Rural women

The village woman in Ghana

Upphovsperson: Bukh, Jette
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet | Uppsala : Nordiska Afrikainstitutet; Center for Development Research, Copenhagen
År: 1979
Ämnesord: Ghana, West Africa, Women, Rural women, Education of women, Women's participation, Land tenure, Rural economy, Ethnic groups, Case studies, Social anthropology/ethnography, Socialantrolopologi/etnografi
The difficult position of women in Ghanian society lies both in structures that are manifested through the policy of the state, and in factors that are specific for this society, having their origin in this traditional structure. The relinquishment by the peasants of control over their immediate situation has led to the loss of traditional techniques and distortion of social relations. Money rather than labour claims has become the medium of social interchange. A case study conducted in a village in Ghana is used to illustrate the position of women in a patriarchial society subjected to pressures from various directions. Changes in the traditional agriculture caused by the introduction of cocoa resulted in greater pressure on land used for food production. Together with overcopping and the destruction of forests by charcoal-burners, there has been a general impoverishment of land resources and a reduction of the nutritional value of the crops grown. In 1972 the role of women as food producers began to be recognised and the role of female extension officers has become more important. The disadvantageous position of women in agriculture and in coping with the exigencies of social life is emphasised. The analysis shows how a new type of woman-headed household has emerged. In relation to the male-head the womanhead is always in an inferior situation since she has to cope with subsistence responsibilities at the same time as her access to resources is poorer.