newfound independence in African women is changing the African immigrant community in the U.S. Marieme Daff of Women's E News writes of how these women are forging their own lives in America, often without the husbands they previously relied on for support.
African women have usually waited in their homeland while their husbands sought jobs in America or Europe. But the economy has recently left them with no choice but to immigrate themselves.
The experience has turned many African women into the breadwinners of their family, and in doing so they often turn their cultural roles for women to their advantage. "Our traditional cuisine is in high demand among single African males who were brought up with the idea that a man's place is not in a kitchen," says one immigrant-turned-restaurant owner. "They don't even know how to cook an egg, and therefore order daily from places like mine."
And as these women succeed in business, Daff notes, they are also looking at the traditional role of women in a new light. Because they don't have to depend on husbands for financial support, for instance, physical abuse, so common in African culture, is less tolerated in their new home.