This article is based on a study conducted in Samé, a squatter settlement on the outskirts of Bamako, capital of Mali. The objective was to observe how individuals and their families ensure health and well-being through organising everyday life in their compounds (the basic housing unit in African cities). The compound is mainly a female living and working space, since women are responsible for the majority of household-maintenance tasks, child care, and care of adults. Attention was focused particularly on the connection between women’s responsibilities and their decision-making power in managing the compound. In addition, the social relationships between landlords and tenants were studied.
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