The Role of Women in Ghana's Economy

Type Book
Title The Role of Women in Ghana's Economy
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
In recent times, the debate on the role of women in societies especially their
participation in economic activity has generated a lot of controversy, with one
side of the debate arguing against increased women participation in all spheres
of economic and social activities on biological and cultural basis, whilst the other
side have argued that a woman’s status in society depends crucially on her
participation in economic and social activities and that the biology of sex does
not confine the woman to the home. Fortunately, in Ghana as in other African
countries, although women’s roles and participation in economic activity have
been defined and shaped along biological and cultural lines, women have actually
made significant strides in all aspects of the Ghanaian economy especially in
the agricultural and service sectors. Presently, more Ghanaian women are now
getting out of their home jobs into paid jobs and are forced to combine their
work at home as homemakers and their jobs outside the home.
This study therefore sets out to investigate the role of women in the Ghanaian
economy especially their participation in economic activities, to identify factors
that hinder their development, to shed light on how women affect and are
affected by policies, programs and projects that are instituted by the government,
domestic and otherwise, how best to take advantage of some of these programs
and policies, and how best to minimize their negative impact on women.
To meet the above objectives, the study basically makes use of secondary data
to qualitatively analyse women’s roles in the three main economic sectors of
Ghana and employs pie and bar charts to illustrate the issues thereof.
The study begins with an introductory note and background that outlines the
rationale, objectives and methodology to be adopted. The second section looks
at the socio-economic characteristics of women in Ghana where the study finds
that although females make up about 51 percent of the Ghanaian population
as at 2000, illiteracy is more prevalent among women than men. The GLSS4
survey for instance found out that twice as many females as males have never
been to school. This among other factors implies that in Ghana more males
have access to education than women. This situation explains why the concentration
of women in skill and knowledge based industries is low, as against the
high concentration of women in the informal private sector employment and
informal self-employment.

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