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Mobility, Education and Livelihood Trajectories for Young People in Rural Ghana: A Gender Perspective

Citation:

Porter, Gina, Kate Hampshire, Albert Abane, Augustine Tanle, Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Regina Obilie Amoako-Sakyi, Samuel Agblorti, and Samuel Asiedu Owusu. 2011. “Mobility, Education and Livelihood Trajectories for Young People in Rural Ghana: A Gender Perspective.” Children’s Geographies 9 (3–4): 395–410.

Authors: Gina Porter, Kate Hampshire, Albert Abane, Augustine Tanle, Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Regina Obilie Amoako-Sakyi, Samuel Agblorti, Samuel Asiedu Owusu

Abstract:

This paper examines the gendered implications of Africa's transport gap (the lack of cheap, regular and reliable transport) for young people in rural Ghana, with particular reference to the linkages between restricted mobility, household work demands, access to education and livelihood potential. Our aim is to show how mobility constraints, especially as these interact with household labour demands, restrict young people's access to education and livelihood opportunities. Firstly, the paper considers the implications of the direct constraints on young people's mobility potential as they travel to school. Then it examines young people's (mostly unpaid) labour contributions, which are commonly crucial to family household production and reproduction, including those associated with the transport gap. This has especially important implications for girls, on whom the principal onus lies to help adult women carry the heavy burden of water, firewood, and agricultural products required for household use. Such work can impact significantly on their educational attendance and performance in school and thus has potential knock-on impacts for livelihoods. Distance from school, when coupled with a heavy workload at home will affect attendance, punctuality and performance at school: it may ultimately represent the tipping point resulting in a decision to withdraw from formal education. Moreover, the heavy burden of work and restricted mobility contributes to young people's negative attitudes to agriculture and rural life and encourages urban migration. Drawing on research from rural case study sites in two regions of Ghana, we discuss ethnographic material from recent interviews with children and young people, their parents, teachers and other key informants, supported by information from an associated survey with children ca. 9–18 years.

Keywords: school distance, child labour, transport gap, load-carrying, educational access

Topics: Age, Youth, Education, Gender, Girls, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2011

‘Less Able’: How Gendered Subjectivities Warp Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana’s Central Region

Citation:

Garcia, Alicea, Petra Tschakert, and Nana Afia Karikari. 2020. “‘Less Able’: How Gendered Subjectivities Warp Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana’s Central Region.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (11): 1602–27.

Authors: Alicea Garcia, Petra Tschakert, Nana Afia Karikari

Abstract:

Vulnerabilities to climate change and adaptive action vary based on social differences that are bound up in complex power dynamics in any given place, culture, or context. Scholarly interest has shifted from gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation to the socio-political drivers of gendered inequalities that produce discriminatory opportunities for adaptation. This study utilises an intersectional subjectivities lens to examine how entrenched power dynamics and social norms related to gender, as well as age and marital status, galvanise or inhibit capacities to adapt in farming communities of Ghana’s Central Region. Through the use of interviews, focus group discussions, and photovoice sessions, we highlight gendered and intersectional subjectivities, roles, and responsibilities that centre on perceived differences in men’s and women’s strength and power. We then link resulting normative performances of gender to specific barriers to adaptation, such as lack of resources and agency, and demonstrate a pronounced dichotomy as women experience the brunt of these barriers and a persistent power imbalance that positions them as ‘less able’ to adapt than men. Such nuanced assessments of intersectional subjectivities are instrumental in supporting marginalised groups when deliberating and renegotiating inequitable power relations in climate change adaptation. Through repeated efforts at power subversion, emboldened social actors and critical scholars attuned to navigating power differentials can strengthen adaptive capacities and facilitate trajectories toward transformation.

Keywords: agriculture, gendered inequalities, power, (re)negotiation, subjectivities, transformational adaptation

Topics: Age, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene, Gaynor Paradza, and Walter Dachaga. 2019. “Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Land 8 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020022

Authors: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu, Gaynor Paradza, Walter Dachaga

Abstract:

Most literature on land tenure in sub-Saharan Africa has presented women as a homogenous group. This study uses evidence from Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe to show that women have differentiated problems, needs, and statuses in their quest for land access and tenure security. It illustrates how women-to-women differences influence women’s access to land. By investigating differentiations in women’s land tenure in the three countries, the study identifies multiple and somewhat interlinked ways in which differentiations exist in women’s land tenure. It achieved some key outcomes. The findings include a matrix of factors that differentiate women’s land access and tenure security, a visualisation of women’s differentiation in land tenure showing possible modes for actions, and an adaptable approach for operationalising women’s differentiation in land tenure policies (among others). Using these as evidence, it argues that women are a highly differentiated gender group, and the only thing homogenous in the three cases is that women are heterogeneous in their land tenure experiences. It concludes that an emphasis on how the differentiation among women allows for significant insight to emerge into how they experience tenure access differently is essential in improving the tenure security of women. Finally, it makes policy recommendations. 

Keywords: differentiation, gender, land, land access, land rights, land tenure, tenure security, social tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, women's differentiation

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana

Citation:

Doghle, Kizito, Rudith Sylvana King, and Paul Bniface Akaabre. 2018. “Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana.” African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 77–99.

Authors: Kizito Doghle, Rudith Sylvana King, Paul Bniface Akaabre

Abstract:

Denial of women in land entitlements especially in patriarchal societies has been a major development concern in Ghana, resulting in promulgation of legal establishments that seek to enhance equality in access to land. This paper examines the underlying factors for gender inequality in land access and usage despite laws established to bridge the gap. Interviews with land custodians and households in North-Western Ghana revealed the desire to preserve cultural heritage as the primary reason for non-inclusion of women in access rights. The interpretation of these laws also tend to look at all other things except access to land. Further, limited knowledge about the existence of legal establishments that seek to ensure gender equality accounts for the persisting exclusion of women in access to land. Consequently, legal establishments need not only strict enforcement but also sensitization programs if the persisting gender inequality gap in patriarchal societies is to be bridged.

Keywords: land, gender, ownership and access, patriarchal societies, rights and interests, legal establishments, Nandom District, North-Western Ghana

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2018

Changing Gender Roles in Agriculture? Evidence from 20 Years of Data in Ghana

Citation:

Lambrecht, Isabel, Monica Schuster, Sarah Asare Samwini, and Laura Pelleriaux. 2018. “Changing Gender Roles in Agriculture? Evidence from 20 Years of Data in Ghana.” Agricultural Economics 49 (6): 691–710.

Authors: Isabel Lambrecht, Monica Schuster, Sarah Asare Samwini, Laura Pelleriaux

Abstract:

Many stylized facts about women in agriculture have been repeated for decades. Did nothing really change? Is some of this conventional wisdom simply maintained over time, or has it always been inaccurate? We use four rounds of cross-sectional data from Ghana to assess some of the facts and to evaluate whether gender patterns have changed over time. We focus on five main themes: land, cropping patterns, market participation, agricultural inputs, and employment. We add to the literature by showing new facts and evidence for more than 20 years. Results show that stylized facts do not always hold, and that some of these “facts” change over time. We find significant variation in the extent of (changes in) gender discrepancies across themes, different agro-ecological zones, ethnicities, household types, and women’s role in the household.

Keywords: gender, common wisdoms, longitudinal data, feminization of agriculture and resource development process, Ghana

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Land Tenure Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2018

The Question of Gender and Human Security in Africa’s Extractive Industries

Citation:

Andrews, Nathan, and Charis Enns. 2020. "The Question of Gender and Human Security in Africa’s Extractive Industries." In The Palgrave Handbook of African Political Economy, edited by Toyin Falola and Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba, 725-37. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Nathan Andrews, Charis Enns

Abstract:

The growing presence of extractive companies in rural and remote spaces across sub-Saharan Africa has been an important subject of public and academic debate. Yet, these debates have often been ‘gender-free’, neglecting to consider the relationship between the presence of extractive companies and the everyday and structural violence experienced by women in local communities. In this chapter, we argue that the security threats created by intensifying extractive activities in these areas are often gendered. Drawing upon fieldwork data collected in Ghana and Kenya between January 2013 and March 2015, the chapter raises concerns about the lack of adequate policy responses to the gendered implications of resource extraction and associated insecurity, despite growing evidence that extractive activities have differential impacts across gender identities. While many local-level security challenges relating to resource extraction have been elevated into the realm of international security concerns, the real and pressing gendered security threats caused by extractive activities have yet to be widely acknowledged by international actors. Thus, our analysis of the gendered threats to human security created by extractive companies at the local level draws attention to inequalities in the human security agenda at both local and global levels, as well as in both theory and in practice.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Security, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Kenya

Year: 2020

Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana

Citation:

Mensah, Michael, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah. 2020. “Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana.” GeoJournal. doi.org/10.1007/s10708-020-10261-w.

Authors: Michael Mensah, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah

Abstract:

Climate change is projected to have a serious impact on all sectors of the world. The agriculture sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors with implications for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Africa in terms of poverty and food security. Several researches have been carried out on perception and adaptation with a little investigation to unpack the gender differences and how this influence adaptation strategies. This research investigates gender difference and gender-specific adaptation strategies to climate change and variability. A household survey was conducted from August to December 2014 using a pre-tested questionnaire where 150 males and 150 female farmers were randomly sampled from 14 communities within the Bolgatanga Municipality and Bongo district. Results show the existence of gender differences in the adaptation strategies. Both gender groups perceived climatic change and variability but only 49% male and 40% female headed household (HH) have adopted strategies to cope with increasing temperatures while 56% male and 49% female have adapted to decreasing precipitation. On the other hand, 62% male and 60% female HH have adapted to increasing drought spells. The main differences between male and female adaptation strategies are that males prefer to migrate and seek employment in other parts of the country whereas females prefer to engage in off-farm jobs such as trading, basketry and shea-butter processing. The age of farmers, access to extension services, credit, perceived loss of soil fertility, among other factors influenced farmers adaptation strategies. Policy decisions to promote adaptation to climate change and variability should take these factors into consideration.

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, household, gender, Perception

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Characterizing the Vulnerability of Fishing Households to Climate and Environmental Change: Insights from Ghana

Citation:

Koomson, Daniel, Katherine Sian Davies-Vollum, Debadayita Raha. 2020. “Characterizing the Vulnerability of Fishing Households to Climate and Environmental Change: Insights from Ghana.” Marine Policy 120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104142

 

Authors: Daniel Koomson, Katherine Sian Davies-Vollum, Debadayita Raha

Abstract:

Rural coastal communities in the global south are mostly natural resource-dependent and their livelihoods are therefore vulnerable to the impacts of climate and environmental changes. Efforts to improve their adaptive capacity often prove mal-adaptive due to misunderstanding the dynamics of the unique socioeconomic factors that shape their vulnerability. By integrating theories from climate change vulnerability and the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, this study draws upon household survey data from a fishing community in Ghana to assess the vulnerability of fishing households to climate change and explore how their vulnerability is differentiated within the community. The findings suggest that household incomes in the last decade have reduced significantly, attributable to an interaction of both climatic and non-climatic factors. Analysis of the characteristics of three vulnerability groups derived by quantile clustering showed that the most vulnerable household group is not necessarily women or poorer households as expected. Rather, it is dynamic and includes all gender and economic class categories in varying proportions depending on the success or failure of the fishing season. The findings suggest furthermore that the factors that significantly differentiates vulnerability between households differ, depending on whether households are categorised by economic class, gender of household-head or vulnerability group. Consequently, the study highlights the importance of looking beyond existing social categorizations like gender and economic classes when identifying and prioritizing households for climate change adaptive capacity building.

Keywords: Ghana, fishing, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, climate change

Topics: Class, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Climate Change Perceptions and Challenges to Adaptation among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Ghana: A Gender Analysis

Citation:

Assan, Elsie, Murari Suvedi, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Kenneth Joesph Bansah. 2020. “Climate Change Perceptions and Challenges to Adaptation among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Ghana: A Gender Analysis.” Journal of Arid Environments 182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104247

Authors: Elsie Assan, Murari Suvedi, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Kenneth Joseph Bansah

Abstract:

Gender-sensitive climate change adaptation strategies can improve gender equality and women’s development in agrarian communities. This study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods (focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and household surveys) to explore the perspectives of men and women on climate change, including climate change impacts on their farming activities and household well-being, and challenges faced in mitigating climate change impacts. The empirical data showed similarities in climate change perceptions between men and women, and rising temperatures, shortened cropping season, and increasing erratic rainfall as the main climatic stressors. Lack of money and inadequate access to labor among women and inadequate access to extension and old age/poor health among men were the major constraints to mitigating climate change impacts. Integrating gender needs in climate change adaptation planning and intervention development can help build resilient farm households. 

Keywords: climate change perceptions, gender inequality, agriculture, food security

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Jeil, Emmanuel Bintaayi, Kabila Abass, and John Kuumuori Ganle. 2020. “‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana.” Local Environment 25 (4): 320-35.

Authors: Emmanuel Bintaayi Jeil, Kabila Abass, John Kuumuori Ganle

Abstract:

Water shortages may present different and diverse implications for gender subgroups particularly in low-income settings. Yet, little research has documented the gendered livelihood implications of water shortages in Ghana. Based on a cross-sectional mixed method research involving a survey of 250 household heads and complemented with a qualitative study of 86 participants, the paper examines the differential effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli District of Northern Ghana. Our findings suggest that the livelihood effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli area are gendered, with females being disproportionately affected as compared to males. These differential effects are often framed by both gender role differentiation and inequities in access to vital productive resources and critical assets such as bicycles, tricycles and motor bikes. These findings highlight not only the need for local government and non-governmental organisations to step up efforts in water provision, but also to recognise the gendered effects of water shortages in Tatale-Sanguli District. Key to policy is also to ensure that programmatic interventions during water shortages take account of the likely gendered effects and differentiated burdens.

Keywords: gender, livelihood, water supply, Northern Ghana, sporadic

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

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