had to think of ways to improve the possibilities to have a baby, so that her husband won’t get angry and underserved that she cheated on him. It didn’t make any sense to me that Korotun’ husband thought she slept with other men and she took some pills to avoid getting pregnant (page47). Also, in Mali, people didn’t know much about HIV. They did not know how to protect themselves from being infected, especially for people like Monique. She had only a sporadic supply of rubber gloves (page89). She also mentioned that many women in Mali were using the old ways to avoid pregnancy and she confirmed that the old ways didn’t work at most of the time. Some people chose to stay away from having sex, but it was not actually the women’s choice. Women had been trying so hard to use herbs, plants. Some of them did know about the pills, but they had to keep it secretly, otherwise the other people would think that she was a sunguruba (page 90).
In addition to the marriage and sexuality issues, women in Mali had to face the Reproductive health issues. To be more specifically, when women gave birth to the children, they had to take the risks of death and other health issues. Monique was dead because of giving birth. I was