Prior to the Dutch and British imperialism, women were well treated and appreciated for their roles and purposes in society, however when the Europeans came and left, women were not well cared for and were not treated fairly. Women were treated as if they were second class citizens and their conditions remained the same for a long period of time after the Dutch and British left South Africa.
During the long period of being under imperialist power, South Africa was turned upside down by the Europeans as the Boer (Dutch) and the British took over the country. The country lost its culture, religion, and tribes and it got worse for certain when they left. This shift of power affected the women in the nation in particular because during and after, most of the women were helping with day to day work. When the mother worked in fields, the girls used to work at home and take care of her brothers and sisters. Women still did not have any economic power at this time because it was not common at all for women to have a political position, especially in South Africa when women were never treated with respect. There was an economic impact that did not directly affect women, but still did in a major way. The economic impact was a rise in poverty due to war and no work. This result pushed the women in particular to work more extended hours to make ends meet.
People moved like herds to different placed across Africa and Europe to counter any insurgency or revolt. This war caused poverty, loss of life, oppression of women . Africa was at a juncture which needed raw material to make things for export and transportation. This social and economic structure was crumbling as there was no clear-cut government rule and procedures to follow. Women were easy targets to get things done and move with minimal resistance.South African women and girls had experienced oppression when the Europeans left, as well. Before colonization by the British, they had freedoms and roles and responsibility in the society like men.
Their positions were similar to those of men and were given great respect. British settlement changed the world and functions within that world for all parts of the indigenous society, but women’s roles took the most significant fall. Since men were used to fighting and work as workers, some of them died which resulted in women to take the place of me. Some of the women’s used as slaves. The condition of African women’s crumbled further when the ratio of men fell during war and revolt. When European women’s came into Africa, they treated as superior to African women; this resulted in cheap labor of African women as they needed food to support the family, These women used to work for European women “.” (Walton, secondary).