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Plantations owned by the politico-commercial and new commercial elites have increasingly expanded onto communal lands, displacing existing food crops with cash crops.And within peasant households, men's control of the allocation of household land for export and food crops has led to greater use of land for export crops and the diminution of women's access to land and food crops.
Women have to get the approval of their husband before getting any sort of job offer.
Adapting to this situation, urban women have exploited commercial opportunities in the informal economy, outside of men's control.
They generally conduct business without bank accounts, without accounting records, and without reporting all of their commerce.
In some cases, women have banded together to resist the rising tolls and taxes imposed on them.
Political scientist Katharine Newbury studied a group of Tembo women growers of cassava and peanuts west of Lac Kivu who successfully protested against the imposition of excessive collectivity taxes and market taxes levied on them when they went to market. But a sympathetic local Catholic church, which provided a forum for meetings and assistance in letter writing, was helpful, as was the ethnic homogeneity of the group.
Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have not attained a position of full equality with men, with their struggle continuing to this day.