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Word Count: 2,077
Womens status in Sun community is very high and their influence considerable They maintain a status that is higher than that women in many societies in the world Although women may be nearly equal to men men do seem to have the upper hand There is no prerogative in relation to the important sources of influence in San society Since there is no formal leaders or hierarchies decisions are made on the basis of group consensus Each group has people whose opinion has more weight because of age intelligence charisma knowledge or having ancestors who have lived in the area longer These people tend to be more prominent in group discussions and despite their lack of formal authority they function as group leader Men occupy these positions more often than women but old women especially whose with large families assume such roles However men are the ones who learn foreign languages who attend government meetings and who speak out on behalf of the communityOwnership of water holes is inherited through women as well as men And although possession of water holes is symbolic it gives an important status to women Also women can be healers but men traditionally dominated this sphere of Sans life Most often women use their healing skills in response to the need of a close family member and not in a ritual setting The status and respect that go with being a healer is therefore only minimally available to womenWomen are the main providers of food The food they gather is the majority of the daily diet of their families Their economic activity is an autonomous undertaking Men do not regulate womens schedules do not tell them what food to gather and where to go Also a woman determines how much of her gathering will be given away and to whom From start to finish her labor and its product remain her own control Meat which is considered more valuable
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