Kamis, 21 Maret 2013


 A Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report concerning gender inequalities in rural employment in Ghana has established that rural women spend more time on unpaid domestic work and non-agricultural activities than men.

In addition, women are more often self employed than men, an employment status that is often linked to lower earnings and in rural Ghana, while men are five times more likely to take part in paid employment than women.

This was contained in the 2012 World Food Programme (WFP) Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis which highlighted the socio-economic circumstances that make female-headed households more food insecure.

The report, which was collected in April to May, 2012 was put together with the support of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Statistical Service and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Australian Government.

The report further revealed that about 62 per cent of female-headed households fall into the poorest wealth quintile compared to 39 per cent of male-headed households.

Similarly, only 11 per cent of female-headed households reach the wealthiest quintile in comparison with 21 per cent of male-headed households.

Also, the majority of  female heads of which 64 per cent are widows were rising to 80 per cent in the Upper East Region, making the region record the highest percentage of female headed-households.

The report said households headed by widows were likely to experience particular difficulties in accessing food because they lacked access to income earning  sources, such as agricultural labour.

The livelihoods with the largest representation of female headed households were food processing, representing 39 per cent, artisans, 19 per cent, and traders 15 per cent.

The report said although agricultural activities were mostly reflected in male headed households, 56 per cent of female headed households were either agriculturalists or agro-pastoralists.

“It is well documented in many countries that rural women have less access than men to important resources and agricultural inputs such as land, livestock, labour, education, fertilizer and improved seeds,” the report added.

It cited that 74 per cent of female-headed households own livestock compared to 85 per cent male-headed households.

Furthermore, in Ghana, women have previously been found to achieve lower yields compared to men due to a lack of inputs.

Female-headed households also have access to land for farming and they were also more likely to be smallholder farmers with five acres of land or less.

Overall, female-headed households made up 8 per cent of all households across the three regions of northern Ghana, rising to 15 per cent in the Upper East Region.

In the Upper West Region, seven per cent of households were headed by a woman and in the Northern Region, the figure came down to five per cent.

Also, across the three northern regions, 30 per cent of female-headed households were food insecure compared to 15 per cent of male-headed households.

The report said female-headed households in the Upper East Region had the highest prevalence of food insecurity with 38 per cent of the households headed by women facing food insecurity.

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