Essay: African Tribes and Women Rights
While women slaves being held as a trade commodity did not enjoy any close interaction with their master’s family, domestic female slaves were often treated as part of an extended family.
The master of the house often fathered children with them, and they often enjoyed a reasonably comfortable lifestyle when compared with their male counterparts. Apart from helping in domestic affairs, they were also required to assist the family’s business activities by way of working on a farm and/or through other skills. These slaves were kept separate from the male slaves, mostly working on the farm, and their work on the farm was mostly limited to sowing and weeding.
It would be naïve to say that being members of the same gender, women slaves working for a female owner lived in an atmosphere of bonhomie. The treatment that they received at the hands of their owners – male or female – was more often than not determined by the owner’s temperament and the slave’s quality of work, the former being more important of the two.