A Predetermined Fate the Practice of Arranged Marriages amongst the Soninke People of the Gambia
This research project focuses on the practice of arranged marriages in the Gambia, particularly among the Soninke people who live in the Gambia and elsewhere in West Africa. The rich history of the Soninke people, from the founders of the great Ghanaian empire to a migrating group of people, has had a profound effect on the reasons for the continuation of arranged marriages. Even today, many Soninke women and men living in the Gambia and elsewhere undergo the practice of arranged marriages unwillingly, and many of them face severe consequences if they choose another destiny. Moreover, many Soninke migrating to other countries and continents, including Europe and the United States, have exported this practice. A major portion of this paper will evaluate the etymology of this practice and consider why it continues among the Soninke. To the extent possible using available data, the paper will also assess effects that arranged marriages have on a variety of related social factors, including the psychological state of young girls, infidelity, prostitution, infant mortality, and rising sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates amongst Soninke women.
New York University
Africana Studies, Journalism and Mass Communications
Dr. Alma Gottlieb
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