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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.

11* 2%13

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The Role of Agriculture in the Economic Empowerment of Women in the Ejisu Juaben Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana
Seth ("o+u ,ensah1- .iana /0an 1an+son2 1. /ssistant .evelo"ment !lanning (fficer* /gona 2est ,unici"al /ssem3l4* /gona Swedru* 5hana 2. 6egional !lanning 7o-ordinating 8nit* /shanti 6egional 7o-ordinating 7ouncil* 9umasi* 5hana - E-mail of the corres"onding author: seth.o"o+u;mensah<gm=.com Abstract /griculture has 3een the main "illar of E>isu Jua3en ,unici"alit4?s develo"ment contri3uting to the develo"ment of industr4 and all other sectors of its econom4. 2omen are the most im"ortant actors in food chain 3eginning from "roduction* mar+eting and intra household distri3ution of food as well as other "ost harvest activities. 2omen therefore remain the centre-"iece of food securit4 in the ,unici"alit4. @his notwithstanding* women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 has limited access to resources than their male counter"arts. @hese are in the areas of access to credit* agricultural e=tension services* land* mar+et among others. @he Stud4 found out that all these limit the women?s a3ilit4 to increase their "roductivit4 and hence income. @he Stud4 therefore concludes that there is the need to reconsider issues of land tenure s4stem* access to and control over "roductive resources such as credit and e=tension services. /s these factors com3ine to either enhance andAor restrain their economic em"owerment* the Stud4 "ro"oses that addressing such challenges will in the short to medium and long term im"rove u"on their household* munici"al and national food securit4. Keywords: /griculture* Em"owerment* 2omen Em"owerment* 2omen?s Economic Em"owerment* 2omen in /griculture ! "ntroduction Em"owerment is 3oth a "rocess and an outcome. .e"ending on how it is used* the two are indistinguisha3le. Em"owerment has for the most "art remained rooted in the local communities* in the needs of the B"oorest of the "oor? es"eciall4 women. 2omen?s em"owerment is therefore more than sim"l4 a Bmotherhood? term for develo"ment agencies .esai and !otter* 2%%'#. /ccording to the 5hanaian @imes 2%%6#* 2omen em"owerment concerns itself with giving women the a3ilit4 or o""ortunit4 to 3etter their own lives and societ4 in general. It has nothing to do with com"etition with men 3ut rather "artnering and com"lementing to ensure growth and "ros"erit4 for a nation. Cuvinic 2%%6#* "osited that women em"owerment is not onl4 a holistic conce"t 3ut also multi-dimensional in its a""roach and covers social* "olitical* economic and social as"ects. Dowever* she concludes that of all these dimensions of women em"owerment* economic em"owerment is of utmost significance in order to achieve a lasting and sustaina3le develo"ment of societ4. It is within this framewor+ that there is the urgent need now more than ever in designing "rogrammes aimed at em"owering the lot of women in 5hana to loo+ out for wa4s to channel strategies to "romote their economic em"owerment of women. @here is no dou3t from the forgoing anal4sis that agriculture is +e4 in this res"ect. @he 2%%% !o"ulation and Dousing 7ensus revealed that out of the num3er of women found in 5hana 3etween the active la3our force* 4&.2E are into agriculture and its cognate sectors. @his was attri3uta3le to the fact that traditionall4Aculturall4* women in 5hana are mainl4 res"onsi3le for their household sustenance and well3eing. @o +ee" u" to this tas+ and other social e="ectations* the4 engage in agricultural "roduction. .es"ite the im"ortant role women "la4 in the agricultural sector in 5hana* the4 have much more limited access to agricultural e=tension* credit* land* all of which com3ine to restrain their a3ilit4 to increase their "roductivit4 and incomes and hence* their economic em"owerment. Casicall4* women in 5hana still rel4 on traditional methods of farming as a result of the lac+ of "arit4 in the se= com"osition of the socio-economic activities when it comes to their economic em"owerment. @he need therefore arises to have an in-de"th stud4 into the role of agriculture in "romoting the economic em"owerment of women as well as identif4ing hindrances in the "rocess and how these hindrances can 3e overcome for future "lanning "ur"oses. #! $tudy Area @he geogra"hical sco"e of the Stud4 is the E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4 located in the /shanti 6egion of 5hana as dis"la4ed in Figure 1. It is one of the thirt4 districts in the 6egion. @he E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4 lies within Gatitudes 1o 1$?N and 1o 4$?N and Gongitude 6o 1$?2 and Ho %% 2. @he ,unici"alit4 occu"ies a land area of 63H.2 +m2. It lies in the central "art of the /shanti 6egion sharing 3oundaries with si= districts in the 6egion.

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' %&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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@he districts are Se+4ere East and /fig4a 9wa3re to the Northeast Northeast and Northwest res"ectivel4I the Cosomtwi and /sante /+im South .istricts to the SouthI the /sante /+im North to the East and the 9umasi ,etro"olis to the 2est.

Figure 1: ,a" of E>isu Jua3en ,unici"al /rea Source: E>isu Jua3en ,edium-@erm ,edium .evelo"ment !lan* 2%1%-2%13 2%13 %! Approach and Method @he 6esearch ado"ted an integrative a""roach which com3ined the relevant elements of Jualitative* Juantitative and "artici"ator4 research techniJues. @his was develo"ed 3ased on inter"la4 of des+wor+ and field surve4 in order to o3tain a sam"le "o"ulation to wor+ with and also the right amount of information to su""ort the Stud4. @he 6esearch is an em"irical investigation to understand the issue under stud4. @he a""roach used in this 6esearch was a case stud4 a""roach aimed at offering the o""ortunit4 for in-de"th in de"th stud4 of the "henomenon under investigation. @he 6esearchers made use use of a com3ination of "rimar4 and secondar4 data. @he ma>or sources of data used were however from "rimar4 sources. @he sources of the "rimar4 data were o3tained from field surve4 using instruments such as interview guides* Juestionnaires structured K close se-ended* unstructured o"en-ended* ended* matri= and contingenc4 Juestions#* field o3servation* "ersonal interviews and Focus 5rou" .iscussions F.5s# where necessar4. @he "rimar4 data was o3tained from sources such as individuals and grou"s. Institutional Juestionnaires Jue were administered to 7o-o"erative o"erative for /ssistance and 6elief Ever4where 7/6E# International* 5hana* ,inistr4 of Food and /griculture* the 5hana 7ocoa Coard 7(7(C(.# and the ,unici"al /griculture .e"artment and through +e4 informants? interviews. s. Coth Jualitative and Juantitative data were collected. Secondar4 data was also o3tained from "u3lished documents* re"orts* >ournals* "eriodicals* the internet* maga0ines* news"a"ers* re"orts* national and other relevant state and non-state non institutions that have interest in the agriculture and women economic em"owerment. 7urrentl4* there are an estimated num3er of 12*'44 women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4. ,unici"alit4 8sing that as the sam"ling frame and a confidence level of &%E* 1%% household Juestionnaires were administered to women farmers. &! 'onceptual 'onsiderations 4.1 Gender Approaches in Development Programmes @he changing "erce"tions a3out women and develo"ment have resulted in a gradual shift in the wa4 women are

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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"erceived within develo"mental thin+ing from that of victims and "assive o3>ects to inde"endent actors. /ccording to )igneri and Dolmes 2%%&: 3#* there has 3een the widel4 acce"tance of the increasingl4 im"ortant role of women in 3oth social and economic develo"ment. @his role is however hindered when women lac+ control over "roductive resources and the o""ortunit4 to "artici"ate in decision-ma+ing "rocesses at all levels. 5ender develo"ment a""roaches var4 3ut there has 3een the focus on women control over "roductive resources and the o""ortunit4 to "artici"ate in decision-ma+ing "rocesses at all levels. (ver the 4ears however* issues with gender s"ecific "rogrammes have focused on 2omen in .evelo"ment 2I.#* 5ender and .evelo"ment 5/.# and the Em"owerment /""roach. For the "ur"oses of this Stud4* the Em"owerment /""roach is discussed. 4.1.1 The Empowerment Approach @he Em"owerment /""roach as a 5ender /""roach in .evelo"ment !rogrammes is concerned with the integration of gender1 as a crosscutting issue in develo"ment organisation and in interventions. @his has 3ecome well +nown in the develo"ment field and its cognates as Bmainstreaming?. @he Em"owerment /""roach has 3een associated with the .evelo"ment /lternatives with 2omen for a New Era ./2N#. In the conte=t of em"owerment* ./2N focused on "ersonal autonom4. /ccording to them* autonom4 for women* for the "oor* and for the nations of the develo"ing world means that the4 are a3le to ma+e their own choices in the realms of "olitics* economics and societ4 Sn4der and @adessa 1&&$#. ./2N through the Em"owerment /""roach sees autonomous women?s organisations as the medium through which targeted measures should reach women and that Em"owerment /""roach calls for "artici"ation and see+s to create self-reliance. In this conte=t* em"owerment 3ecomes a "rocess that cannot 3e given to or for women* 3ut has to emerge from them. @his conce"tion of em"owerment as a d4namic* ena3ling "rocess in turn has im"lications for "olitical action and for develo"ment agencies 9aru3i* 2%%6: H&#. It is against this theoretical 3ac+ground that the tone is set for su3seJuent discussions on agriculture and women economic em"owerment in 5hana. @he Stud4 focuses on the agricultural sector which has 3een at the centre stage in recent develo"ment "olicies and agenda. 4.2 Empowerment @he various definitions of em"owerment de"ict 3oth diversit4 and commonalit4. ,ost of the definitions have however focused on issues of gaining "ower and control over decisions and resources that determine the well3eing of one?s life. Inherentl4* it is an ideolog4 endowed with "otential for assisting develo"ment growth* es"eciall4 for women in develo"ing nations 9aru3i* 2%%6: '&#. ./2N sees em"owerment as re"resenting the transformation of "ower relations throughout societ4* increased well3eing* communit4 develo"ment* selfsufficienc4* e="ansion of individual choices and ca"acities for self-reliance. @his definition "erha"s seems to su3stantiate one of the few s"ecific em"owerment definitions that centred on women?s develo"ment i3id#. In a similar manner* 9a3eer 2%%1# defines em"owerment as the "rocess 34 which women ta+e control and ownershi" of their lives through the e="ansion of their choices. It must 3e em"hasised that due to the a3stract nature of em"owerment* some of their e="lanations and usages are outside the sco"e of this stud4. For instance* the 2orld Can+ defines em"owerment as the "rocess of increasing the ca"acit4 of individuals or grou"s to ma+e choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. 7entral to this "rocess are actions which 3oth 3uild the individual and collective assets of the "oor and im"rove the efficienc4 and fairness of the organisational and institutional conte=t that govern the use of these assets 2orld Can+ !overt4 /nal4sis 2%%3#. In addition* the 2%%3 2orld Can+ /nnual 6e"ort and other 2orld Can+ re"orts since the earl4 1&&%s* recognises that em"owerment is ver4 vital to the overall "rogress in develo"ment as it Lensures that all "eo"le have the a3ilit4 to sha"e their own lives 34 "roviding o""ortunit4 and securit4 and fostering effective "artici"ation and social inclusionM ".13#. From the a3ove* em"owerment has a s"ecific focus in women?s develo"ment concerns in the develo"ing countries. @here is the need therefore to e="lore the tenants and focus of women and their economic em"owerment. 4.3 Women Empowerment 2omen em"owerment has 3een identified as a "anacea to "romote gender eJualit4 and "overt4 alleviation among "oor women /n>ali et al.* 2%%$#. ,a4ou= 2%%%# laid out a framewor+ that is useful for develo"ing strategies for women?s em"owerment when she sees em"owerment as a "rocess of change in "ower relations that is 3oth multidimensional and interlin+ed. In addition* most researchers have lin+ed em"owerment to women?s develo"ment. For instance* Dainard and )erschuur 2%%1# see em"owerment as a "rocess of develo"ing negotiating s+ills from the 3ottom u" N to redress uneJual "ower relations and "roduce new develo"ment "aradigms and hence to successfull4 em"ower women. @he4 added that 3oth gender and em"owerment concerns should 3e integrated into ever4 service "rovision area. /dding to this* ,a4ou= 2%%%# asserts that women should 3e incor"orated in the economic* "olitical and social s"heres as well as at the individual* household and communit4 levels in order to overcome gender ineJualit4. In addition* Je>ee3ho4 2%%%# identifies social institutions as highl4 influential in sha"ing a woman?s autonom4. De 3elieves that these

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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institutions should "rovide com"rehensive* direct and conte=t-s"ecific strategies to em"ower women. @hese strategies include creating gender consciousness* ena3ling women to mo3ili0e communit4 resources and "u3lic services* "roviding su""ort to the challenges of traditional norms and "roviding access to vocational and life s+ills to increase women?s access to and control over economic resources. 2omen?s em"owerment is however not an eas4 outcome to measure. @here is therefore the need to go 3e4ond standardi0ed indicators and focus on conte=t s"ecific indicators that refer to social relations. @hese indicators might include factors such as the distinction 3etween individual and collective awareness* increased self-esteem and an anal4sis of grass-roots organi0ations Dainard and )erschuur* 2%%1#. In addition* Dashemi et al.* 1&&6# "osited that the methods used to measure women?s em"owerment in one societ4 can 3e deemed com"letel4 irrelevant in another. @herefore* cultural factors in each societ4 also need to 3e ta+en into account. @a3le 1 shows the various dimensions of em"owerment and "articularl4 focusing on women?s em"owerment. @a3le 1: .imensions of Em"owerment Dimension Household Community Broader Arenas 2omen?s control over 2omen?s access to 2omen?s re"resentation in Economic incomeI relative em"lo4mentI ownershi" of high "a4ing >o3sI women contri3ution to famil4 assets and landI access to creditI 7E(sI re"resentation of su""ortI access to and involvement andAor women?s economic interests control of famil4 resources re"resentation in local trade in macroeconomic "olicies* associationsI access to mar+ets state and federal 3udgets 2omen?s freedom of 2omen?s visi3ilit4 in and 2omen?s literac4 and access SociomovementI lac+ of access to social s"acesI access to a 3road range of Cultural discrimination against to modern trans"ortationI educational o"tionsI !ositive daughtersI commitment to "artici"ation in e=tra-familial media images of women* their educating daughters grou"s and social networ+sI roles and contri3utions shift in "atriarchal norms such as son "reference#I s4m3olic re"resentation of the female in m4th and ritual !artici"ation in domestic Shifts in marriage and +inshi" 6egionalAnational trends in Familial/ Interpersonal decision-ma+ingI control s4stems indicating greater value timing of marriage* o"tions over se=ual relationsI and autonom4 for women e.g.* for divorceI "olitical* legal* a3ilit4 to ma+e later marriages* self selection of religious su""ort for or lac+ child3earing decisions* use s"ouses* reduction in the of active o""osition to# such contrace"tion* access "ractice of dowr4I acce"ta3ilit4 shiftsI s4stems "roviding eas4 a3ortionI control over of divorce#I local cam"aigns access to contrace"tion* safe s"ouse selection and against domestic violence a3ortion* re"roductive health marriage timingI freedom services from domestic violence 9nowledge of legal rightsI 7ommunit4 mo3ili0ation for Gaws su""orting women?s Legal domestic su""ort for rightsI cam"aigns for rights rights* access to resources and e=ercising rights awarenessI effective local o"tionsI /dvocac4 for rights enforcement of legal rights and legislationI use of >udicial s4stem to redress rights violations 9nowledge of "olitical 2omen?s involvement or 2omen?s re"resentation in Political s4stem and means of mo3ili0ation in the local regional and national 3odies access to itI domestic "olitical s4stemAcam"aignsI of governmentI strength as a su""ort for "olitical su""ort for s"ecific candidates voting 3locI re"resentation of engagementI e=ercising or legislationI re"resentation in women?s interests in effective the right to vote local 3odies of government lo33ies and interest grou"s awareness of 2omen?s sense of inclusion Psychological Self-esteemI self-efficac4I 7ollective "s4chological well-3eing in>ustice* "otential of and entitlementI s4stemic mo3ili0ation acce"tance of women?s entitlement and inclusion Source: ,alhotra et al. 2%%2# /ccording to Cuvinic 2%%6#* women em"owerment is not onl4 a holistic conce"t 3ut also multi-dimensional in its a""roach and covers social* "olitical* economic and social as"ects as de"icted in @a3le 1. Dowever* he concludes that* of all these dimensions of women?s em"owerment* economic em"owerment is of utmost 116

Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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significance in order to achieve a lasting and sustaina3le develo"ment of societ4. @his sets the tone for discussions on women?s economic em"owerment. 4.4 Womens Economic Empowerment /ccording to the International Ga3our (rgani0ation IG(# there is a strong lin+ 3etween the vulnera3ilit4 of im"overished women to underem"lo4ment and low returns on la3our* es"eciall4 since most em"lo4ed women are "art of the informal econom4 9essides* 2%%$#. / stud4 conducted in /frica found that &2 "er cent of >o3 o""ortunities for women outside of agriculture were in the informal econom4 i3id#. @his e="oses "oor women to greater financial ris+s* lower standards of human develo"ment and limited access to resources from social institutions. ,an4 other studies have recogni0ed the im"ortance of economic em"owerment of women in im"roving the status of im"overished women. Cuvinic 1&&6# states* Lthe most straightforward vehicle to Bem"ower? "oor women is to increase their "roductivit4 in home and mar+et "roduction and the income the4 o3tain from wor+M. @he IG( has "ro"osed various wa4s for increasing women?s access to land and other assets as strategies to com3at this "ro3lem 9essides* 2%%$#. ,ahmud 2%%3# contends that "roviding securit4 of tenure will encourage more women to use their domestic s"ace for income-generating activities. (ther recommendations include investing in human ca"ital such as training for "roductive em"lo4ment* "roviding financial resources with a focus on credit* e="anding wage em"lo4ment o""ortunities* im"roving social "rotection for female wor+ers and em"owering women through greater organi0ation. Income-generating activities are seen as Lentr4 "oints for channels of communication and vehicles 34 which women can meet their needsM 6ogers and 1oussef* 1&''#. @he4 "rovide effective wa4s to address ineJualities in the areas of health* education and "overt4 alleviation. ,an4 researchers have recogni0ed that im"rovements in health care* nutrition and education can onl4 3e sustained with an increase in household income and greater control 34 women over their financial resources Dashemi* 2%%4#. Economic em"owerment "ro>ects usuall4 focus on income-generating activities* which allow women to inde"endentl4 acJuire their income. Incomegenerating activities encom"ass a wide range of areas* such as small 3usiness "romotion* coo"eratives* >o3 creation schemes* sewing circles and credit and savings grou"s /l3ee* 1&&4#. In all these areas* the active role of agriculture in women economic em"owerment cannot 3e underestimated. 4. Women in Agric!lt!re /griculture for the "ur"oses of this Stud4 ado"ts the definition given 34 the 2orld Can+* Food and /griculture (rgani0ation F/(#* and International Fund for /gricultural .evelo"ment IF/.# 2%%&# as all "roduction* mar+eting* and "rocessing activities related to agricultural "roducts* including cro"s* livestoc+* agroforestr4* and aJuaculture. /gricultural la3our means human efforts in these areasI agricultural wage la3our consists of those activities that are remunerated. /gricultural la3our* given this definition* can ta+e "lace on-farm for e=am"le* agricultural "roduction activities such as "lanting* weeding* harvesting* mil+ing* or fishing# or off-farm for e=am"le* agro "rocessing activities such as cleaning* cutting* "ac+aging* la3elling* or mar+eting#. /griculture is not s4non4mous with the rural sector* although most agricultural activities ta+e "lace in rural areas. /gricultural la3our can 3e un"aid such as on-farm famil4 la3our#* "aid-in-+ind such as 3arter or la3our e=change#* selfem"lo4ed such as mar+eting of one?s own "roduce#. @hree 3# out of ever4 four "oor "eo"le in develo"ing countries live in rural areas* and most of them de"end directl4 or indirectl4 on agriculture for their livelihoods. In man4 "arts of the world* women are the main farmers or "roducers* 3ut their roles remain largel4 unrecogni0ed @he 2orld Can+ 2%%& et al.#. /gricultural "roductivit4 and efficienc4 is limited 34 gender ineJualities and in so doing* undermine develo"ment agendas. Failure to recogni0e the different roles of men and women is costl4 3ecause it results in misguided "ro>ects and "rograms* forgone agricultural out"ut and incomes and food and nutrition insecurit4. It is time to ta+e into account the role of women in agricultural "roduction and to increase concerted efforts to ena3le women to move 3e4ond "roduction for su3sistence and into higher-value* mar+et-oriented "roduction i3id#. /s countries industrialise* total la3our in agriculture has declined and this trend will continue as countries industriali0e. Dowever* over half of all la3ourers worldwide rel4 on the agricultural sector. In su3-Saharan /frica and South /sia* H% "ercent or more of the la3our force wor+s in agriculture. In man4 regions more women than men are em"lo4ed in agriculture. In the ,iddle East* more than twice as man4 women wor+ in agriculture as men and in South /sia* close to one-third more women are wor+ing in the sector than men International Ga3our (rganisation* 2%%6#. ,ost wor+ in agriculture is onerous and the returns are lower than in other sectors. Im"roving the Jualit4 and Juantit4 of >o3s in rural areas and in agriculture* for 3oth women and men* has 3een identified as a means of "romoting economic growth and reducing "overt4 Deint0 2%%6I 2orld Can+ 2%%H#. Increasing la3our o""ortunities and returns for "oor women in rural areas is "ro-"oor and im"roves famil4 and social welfare as increasingl4 evidenced in literature. Increasing women?s earnings and share of famil4 income has 3een shown to em"ower women 34 strengthening their 3argaining "ower in the household. Em"irical

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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evidence shows that women invest more than men in the develo"ment of childrenI thus* higher levels of em"lo4ment and earnings for women not onl4 contri3ute to current economic growth 3ut also have intergenerational im"lications as shown in Figure 2. / glo3al increase in women-headed households* which are asset-"oor* heightens the im"ortance of im"roving em"lo4ment o""ortunities to reduce "overt4. @he contri3ution of women?s wor+ to famil4 and societ4 is significant* through their "roductive and re"roductive rolesI however* if the Juantit4 and Jualit4 of that wor+ are "oor or if the4 reinforce "atriarchal gender "ractices* the negative effects on their health and that of their children can attenuate the develo"ment im"act. 1et* to the e=tent that the em"owerment of women is an end in and of itself* res"onsi3le em"lo4ment for women can increase confidence* "romote "artici"ation in communit4 activities* and contri3ute to a "erce"tion on the "art of women of a 3etter life )argas-Gundius* 2%%H#.

Figure 2: 6elationshi" 3etween 2omen Ga3our Force !artici"ation GF!#* !overt4* and Economic 5rowth Source: /do"ted from ,orrison* 6a>u* and Sinha 2%%H It is estimated that the agricultural wor+force in the world is around 1.1 3illion* of which 4$% million are estimated to 3e hired farm wor+ers Durst* @ermine* and 9arl 2%%$#. @he growing "ro"ortion of women in the la3our force has 3een one of the most stri+ing trends of recent times. @his trend has led to a large 3od4 of literature de3ating on the Lfemini0ationM of la3our mar+ets @he 2orld Can+ et al.* 2%%&: 31H#. /ccording to the 2orld Can+ et. al* 2%%&* women re"resent a larger "ro"ortion of la3ourers than men in the agricultural sectors of /sia* su3-Saharan /frica and the ,iddle East and North /frica. 2omen also dominate in some 7ari33ean and 7entral /merican countries* es"eciall4 in economies with low "er ca"ita income. Dowever* irres"ective of the increased "ro"ortion in agricultural wage la3our mar+ets for women* it still lags 3ehind that of men in all regions. / further regional data are "resented in @a3le 2.

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Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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@a3le 2: 6egional 7haracteristics and 9e4 Issues of 2omen?s /gricultural Ga3our 'haracteristics of women(s Key "ssues for women(s Agricultural labor force agricultural labor 'entral and $outheastern Europe Gow "ercentage of men and 6ural "roductivit4 low )non*E+, and 'ommonwealth of women in agriculture* 3ut high Ga3our legislation not enforced "ercentage of women vs. men 2omen not included in "ndependent $tates )'"$, Em"lo4ment to "o"ulation ratios: Formal mar+et stronger in most agricultural "roductivit42omen: 4$.6EI men: 63.'E countries enhancing "rograms* such as 2or+ing women in agriculture 2age ineJualities in formal mar+et training 2%%H#: 1&.2E 1oung women?s em"lo4ment to 2or+ing women in wage >o3s 2%%H#: "o"ulation ratio higher than for H'.$E 4oung men 7onsidera3le varia3ilit4 across 2omen?s em"lo4ment -atin America and the 'aribbean Em"lo4ment to "o"ulation ratios: countries o""ortunities in rural and ur3an 2omen: 4H.1EI men: H3.HE Digh on-farm la3or some areas low (ccu"ational segregation 2or+ing women in agriculture countries# 2%%H#: 1%.HE Gow ratio "artici"ation in Social "rotection for women in 2or+ing women wage and salaried agriculture in com"arison to men?s growing informal agricultural >o3s 2%%H#: 64.6E "artici"ation la3our mar+ets 5rowing women?s informal la3or mar+et "artici"ation Digh rates of occu"ational segregation Gowest women?s em"lo4ment Gow "roductivit4 of on-farm .orth Africa Em"lo4ment to "o"ulation ratios: levels of all regions la3our 2omen: 21.&EI men: 6&.1E (nl4 region where women?s Deav4 household la3or 3urdens 2or+ing women in agriculture em"lo4ment in agriculture Social constraints to mar+et wor+ 2%%H#: 32.6E increased Gimited access to nonagricultural 2or+ing women wage and salaried 2age la3or concentrated in ur3an em"lo4ment >o3s 2%%H#: $'.4E areas ,ore women in rural areas than men due to migration Digh "ercentage of women as onfarm la3or 2omen res"onsi3ilit4 for small livestoc+ Source: International Ga3our (rganisation 2%%'I 2orld Can+ 2%%H Region /! Results and 0iscussion .1 Agric!lt!re Activities in the "!nicipalit# /griculture dominates the local econom4 34 the "re"onderance of the num3er of the "eo"le it em"lo4s. @he Sector em"lo4s $$.6E of the total em"lo4ed la3our force. 2hile a3out 'H.2E of the "eo"le engage in agriculture as full-time and "art-time em"lo4ments have their farms located within the ,unici"alit4* onl4 12.'E have their farms located outside the ,unici"alit4. .1.1 $rops Prod!ction @he ma>or cro"s cultivated in the ,unici"alit4 include food cro"s - mai0e* "lantain* cassava* rice* coco4am and vegeta3les and tree cro"s - cocoa* oil "alm and citrus. @a3le 3 shows the out"ut of the various cro"s in tons "er season. /lthough cro" farming in the ,unici"alit4 is not done in large Juantities* most of the food cro"s grown are mainl4 sold for income and the rest consumed 34 the households. Few of the agricultural "roduce are "rocessed: 7assava into gariI mai0e into corn dough and oil "alm into "alm oil and "alm +ernel oil. @he tree cro"s are however grown mainl4 for commercial "ur"oses. 7ro" "roduction in the ,unici"alit4 is de"endent on rainfall. Casic farm tools such as cutlass and hoes are used. @hese certainl4 do not "romote and encourage large-scale "roduction for commercial "ur"oses. @o overcome this* there is the need to ado"t and intensivel4 mechani0ed agriculture. .1.2 %ivestoc& Prod!ction /nimal Dus3andr4 activities range from large through small to domestic +ee"ing of "oultr4* goats* shee"* cattle and "igs with their total stoc+ shown in @a3le 3. /3out '%E of animals are +e"t under the semi-intensive s4stem where the animals are allowed to forage out of their +ee"ing "laces and return indoors later. /ll commercial 11&

Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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"oultr4 +ee"ers however use the intensive s4stem of "roduction. @a3le 3: ,a>or 7ro"s 5rown and their (ut"ut "er Season @ons# in the ,unici"alit4 and @o" @en /nimals 6eared in the ,unici"alit4 'rop 1roduction -i2estoc3 1roduction ype o! Crop "utput per Season # ons$ ype o! Animal otal Stoc% ,ai0e $*4%% Shee" '*%&H !lantain 32*3%% 5oats &*'42 7assava '1*2%% !igs 11*1%% 6ice 1*632 !oultr4 local 11'*1&' 7oco4am 16*66% !oultr4 e=otic $%1*%%% 1am 4*$6% 7attle 1*4%% 7ocoa 2*$%% .uc+ 1H'4 (il "alm 22*1%%.11 @ur+e4s &2 7itrus 16*&H%.$4 6a33it $6 !e""er $2.H 5uinea fowls 12H3 Source: ,oF/* E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4* 2%11 .1.3 '!mmar# o( "a)or Agric!lt!ral Prod!ce in the "!nicipalit# @he ma>or agricultural "roduce and their "ercentage "roduction in the ,unici"alit4 are: Food 7ro": $3.%E @ree 7ro": 2$.$E Industrial 7ro": 1.$E !oultr4AGivestoc+ Farming: 1&.$E Non-traditional Enter"rise: %.$E *+,- *on.traditional enterprise incl!des ,lac& Pepper/ Pineapple/ ,ee&eeping/ "!shroom/ Grass c!tter and 'nail rearing. .2 0arming '#stems @he ma>or farming "ractice in the ,unici"alit4 is mi=ed farming &%.1E of the farmers#. 2hilst the farmers cultivate food and tree cro"s* livestoc+ and "oultr4 are also +e"t in the 3ac+4ard as a su""lementar4 source of food and income. @he remaining &.&E of the farmers "ractice mono cro""ing. 7onsidering the farming s4stems* 3ush fallowing* which is a s4stem where34 a land is left for a "eriod of time to regain its fertilit4 is 3eing "ractice 34 4'.$E of the farmers. @he length of fallow "eriod has 3een drasticall4 reduced due to the growing "o"ulation and the increasing demand for lands for uses other than agriculture. 7ontinuous cro""ing is "racticed 34 a3out 4$.$E of farmers. @his has resulted in loss of soil fertilit4 and adversel4 affected out"ut levels. @he remaining 6E of the farmers "ractice cro" rotation. .3 Estimated Agric!lt!ral %and Area /griculture land area in the ,unici"alit4 is estimated to 3e 1'%*&31 hectares. /rea under /nnual 7ro"s: H6*26$ Da /rea under @ree 7ro"s: 3'*113 Da /rea under Fallow: 6%*3&3 Da /rea under Forest: 6*16% Da .4 %and 1wnership 2%and Ten!re3 Gand acJuisition is also another issue of im"ortance to women agricultural activities in the ,unici"alit4. @here are 3asicall4 three forms of land acJuisitions in the ,unici"alit4. @hese are famil4 inheritance#* self or 34 leaseAhiring. Ouite a significant "ercentage $4.$E# of the farmers use famil4 lands. @hose who own the land "ersonall4 follow this. @he4 constitute 2'.'E of the farmers. @he rest 16.$E# resort to the last o"tion* which is 34 leaseAhiring. @he increasing "ressure on land for 3oth agricultural and non-agricultural "ur"oses has resulted in land fragmentation and the resultant smaller farm si0es over the 4ears. @his situation has also im"eded largescale commercial "roduction. . Average 0arm %and @he average farm si0e in the ,unici"alit4 is as low as 1.& acres "er farmer. @his is far 3elow the national average of $ acres "er farmer. @he result is the smaller farm si0es that have in turn affected "roduction and conseJuentl4 income and therefore the standard of living of the farmers. $.6 2omen in /griculture in the E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4 @he woman is said to 3e the 3ac+3one of agricultural wor+force as well as the most im"ortant factor in the food chain which 3egins from farm "roduction* mar+et and intra household distri3ution of food. 2omen in most societies "la4 a crucial role as food "roducers* "roviders and managers. 2omen farmers contri3ute immensel4 to agriculture in their ca"acit4 as farm owners* farm "artners and farm la3ourers. 12%

Journal of Environment and Earth Science ISSN 2224-3216 !a"er# ISSN 222$-%&4' (nline# )ol. 3* No.11* 2%13

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In times "ast women in agriculture were largel4 considered as farmers? wives and therefore their contri3ution to the Sector were to a considera3le e=tent neglected. Dowever* women are now recogni0ed as more than >ust wives of farmers 3ut also as farmers* farm la3ourers* food "rocessors and distri3utors. @hus* women "la4 a multifaceted role in agriculture. (ut of the total women "o"ulation in the ,unici"alit4 who are active em"lo4ed* 64E are a3sor3ed 34 the agricultural sector. @he num3er of women who are found in the agricultural sector is as a result of the fact that it is a ma>or source food to feed the household and also generate some form of income to su""ort the famil4. @he ma>or cro"s that the women in the ,unici"alit4 grow are mai0e* "lantain* cassava* coco4am and some vegeta3les li+e "e""er* tomatoes* o+ro and garden eggs. Some of the women also cultivate some cash cro"s li+e cocoa and oil "alm. / few of the women es"eciall4 those in No3ewan also cultivate rice. @he women also rear livestoc+ to "rovide a source of "rotein for the famil4. @he women in the agricultural sector are also involved in some form of commerce in terms of the sale of their cro"s to middlemen from 9umasi the 6egional 7a"ital# and /ccra the National 7a"ital#. @he4 are also into the "rocessing of their cro"s in order to add value to them. @his "rocessing comes in the form of dr4ing e=am"le cassava into +on+onte dr4ing the cassava and milling into flour# and oil "alm into "alm oil. .4 Women Agric!lt!ral Activities in the "!nicipalit# @he rural nature of the ,unici"alit4 cou"led with the high illiterac4 rate among the sam"led women was the main reason for their massive involvement in agriculture. @he4 are usuall4 involved in sowing* weeding* harvesting and in later cases "rocessing farm "roduce. 2hen interviewed* the married woman asserted their much concern for their families in terms of "roviding their food needs cou"led with the rising cost of food are their motivation for sta4ing in agriculture. @his wa4* the4 are alwa4s assured of the food needs for their families even in the lean season. @he4 again "osited that the4 are a3le to sell "art of their "roduce to earn income to underta+e other activities. @his is "articularl4 so during 3um"er harvest. ,ostl4* the res"ondents were not involved in an4 other occu"ation aside agriculture as their main activit4. @he surve4 revealed that the women are engaged in two main agricultural activitiesI namel4* cro" farming &4.&E#* animal farming 1.%2E# with 4.%'E are engaged in 3oth activities. Some of the cultivated cro"s are mai0e* "lantain* cassava* coco4am* rice* 4am* cocoa* oil "alm* citrus and vegeta3les li+e garden eggs* o+ro and "e""er. It was again evident that the women cultivate these cro"s 3ecause of the t4"e of soil found in the ,unici"alit4. @he .irector at 2omen in /gricultural .evelo"ment 2I/.# added that the "re-cam3rian roc+s of the Cirimian and @ar+waian formations found in the ,unici"alit4 are generall4 suita3le for agriculture activities and "articularl4 for the a3ove listed cro"s. In their "roduction activities* the women resort to the use of sim"le farm tools such as cutlasses* hoes* a=es* "ic+ a=es and mattoc+s. @he women lamented that in as much as the4 are aware of the limitations in the use of such sim"le farm tools* the4 have no other o"tion due to the high cost of going into mechani0ed farming and the e="ertise that is needed to manage and maintain such form of farming eJui"ment. @he women rel4 on la3our to cultivate their cro"s. @his is as a result of the nature of agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 and the wor+load that it comes with. 8suall4* the women who are involved in large-scale "roduction hire la3our to hel" them in the stages of tilling the land* "lanting the cro"s and ultimatel4 during harvesting. @his is mostl4 associated with the "roduction of cash cro"s. It 3ecame evident during the surve4 that onl4 34.HE of the women "rocess their cro" "roduce either for consum"tion or for sale. @he women usuall4 "rocess cassava into +on+onte2* mai0e into corn dough for ma+ing +en+e42 and 3an+u2 and rice is "rocessed into "olished rice. @he low "ercentage of women who engage livestoc+ "roduction asserted that the4 are onl4 a3le to rear animals that the4 can easil4 manage from their homes. Such animals include shee"* goats and "oultr4. @he animals are usuall4 sold to generate e=tra income to su""ort the little the4 get from the cro" farming. In some cases* the4 are consumed at home and serve as a source of "rotein for their families. @he women said that the free-range s4stem of the livestoc+ "roduction does not hel" in largescale animal rearing which the4 do not have the funds to go into. @he animals on the free-range therefore stra4 and sometimes do not return home whiles others sometimes eat "oisonous "lants that eventuall4 +ill them. @he 4.%'E who are involved in 3oth "roduction s4stems saw it as a convenient wa4 of farming as the4 are a3le to earn income from 3oth sources. /gain* the4 are a3le to meet their food needs from their farms without having to s"end the little the4 earn on 3u4ing from different sources. In that wa4* the4 3ecame self reliant in terms of meeting their food need. @his was corro3orated 34 one the res"ondents who asserted that: 56 am a7le to prepare and serve m# ho!sehold (rom m# own (arm. The onl# thing 6 sometimes do is to 7!# (ish. 6 am there(ore a7le to save some more (rom the little 6 earn to cater (or m# (amil#8. .9 'torage 0acilities @he surve4 anal4sis revealed that the women have "ro3lems storing their "roduce and the situation is com"licated during 3um"er harvest. @his has resulted in high rate of "ost-harvest loses in the ,unici"alit4. @he women either store their "roduce at home or in storerooms. @he H2.H2E who store their "roduce at home store in

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their +itchens. @hose who store in their +itchens were aware of the dangers of losing their "roduce in case it catches fire in the 9itchen 3ut "osited the4 have no o"tion. @he situation forces the women to sell their "roduce at chea"er "rices. @he4 therefore called for efforts to construct storage facilities in their communities so the4 can store their "roduce and sell when "rices are high in other to ma+e e=tra gains. @he remaining 2H.2' who have access to storage facilities are those who are involved in commercial cash cro" "roduction and can afford to "a4 for "ro"er storage facilities. For instances* the women who are involved in the "roduction of rice have access to the government stores in the ,unici"alit4. @he Jua3en chief also has a storeroom where "alm nuts are stored. .: "ar&eting o( Agric!lt!ral Prod!ce ,ar+eting of agricultural "roduce forms a ver4 im"ortant com"onent in the agriculture "roduction c4cle. @he c4cle is onl4 com"lete when "roduce gets to the final consumers. 6oads conditions lin+ing the farms to the mar+ets are in de"lora3le states and there34 ma+ing it difficult to trans"ort agricultural "roduce. @he de"lora3le state of these roads cou"led with inadeJuate storage facilities accounts for high "ost-harvest loses in the ,unici"alit4. @o guide against this* the women farmers are forced to sell their "roduce at chea"er "rices to avoid loses. .1; "ar&et Accessi7ilit# ,ar+eting of agricultural "roduce 34 women in the ,unici"alit4 is highl4 unorgani0ed. @here are two ma>or wa4s that the women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 are a3le to mar+et their goods. @he first is through the middlemen. @he middlemen come in the form of traders who move from the cities to 3u4 the farm "roduce directl4 from the women on their farms. @hese middlemen ta+e advantage of the "oor state of the roads lin+ing the farms to the mar+et centres and 3u4 the "roduce at chea"er "rices. @he situation is worsened in the rain4 season when the roads are not motora3le. @he second availa3le o"tion is when the women themselves ta+e the "roduce to the mar+et centres. @he women who want to sell their "roduce at current mar+et "rices and as such resort to this o"tion com"lained of drivers charging e=or3itant fares due to the low "assenger-vehicular ratio in the villages as well as the "oor nature of the roads. @here are other farmers who ado"t 3oth media. @he women who use this o"tion com"lained in one voice as "resented in Co= 1: Co= 1 2hen we do not have the fare to trans"ort our "roduce to the mar+eting centres ourselves* we "refer to sell them in mar+ets in our villages rather than 3eing cheated 34 middlemen who do not +now the stress we went through onl4 to cheat us and en>o4 from our la3our. 2e are aware this denies us the o""ortunit4 to ta+e advantage of mar+ets o""ortunities that e=ist in other 3igger mar+ets within the 6egion 3ut we want it that wa4. Source: Field Surve4* Januar4 2%12 @he ma>or mar+ets availa3le to the women farmers include the 9onongo mar+et* E>isu mar+et* 7entral mar+ets in 9umasi and /ccra. In trans"orting their "roduce to such mar+ets* 2&.$E of the women use middlemen* 22.$E directl4 trans"ort their "roduce to the mar+et while 4'.%E use 3oth media. 4! 'ontribution of Agriculture to Women Economic Empowerment @he surve4 anal4sis revealed that women in the ,unici"alit4 engage in agriculture for varied reasons. @he most "rominent reason from the res"onses was their need to earn financial resources to ta+e care of the famil4 and also ta+e care of their food as well as other "ersonal needs. @he interactions as well "ersonal o3servation during the field wor+ "ointed to the fact that agriculture has done Juite a lot of good to the women 34 hel"ing them to have some form of economic freedom and also meeting their 3asic needs. /griculture?s contri3ution to women economic em"owerment in the ,unici"alit4 is discussed as follows. <.1 6ncomes (rom Agric!lt!ral Activities @he rural nature of the sam"led communities* the high illiterac4 rate among the sam"led women as well as their lac+ of s+ills ma+ing them occu"ationall4 immo3ile were found to 3e the main reasons of their involvement in agriculture. @he women therefore de"end on agriculture as the onl4 availa3le means to meet their livelihood. It also 3ecame evident from the surve4 that the women have no other occu"ation ma+ing agriculture their onl4 source of em"lo4ment. (ne ma>or limitation of the Stud4 was the ina3ilit4 of the women to accuratel4 "rovide information on their incomes and e="enditure. @he4 were however a3le to "rovide how much the4 earn on the average "er 4ear as de"icted in @a3le 3.3 and how the incomes are e="ended as e="anded in item 3.12. /gain* the high illiterac4 among the women has resulted in their ina3ilit4 to +ee" "ro"er records of their 3usiness transactions.

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@a3le 4: Income earned 34 2omen in /griculture "er 1ear A&"'( #)H5$ PE*CE( A)E -&& $.1 1%%-3%% 16.3 3%1-6%% 32.H 6%1-&%% 1H.3 P&%1 2'.6 Total 66 Source: Field Surve4* Januar4 2%12 2ith a dail4 minimum wage of 5DQ 4.4' in 5hana* the minimum income "er 4ear in 5hana is 5DQ 1*612.'%. @he surve4 anal4sis as de"icted in @a3le 4 shows that the women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 earn less than average 4earl4 income in 5hana. @his accounts for the high level of "overt4 among the women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4. @hese women are not a3le to meet their 3asic needs from the "revailing mar+et "rices of goods and services. @he "light is worsened as the4 have no other source of em"lo4ment to earn e=tra income from the little the4 get from agriculture. (nl4 36.4 "ercent of the women res"onded as having other form of em"lo4ment. @hese em"lo4ment sources are however related to their agricultural activities either in the form of commerce selling their agricultural "roduce themselves in the mar+eting centres# or industr4 "rocessing their agricultural "roduce#. @he women are usuall4 involved in the cultivation of food cro"s li+e cassava* coco4am among others. @hese cro"s do not have high "rices and as such the current situation. @he 2'.&E of the women who earn more than 5hR &%% are usuall4 involved in the cultivation of cash cro"s li+e cocoa and oil "alm. @he current situation does not ma+e agriculture attractive to the 4outh in the ,unici"alit4. @he 4outh see agriculture as occu"ation not for "eo"le who want to succeed in life. @his mentalit4 has 3een frustrating 7/6E International 5hana?s efforts at training the 4outh in small-scale farming in the ,unici"alit4 as lamented 34 its "ro>ect facilitator. <.2 =ses o( Earnings+ 6ncome @he women asserted the little the4 earn from the sale of their "roduce gives them some amount of financial autonom4 at the household and communit4 levels and thus em"owering them economicall4. @heir incomes are used to su""lement food 3udget* invest in their children?s education and health as well as contri3uting to communit4 develo"ment. <.3 6nvestment in >ealth /3out 26.$E of the res"ondents were widowed and11.3E divorced. @hese women have the sole res"onsi3ilit4 of investing in the health of the de"endents and themselves. @he 62.2E who are married also res"onded as contri3uting to the health needs of their de"endents. @his the4 do 34 "urchasing drugs or settling the hos"ital 3ills of their de"endents. 2hen as+ed a3out their +nowledge of the National Dealth Insurance Scheme NDIS#* all res"ondents have one form of +nowledge or other a3out it and the4 res"onded contri3uting in "a4ing the "remium of famil4 mem3ers. <.4 6nvestment in Ed!cation @he women again asserted that the4 are at the forefront when it comes to educating their children es"eciall4 the single "arents the divorcees and the widowed#. @he mone4 earned from the sales of the "roduce is often used to meet the cost of their children education. Even though the women did not have the "rivilege of higher education* the4 as"ire to see their children go higher on the educational ladder. @he4 are therefore involved in covering 3oth the overt and covert costs of their wards education with sometimes the men "la4ing ver4 little or no role. <. Ac?!isition o( Personal Assets and "eeting other "aterial *eeds 2ithout de"ending on their hus3ands* the women are a3le to acJuire for themselves some "ersonal assets. @he4 have 3een a3le to use their incomes to "urchase their own farm. @he women were however not ha""4 a3out the fact the4 have not 3een a3le to acJuire 3igger "ro"ert4 li+e their own houses 3ecause the4 earn little from their activities of which "art andAor all is used to cater for the food* education* health and material needs of their families. @he women are again involved in other social e="enditures such as funerals* church contri3utions* communit4 develo"ment levies as well as "a4ing ta=es. <.< 6nvestment in 0amil# 0ood ,!dget 2omen alwa4s "a4 "articular attention to the well3eing of their families. @his is much more so when it comes to meeting the food needs of their families. @he married women asserted that their hus3ands have entirel4 left the food needs of the famil4 into their hands. @heir hus3ands even loo+ u" to them to "rovide the food needs of the famil4 without adding an4thing most of the time. @his the4 are a3le do with the "roduce from their farms. 2hen the need arises* the4 are a3le to 3u4 the food items the4 cannot get on their farms from the little the4 earn. From all the a3ove anal4sis* im"roving women agricultural activities is a "otential area for their economic em"owerment. 2hen given the needed su""ort* women in agriculture in the E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4 can achieve income securit4 and its attended investment of the women and there34 em"owering economicall4. 123

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7! 8ther Economic and .on*Economic 9enefits 4.1 Participation in Decision."a&ing 2omen engagement in decision ma+ing at the famil4 level in most homes in 5hana is minimal. @his is seen as the sole res"onsi3ilit4 of men who are generall4 considered head of households and as such have the final sa4 in an4 decision-ma+ing on famil4 issues. @he woman?s contri3ution is often seen as intangi3le. /t the communit4 level* women involvement in decision-ma+ing is often missing in the 7ountr4. It is even a ta3oo in some communities for women to sit with men to deli3erate on issues of communit4 develo"ment. @heir "lace is in the +itchen while the men meet and ma+e all the decisions affecting the communit4. @he surve4 however "roved otherwise. @he massive income contri3ution of women at the famil4 level has made it "ossi3le for them to have a sa4 at famil4 level decision ma+ing. @he4 are involved in discussing issues such as children?s education* marriage* famil4 "lanning and deli3erations on famil4 "ro"ert4 among others. @he women agreed that this has 3een "ossi3le as the4 contri3ute to the u"+ee" of the famil4. @he men therefore have no o"tion than engage them in all ma+ing-decisions "rocesses. @he women active involvement in famil4 level decision-ma+ing due to their modest economic em"owerment has culminated in them having a voice at the communit4 level. @he women agreed that their contri3ution to communit4 develo"ment through the "a4ment of their develo"ment lev4 warrants their involvement in communit4 level decision-ma+ing. @he4 therefore have the right to attend communit4 meetings in order to e="ress their views concerning the develo"ment of their area. @hese women now have leadershi" roles in their famil4* churches and the communit4 at large. No matter the magnitude and dimension of the issues at sta+e* the women now have a sa4 as the4 3elieve the4 are now outs"o+en and courageous enough for that. @his the4 3elieve was made "ossi3le due to their economic em"owerment. 4.2 $ontri7!tion to $omm!nit# Development 2omen in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 contri3ute either in +ind or in cash to the develo"ment of their communities. @he surve4 anal4sis revealed that the women are in one wa4 or other a3le to su""ort their communities to 3ring a3out develo"ment. It was o3served that 66.HE of the women interviewed were a3le to su""ort or contri3ute to the develo"ment of their communities financiall4. @his contri3ution comes in the form of communit4 donations or fundraising and communit4 levies. @he women are again a3le to offer themselves during communal la3our and in some cases a3le to "rovide food during communal la3our. @he women are again a3le to contri3ute their Juota in no small wa4 during festivals and communit4 dur3ars. 4.3 'el( Esteem/ '!((icienc# and @espect Self Esteem and res"ect are some of the ma>or non-economic 3enefits that the women have acJuired through the returns from their agricultural activities. For instance* in the communities* mothers who are a3le to cater for the educational* health* food and other material needs of their famil4 are seen as 3eing res"onsi3le "arents. @heir incomes also ena3le them to "erform other social res"onsi3ilities which earn them res"ect from the other mem3ers of the societ4. /gain* the women are a3le to "rovide for themselves without de"ending on others for su""ort. @he women therefore do not de"end on their hus3ands or other e=ternal famil4 mem3er for financial and material su""ort. @he4 said that the returns the4 generate from their activities hel" them finance "ersonal and famil4 e="enses as well as "a4ing for social services li+e education and health care. @his has hel"ed them to 3ecome self sufficient and there34 gaining self esteem and res"ect in their various communities. 4.4 Economic %i7eration+ 6ndependence @he women in the ,unici"alit4 who are engaged in agriculture said the4 are at li3ert4 to +ee" and use their incomes devoid of an4 influence. From the surve4* &3.&E of the women agreed to en>o4ing economic inde"endence. @he women decide what to do with their incomes which are usuall4 s"ent on food e="enditure* investing in education and health. @he women again asserted that "art of their incomes are used as seed mone4 for other investments es"eciall4 in investing in their agricultural activities. @his gives the women inde"endence and financial autonom4 and su3seJuentl4 economic em"owerment. :! Major 'hallenges or 'onstraints to Women Agriculture 0e2elopment Notwithstanding the a3ove 3enefits that women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 en>o4* their activities are still confronted with a num3er if challenges as ela3orated 3elow. 9.1 Poor 0arming Practices (ne ma>or challenge the surve4 anal4sis identified is the "oor farming "ractice used 34 the women in the ,unici"alit4. @he4 still use sim"le and o3solete farm tools as well as traditional farming methods. @he women use hand tools li+e hoes* a=es and cutlasses. @hese farming "ractices do not encourage large-scale agricultural "roduction. @his was identified as the main reason of their low 4ields and its associated low incomes. @he continuous farming on the same "iece of land cou"led with their ina3ilit4 to fertilise the lands also affects their 4ield.

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9.2 'easonalit# o( Activities @he agricultural activities in the ,unici"alit4 are mostl4 seasonal. Farming is not done all 4ear round 3ecause of the t4"e of cro"s that are cultivated in the area. 7ro"s li+e mai0e* cassava* "lantain and even cocoa are not availa3le all 4ear round. @his ma+es it ver4 difficult for the women to get constant flow of income. /s the women solel4 de"end on agriculture for their livelihood* the4 are adversel4 affected during lean season. /gain* due to their "oor saving ha3its* the4 are ver4 much hit during such "eriod. @here is alwa4s food insecurit4 in man4 homes during such "eriods with meals usuall4 served once a da4. 9.3 The Di((ic!lt *at!re o( the Wor& /gricultural activities in the ,unici"alit4 are mostl4 la3our intensive. @he women therefore hire la3our to hel" them on their farms. @his adversel4 affects their incomes with reference to their out"uts and "rices the4 get from the sale of agricultural "roduce. @he hire la3ourers charge e=or3itant "rices for their services and thus negativel4 affecting their incomes. / high "ercentage of their incomes therefore go into hired la3our. 9.4 Poor @oad $onditions and *etwor& /nother ma>or challenge the women acceded to was the road conditions and networ+ leading to the farming areas. In most cases* there are no roads leading to their farms. @he4 therefore have to create their own "aths to their farms. @he few farms that have access to roads leading to their farms are nothing to write home a3out. Such roads are in de"lora3le states. @his the women com"lained a3out 3itterl4. @he situation is com"licated during the rain4 seasons. @heir farms are alwa4s cut off when there are heav4 down"ours. @he4 then need to find out wa4s and means to get to their farms with no ho"e of an4 road or "ath. @he "ro3lem raises its head the more during the harvesting "eriod. @here are alwa4s difficulties trans"orting their goods to the mar+eting centres. @his forces 2&.$E of the women to sell their "roduce to middlemen at lower "rices. @he 22.$%E who directl4 ta+e their "roduce to the mar+eting centres do so with regrets. @he drivers loo+ing at the road conditions and networ+ charge higher fares. @he 4'E who ado"ts 3oth media faces 3oth challenges. /lso* the women lose most of the "roduce due to such situations. @hese* as well as high la3our cost cou"led with lower 4ields negativel4 affect their income levels and hence livelihood. 9. %ac& o( Government '!pport @here is a general lac+ of government su""ort to women agricultural activities in the ,unici"alit4. @he surve4 anal4sis revealed that the women farmers do not receive an4 form of government su""ort in their activities. (ne thing the4 com"lain is the lac+ of e=tension services. E=tensions officers are e="ected to assist farmers in general in their farming activities 3ut the government e=tension officers neglect this. In some instances* the4 com"lained that the4 are forced to "a4 for such services that the4 3elieve should 3e offered for free. ;! "nstitutional $upport for Women in Agriculture in the Ejisu*Juaben Municipality :.1 Women in Agric!lt!ral Development 2W6AD3 2omen in /gricultural .evelo"ment 2I/.# is one of the directorates under the ,inistr4 of Food and /griculture ,oF/#. It is a de"artment res"onsi3le for women who are in one wa4 or the other engaged in an4 form of agricultural activit4. @he main vision of the .e"artment is to im"rove the living and wor+ing conditions of rural household es"eciall4 women in terms of increasing their income* im"roving their nutritional status* health and life e="ectanc4. 2I/. focuses on the achievement of the following o3>ectives: Food "roductionI Food-3ased nutrition education and diet im"rovementI Food "rocessing* "reservation* storage* utili0ation and mar+eting and Farm and home management for efficient and effective use of resources. @he .e"artment in the ,unici"alit4 is mainl4 res"onsi3le for im"roving the lives of women who are engaged in agricultural activities in the ,unici"alit4. :.2 $o.operative (or Assistance and @elie( Ever#where 2$A@E3 6nternational 7o-o"erative for /ssistance and 6elief Ever4where 7/6E# International is a Non-!rofit (rgani0ation N!(# with a glo3al confederation of 12 national mem3er organisations wor+ing together to end "overt4. @he organi0ation came into e=istence after the Second 2orld 2ar to hel" im"rove the lives of the marginali0edI that is "eo"le who were affected negativel4 after the war. 7urrentl4* 7/6E International wor+s to 3ring lasting change 34: Cuilding ca"acit4 for autonom4I 7reating economic o""ortunitiesI !roviding assistance in case of emergenc4I 7ontri3uting to strategic decision ma+ing at all levels and /ddressing discrimination in all its forms. 7/6E International 5hana was esta3lished in the ,unici"alit4 in 2%%& to hel" im"rove the lives of the local "eo"le. 7/6E International 5hana "laces s"ecial focus on wor+ing alongside "oor women. @his is 3ecause the 12$

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(rgani0ation has reali0ed that when eJui""ed with the "ro"er resources* women have the "ower to hel" whole families and entire communities esca"e "overt4. 2omen are at the heart of 7/6E International 5hanaSs communit4-3ased efforts to im"rove 3asic education* "revent the s"read of disease* increase access to clean water and sanitation* e="and economic o""ortunit4 and "rotect natural resources. /s a result of the initiative* ten communities are 3enefiting from the (rgani0ation in the ,unici"alit4. @hese communities are @imea3u* 9orase* /"emso* (foase* N+4ere"oaso* (do4efe* .wa3enman-9rofoforom* /+oronwe* Esaase and 2adiri. 7/6E International 5hana as an institution is thus 3iased towards women and there34 favours women more than men when it comes to giving su""ort. @he (rganisation su""orts women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 in the following wa4s. :.2.1 0inancial Training 7/6E International 5hana is a3le to su""ort women in agriculture to 3ecome economicall4 em"owered 34 giving the women some form of financial su""ort. @o do this* 7/6E International 5hana initiated a "rogramme called )illage Saving and Goans /ssociation )SG/#. @his !rogramme teaches women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 a3out the ha3it of saving. @he initiative is necessitated 34 the fact that without an4 "ro"er financial management techniJues* the women will 3ecome "oorer and "oorer. @he !rogramme is therefore a3le to 3ring women grou"s made u" of ten to twent4-five mem3ers together to save as a grou". @his is done 34 the women themselves and within the grou". /fter some time* when one has saved enough* she can go for a loan to e="and her agricultural activities. @he surve4 revealed that through this !rogramme* 7/6E International 5hana has 3een a3le to su""ort women in seven out of the total ten women grou"s. ,em3ers are a3le to easil4 access loans without going through the cum3ersome "rocesses in securing 3an+ loans and its attendant unfavoura3le conditions. :.2.2 $apacit# ,!ilding 7/6E International 5hana in con>unction with ,oF/ and @he 5hana 7ocoa Coard 7(7(C(.# are a3le to hel" the women farmers 3uild their ca"acit4. @hese institutions "rovide training to women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 to 3e a3le to 3ecome self sufficient in their agricultural activities. @he training usuall4 comes in the form of learning and "ractising new and modern techniJues of agricultural "roduction. 8suall4* the women are "rovided with seedlings and also shown how new varieties of seedlings are "lanted and maintained for im"roved 4ields. @he4 are also given fertili0ers to hel" enrich the nutrient level of the soil. 7urrentl4* 7/6E International 5hana has 1%%% mem3ers in the E>isu-Jua3en ,unici"alit4 made u" of $$% men and 4$% women. @he (rganisation is again involved in the "rovision of training to the 4outh in the ,unici"alit4. It usuall4 focuses on students in Senior Digh Schools SDSs# and trains them to go into some small-scale farming. ,ost of these SDS students are females who use this as an o""ortunit4 to earn some income when the4 are on vacation. 6! Recommendations for 1olicy Action @his as"ect of the research loo+s at the suggestions that can hel" women in agriculture in the E>isu Jua3en ,unici"alit4 as well as "olic4 ma+ers in their attem"t to em"ower women in the ,unici"alit4 and countr4. From the anal4sis* the sta+eholders involved raised a num3er of issues and these issues were found to affect women?s economic em"owerment. 1;.1 EAtension o( $A@E 6nternational Ghanas Activities to the Entire "!nicipalit# From the contri3utions that 7/6E International 5hana has 3een a3le to give to the ,unici"alit4 in terms of develo"ment and hel"ing "eo"le es"eciall4 women* the4 should e=tend their o"erations to other communities. @his will hel" more "eo"le es"eciall4 women farmers to en>o4 their services and 3ecome economicall4 em"owered in the long run. 1;.2 Adoption o( B'%A 7# the "!nicipal Assem7l# )SG/ is a ver4 good strateg4 that 7/6E International 5hana is using to em"ower a lot of the women in the few communities the4 are currentl4 o"erating in. @he ,unici"al /ssem3l4 should ta+e advantage of this and colla3orate with 7/6E International 5hana to s"read the !rogramme throughout the ,unici"alit4 so it 3ecomes accessi3le to all. 1;.3 Women '!pport thro!gh Training ,oF/ should come to the aid of the women in the ,unici"alit4 34 giving them training on how to go a3out their agricultural activities and also in "rocessing their "roduce to add value 3efore mar+eting. @here is the need for the women to 3e introduced to new and 3etter farming "ractices through e=tension services. In this direction* there is the need to recruit and train e=tension officers to recognise gender-s"ecific needs. 1;.4 Provision o( 'torage 0acilities @he ,unici"al /ssem3l4 should ma+e it a "riorit4 to go to the aid of the women farmers 34 "roviding them with storage facilities. (ther develo"ment "artners can 3e encouraged to hel" in this direction. @his will hel" the women to cultivate more 3ecause the4 will 3e a3le to get a "lace to store their e=cess "roduce. @his will also

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hel" "revent "ost harvest losses. 1;. 6mproving on Transport *etwor&s to 0arms @he roads leading in and out of the farms should 3e made easil4 accessi3le 34 constructing new roads and trac+s and re"airing e=isting ones to aid in the trans"ortation of "roduce from the farm gates to the mar+et areas. @his will reduce the amount of food that go waste and increase the amount that goes to the mar+et centers. 1;.< 'pecial '!pport @he women in agriculture in the ,unici"alit4 should 3e giving a s"ecial +ind of su""ort 34 the ,unici"al /ssem3l4 and other develo"ment "artners. @his su""ort can come in the form of scholarshi" for su""orting education of children of women in agriculture and also healthcare of the women and their children. @his has the "otenc4 of luring unem"lo4ed women into the agricultural sector. ! 'onclusion 2omen?s a3ilit4 to generate income from agriculture is a good determinant of their economic em"owerment. @he4 are at the centre-"iece of food securit4 and hence the need to "a4 "articular attention to women in agriculture. /griculture has hel"ed women in the E>isu Jua3en ,unici"alit4 in diverse wa4s. 2omen are now a3le to have control over incomeI relative contri3ution to famil4 su""ortI access to and control of famil4 resources. @he4 are also a3le to have access to em"lo4mentI ownershi" of assets and landI access to creditI involvement andAor re"resentation in local trade associations and access to mar+ets. @his has 3ecome necessar4 3ecause there is no entr4 restriction into the agricultural sector. 2omen who have ta+ing advantage of this have 3een a3le to 3e em"owered themselves economicall4 and there34 significantl4 contri3uting to the u"+ee" of their families and communities as a whole. @he agricultural activities of women in the ,unici"alit4 have hel" sustain food securit4 in the ,unici"alit4 ma+ing it one of the 3est when it comes to food "roduction and securit4. In s"ite of this significant contri3ution of women to agriculture in the countr4* "ro3lems associated with land ownershi"* access to credit and agricultural e=tension services among others "lace constraints in the wa4 of their a3ilit4 to increase their "roductivit4 and thus their incomes. @hese notwithstanding* their "ersistence and hard wor+ have gone a long wa4 in hel"ing them realise their dream of economic em"owerment. References /l3ee* /. 1&&4#* LSu""ort to 2omen?s !roductive and Income-generating /ctivitiesM* Eval!ation and @esearch Wor&ing Paper 'eries *o. 1* New 1or+* 8NI7EF. /n>ali 9. et al.* 2%%$#* L2or+sho" 6e"ort on 2omen?s Economic Em"owerment: ,eeting the Needs of Im"overished 2omenM* New 1or+* 8NF!/. Cuvinic* , 2%%6#* L9e4 !olic4 Initiatives on Financing for 5ender EJualit4 and the Em"owerment of 2omenM* 2ashington .7: @he 2orld Can+. Cuvinic* ,. 1&&6#* L!romoting Em"lo4ment among the 8r3an !oor in Gatin /merica and the 7ari33ean: / 5ender /nal4sisM* 5eneva: IG(. .esai* ). and !otter* 6. 2%%'#* L@he 7om"anion to .evelo"ment StudiesM* 2nd ed.* Gondon: /rnold. E>isu Jua3en ,unici"al /ssem3l4 2%1% K 2%13#* L,edium @erm .evelo"ment !lan !re"ared under 5rowth and !overt4 6eduction Strateg4M* /ccra: ,inistr4 of Gocal 5overnment and 6ural. Dainard* F. and )erschuur 7.* 2%%1#* LFilling the ur3an "olic4 3reach: 2omen?s em"owerment* 5rass-roots organi0ations and ur3an governanceM* 6nternational Political 'cience @eview* ## 1#* "". 33-$4. Dashemi* S. 2%%4#* L,icrofinance and the ,.5s8/ TonlineU /vaila3le at: htt":AA Id21 Insights V$1 T/ccessed 1% Novem3er* 2%11U. Dashemi* S.* Schuler S. and 6ile4 /.* 1&&6#* L6ural credit "rograms and women?s em"owerment in CangladeshM* World Development* 24 4#* "".63$- 6$3. Deint0* J.* 2%%6#* L5lo3ali0ation* Economic !olic4 and Em"lo4ment: !overt4 and 5ender Im"lications. Em"lo4ment !olic4 8nit* Em"lo4ment Strateg4 .e"artmentM* 5eneva: IG(. Durst* !.* @ermine !.* and 9arl ,.* 2%%$#* L/gricultural 2or+ers and their 7ontri3ution to Sustaina3le /griculture and 6ural .evelo"mentM* 6ome: F/(. International Ga3our (rganisation 2%%6#* L5lo3al Em"lo4ment @rends ,odelM* 5eneva: IG(. International Ga3our (rganisation 2%%'#* L5lo3al Em"lo4ment @rends for 2omenM* 5eneva: IG(. Je>ee3ho4* S. 2%%%#* L2omen?s Education* /utonom4 and 6e"roductive Cehaviour: E="erience from .evelo"ing 7ountriesM* New 1or+: (=ford 8niversit4 !ress. 9a3eer N. 2%%1#* L7onflicts over 7redit: 6e-evaluating the Em"owerment !otential of Goans to 2omen in 6ural CangladeshM* World Development* 2& 1#* "". 63-'4. 9aru3i* N. !. 2%%6#* L.evelo"ment* ,icro-credit and 2omen?s Em"owerment: / 7ase Stud4 of ,ar+et and 6ural 2omen in Southern NigeriaM* New Wealand: 8niversit4 of 7anter3ur4.

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9essides* 7. 2%%$#* L7ontri3utions of 8r3an .evelo"ment to Economic 5rowth and !overt4 6eduction in Su3Saharan /fricaM* 2ashington* ..7.: 2orld Can+. ,ahmud* S. 2%%3#* L2omen and the @ransformation of .omestic S"aces for Income 5eneration in .ha+a CusteesM* $ities 2% $#* "". 321-32&. ,alhotra Coender* /. and Schuler S.* 2%%2#* L,easuring 2omen?s Em"owerment as a )aria3le in International .evelo"mentM* JSI 6esearch and @raining Institute. ,a4ou=* G. 2%%%#* L,icrofinance and the Em"owerment of 2omen: / 6eview of the 9e4 IssuesM* 'ocial 0inance =nit Wor&ing !a"er* 23* 5eneva: IG(. ,orrison et al.* 2%%H#* L5ender-EJualit4* !overt4 and Economic 5rowthM* World ,an& Polic# @esearch Wor&ing Paper *o. 434:/ Gender and Development Gro!p/ Povert# @ed!ction and Economic "anagement *etwor&* 2ashington* .7: 2orld Can+. 6ogers* C. and 1oussef N.* 1&''#* L@he Im"ortance of 2omen?s Involvement in Economic /ctivities in the Im"rovement of 7hild Nutrition and DealthM* Food and Nutrition Culletin 1%. Sn4der ,. 7. and @adesse ,. 1&&$#* L/frican women and develo"ment: / Distor4M* Johannes3urg: 2itwatersrand 8niversit4 !ress. @he 5hanaian @imes 2%%6#* L2omen .iscuss Em"owermentM* @he 5hanaian @imes* 1% Jul4 2%%6: ! 1H. @he 2orld Can+ 2%%3#* L!overt4 /nal4sisM* TonlineU /vaila3le at htt":AAwww.world3an+.orgA"overt4Awdr"overt4Ainde=.htm T/ccessed & (cto3er* 2%11U. @he 2orld Can+ 2%%3#* @he 2orld Can+ /nnual 6e"ort 2%%3* TonlineU /vaila3le at htt":AAwww.world3an+.orgAannualre"ortA2%%3Adownload;re"ort.html T/ccessed %& (cto3er* 2%11U. @he 2orld Can+ 2%%H#* L2orld .evelo"ment 6e"ort 2%%': /griculture for .evelo"mentM* 2ashington* .7: 2orld Can+. @he 2orld Can+* Food and /griculture (rgani0ation* and International Fund for /gricultural .evelo"ment 2%%&#* L5ender in /griculture Source3oo+M* 2ashington ..7: @he 2orld Can+. )argas-Gundius* 6.* 2%%H#* L!olishing the Stone-/ >ourne4 through the !romotion of 5ender EJualit4 in .evelo"ment !ro>ectsM* 6ome: International Fund for /gricultural .evelo"ment )igneri* ,. and Dolmes* 6. 2%%&#* L2hen 3eing ,ore !roductive still doesn?t "a4: Ender IneJualit4 and Socioeconomic 7onstrain in 5hana?s 7ocoa SectorM* 8nited 9ingdom: (verseas .evelo"ment Institute Notes 1.

2.

5ender refers to the roles and res"onsi3ilities of men and women that are created in our families* our societies and our cultures. @he conce"t of gender also includes the e="ectations held a3out the characteristics* a"titudes and li+el4 3ehaviours of 3oth women and men femininit4 and masculinit4#. 5ender roles and e="ectations are learned. @he4 can change over time and the4 var4 within and 3etween cultures. @he conce"t of gender is vital 3ecause it is a""lied to social anal4sis. It reveals how women?s su3ordination or men?s domination# is sociall4 constructed. /s such* the su3ordination can 3e changed or ended. It is not 3iologicall4 "redetermined nor is it fi=ed forever as Se= is determined or fi=ed 9aru3i* 2%%6: H4-H$# Gocall4 "rocessed foods

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