This panel intent to discuss the mutual aid practices. In the rural areas these practices are established based on the labour exchange. In the urban areas, the need for capital has created new forms of mutual aid. These practices have become the principal way of survival of women and their families.
Analyzing African space, numerous cases are found in which communities have developed social and economic initiatives, based on mutual aid practices. These systems of mutual aid, formed on familiar networks, churches, markets or between neighbours -not in an isolated way, but reciprocally, have become the principal mechanisms of the survival of women and their families. In the rural areas, mutual aid practices are established principally based on the labour exchange, for example the practices of Djunta mon (to work together), Laja kaza (Add concrete to a house) in Cape Verd. In some cases, women are organized according to age, that is the example of Mandjuandadi groups in Guinea-Bissau. In the urban areas, the need for capital to access services and purchase goods has created new forms of mutual aid, adapting original mutual aid practices to include monetary elements, for pragmatic reasons. Due to the difficulty of the vulnerable populations to constitute savings or access formal credit, rotating credit groups, such as Abota, Kixikila, Xitique are the most common practices of mutual aid. These practices are the principal way to respond to risk situations and even to allow an accumulation of basic capital. Until this point mutual aid practices can really develop and sustain a positivity change in the vulnerability of these groups? Not only in the economic sphere but also in the social sphere? This panel intent to discuss the mutual aid practices, especially those used by women in the African space, without disregarding cases that comes for different spaces.