Exploratory Study of the Current Status of the Rights and Welfare of Ghanaian Women: Taking Stock and Mapping Gaps for New Actions

Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo, Sylvia Esther Gyan


This paper assesses the progress Ghanaian women have made in terms of rights and welfare in the last three decades or more when democratic politics was introduced in the country. It examines the legislative and policy environment that exist to combat all forms of discrimination against women and assesses women‟s rights and welfare on a number of indicators: women‟s rights to life, marriage, participation and representation in politics, access to justice, right to education, reproductive health, and sustainable development. The study revealed that there is a robust legislative and policy environment for pursuing women‟s issue in Ghana. There are constitutional and legal provisions and state institutions as well as a number of NGOs acting as duty bearers to combat all forms of discrimination against women. However, the evidence from these indicators, suggests that there is a gap between the legal and policy environment on the one hand and the rights and welfare of women on the other hand. Women in Ghana are still threatened by early and forced marriages, deficit in political participation, limited access to health services, and harmful traditional norms and cultural practices. We conclude that duty bearers such as the policymakers and other stakeholders need to scale-up their activities and programmes that advance the rights and social well-being of Ghanaian women. (Afr J Reprod Health 2016 (Special Edition); 20[3]: 136-148).

Full Text:



Lindsey L L. Gender roles: a sociological perspective. London: Prentice-Hall, 1997. 2. McMichael P. Development and Change: A Global Perspective, London: Sage Publications, Inc, 2012. 3. Boserup E. Women’s role in economic development. New York: St Martin‟s Press, 1987. 4. Razavi, S. and C. Miller. From WID to GAD: Conceptual Shifts in the Women and Development Discourse. Occasional Paper 1, Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development UNDP, 1995. 5. Tsikata, D. Women‟s Political Organizations, 19511987, (Eds) E. Hansen and K. A. Ninsin. The State, Development and Politics in Ghana 1989; 73-93. London: Codesria. 6. Norgaard, K. “Gender equality and state environmentalism” in Gender and Society 2005;19 (4), 506-522. 7. Beneria L. (1992) “Accounting for Women‟s Work: The Progress of Two Decades” in World Development 20 (11) 1547-1560. 8. Johan R. The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development. London Zed, 1995. 9. Moghadam, V. M. “Editorial” International Social Science Journal 2005; 184, 203-206. 10. Ghana the 1992 Constitution. Accra: Author 11. Ghana MOWAC, Ghana‟s Third Progress report on the implementation of the African and Beijing Platform of Action and Review report for Beijing

+15, September 2009. Accra. 12. Akpabli-Honu K. Female ritual bondage in Ghana. A Study of Troxovi System among the Ewes of Ghana. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services, 2014. 13. Fgmnetwork.org/news/show. 14. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Ghana Statistical Service. Accra, Ghana, 2014. 15. Nukunya G K. Tradition and change in Ghana: an introduction to sociology. Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 2004. 16. Ghana Statistical Service 2010. Population and Housing Census of Ghana. Accra, Ghana, 2013. 17. UNICEF, State of the World‟s Children, 2015. 18. NETRIGHT. Compilation of year review on the status of women in Ghana, 2003-2008, 2009. 19. Department of Social Welfare. Ghana Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable, Children, 2008. 20. Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 2011. 21. Manuh, T. Law and the Status of Women in Ghana. Paper prepared for the UN Economic Commission for Africa, 1984. 22. Mensah-Kutin Rose, Alima Mahama, Sarah Ocran, Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Vicky Okine and Dzodzi Tsikata. The national machinery for women in Ghana: an NGO evaluation. Accra: Third World Network-Africa, 2000. 23. Dzorgbo, D-B.S. and S. E. Gyan. “Democratic governance and women representation in Ghana: A critical evaluation of the progress” in Sociology and development issues in Ghana: a reader. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services, 2014. 24. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Ghana Statistical Service. Accra, Ghana, 2008. 25. Implementation of Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2006-2009, Annual progress report. 26. Ghana Human Development Report. Accra, 2004. 27. Interview with Emmanuel Baisie, ILO Country Office, Ghana. 28. Ghana AIDS commission, “HIV facts Sheet 2014”, Accra.


  • There are currently no refbacks.