Disadvantages, silences and thriving : the well-being of rural women in the upper east region of northern Ghana

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Disadvantages, silences and thriving : the well-being of rural women in the upper east region of northern Ghana

 

Author: Abbey, Eunice
Title: Disadvantages, silences and thriving : the well-being of rural women in the upper east region of northern Ghana
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Women in rural development -- Africa, West
Rural women -- Africa, West -- Social conditions
Rural women -- Africa, West -- Economic conditions
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 186 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/99102198
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9209
Abstract: The general aim of the study was to look into the well-being of rural women in two selected villages in Builsa District, Upper East Region. Whilst a lot of similar studies have focused on the challenges encountered by women in their highly patriarchal villages, there is a major gap in literature on how they thrived and on the contributions of the men towards their well-being. It is based on this premise that this study went beyond the challenges of the women to examine how they made use of the resources in their environment to enhance their well-being, the perceptions the men had on the well-being of the women and the roles played by the NGOs to this effect. Using the qualitative research method, 22 participants were selected for the study. This included 10 female and 10 male participants from each of the villages as well as 2 workers from the NGOs that operated in the villages. The theory used for the study was Flora and Flora's (2013) Community Capitals Framework. The Findings indicate that factors such as marriage, associations, land, income, special skills in hair dressing and soap making, child birth contribute to life satisfaction and enhance the well-being of women. These were regardless of challenges such as the negative traditional rites of widowhood and witchcraft accusations, lack of formal education, financial constraints and the lack of power and access to reproductive resources. These emphasize the resilience of women and their ability to thrive regardless of their disadvantages and silences. NGOs, through their role in education, financial assistance, and entertainment can have a positive impact on the general well­being of the villagers as a whole. With regard to perceptions, almost all the men still held traditional views that women were meant for the kitchen, marriage, child birth, and needed no formal education. They also did not understand how their actions as men could negatively affect or were connected to the well-being of women. Hence, the need to actively involve them in efforts of promoting the well-being of women. The study revealed the ability of rural women to thrive under their unpleasant living conditions. As postulated by the theory, the findings also showed the presence of various capitals in the villages led to social well-being, a vital economy and a healthy ecosystem. However, the theory failed to capture factors such as the poor utilization and mismanagement of capitals and some of the negative human actions threatening social-well-being, a healthy ecosystem and a vital economy in the area.

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