Economics, family size, gender, social status, disease, malnutrition, and poverty all play an important role that makes Mali a different than the United States, but working population.
Economics plays a huge role in the villages and cities of Mali.
Sometimes malnourishment cannot be helped, like in the case of Daouda, because of the loss of the epithelial lining of their intestines, which is what helps digest and absorb nutrients from food (Dettwyler 1994: 2).
Only a few babies are malnourished in every village for certain numbers of years.
These include fetching water out of the wells, gathering and chopping firewood, millet or corn to be pounded, fruits and leaves to be harvested from the kitchen garden, meals to be cooked (three meals a day), the compounds or houses to be swept, and washing their clothes.
They are also in charge of attending to the fires that are used for cooking and also an important economic chore, which is sorting and roasting karite nuts (Dettwyler 1994: 108).These compounds are made of mud bricks and topped with corrugated iron roofs.A misconception that Americans tend to think is these types of housing automatically makes a third-world country and that they are poor; it is true that they are poor, but not in the same way Americans think.A very intense-labor for the women of Mali is making vegetable oil from the karite nuts and not only do they have to spend several weeks collecting the nuts, but also extracting the oil (Dettwyler 1994: 124).In a western society, men are usually the ones who are seen as strong and do intense labor, but in Mali, the men harvest the fields and the women take care of everything else. Anderson 3-7-13 The United States is known for the “American Dream”, the material items, our breakthroughs in medicine, our employment opportunities, etc.These are just some of the things the United States has to offer, but the United States also has a downfall to all of the “good” things in life: we think our way of life is better than everyone else’s, and we often judge other countries, especially Africa, for their way of living.Along with family size, comes gender, and ideas of gender.In a traditional western society, the man was supposed to go to work to support his family and children, whereas in Mali, men and women both help to support themselves and their children. For the women, not only do they have the responsibility of caring for the children, but agricultural responsibilities as well.In the United States, the more children you have, the more you have to provide for, but in Mali, the more children you have measures a man’s status and success, and that’s for each of his wives.The more children you have not only provide those two things, but increases the income of a family because children in Mali, at a young age, may start to work to provide for their mothers and younger siblings.