A young Swahili woman at her shop in the Old Town of Mombasa. In the swahili context, more specifically the old town of Mombasa, women – young or old – do not generally seem to be the weaker, suppressed or passive members of society; nor are they generally regarded as such – even though some Western, and local, preconceptions may regard them so.
People of Old Town: Modern Swahili Woman
Often women are breadwinners in the family, or at least contribute significantly. Particularly younger women in their twenties and thirties seemed economically active, perhaps more so than their male counter parts, many of whom were unemployed and hanging out in the streets. Young women work as saleswomen in small local shops, as business women ( traveling and selling goods ) as secretaries, or even computing instructors giving lessons in local computer centers. (See: Kai Kreese,Philosophising in Mombasa, Knowledge, Islam and intellectual practice on the Swahili Coast)