Gender and Perceptions of Personal Security in Ghana

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master
Title Gender and Perceptions of Personal Security in Ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL and Perceptions of Personal​Security_September 2016.pdf
Peace and security are sine qua non for development; and they are intrinsically linked
to demographic change. People are likely to move out en masses where there is
extremely low personal security, real or perceived. Even in non-conflict societies,
personal security is especially compromised through crime, persecution, domestic
violence and public disorder. Perceptions of personal security determine people’s
participation in social, economic and political activities, and have an impact on their
physiological and psychological wellbeing. Ghana is a typical politically stable country
that had a relatively lower score on personal safety in the 2013 Ibrahim Index of African
Governance, compared with its own score on other indicators of governance. None of
the explanations offered for Ghana’s lower score on personal safety has considered
gender as an important demographic indicator. Men and women perceive crime,
violence and threats differently based on their socialisation, which makes it imperative
that any discourse on personal security takes into account gender dynamics in society.
The system of patriarchy which is endemic in almost every society, coupled with
cultures of masculinity and femininity, play significant roles in the way men and
women perceive their personal security. This study uses a four-item scale from the sixth
edition of the Ghana Living Standards Survey to provide gender-sensitive explanations
for gender differences in the perception of personal security in Ghana. The results are
consistent with existing literature, especially when fear facilitators and fear inhibitors
are introduced into the analysis. Residential arrangements and type of place of
residence, among others, were found to predict perceptions of personal security
significantly. Fear inhibiting factors, like reliable security services and responsive
governance, were found to provide positive associations with perceptions of personal
security, with women responding more positively. The thesis argues that focusing on
improving fear inhibitors can significantly enhance perceptions of personal security of
people, and can reduce gender inequality gaps.

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