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Introduction
Ghana has a diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and economical background which makes generalization about gender relations and their consequences for women and children’s access to resources, decision making and status in society extremely difficult. Divergence of experiences has been further widened by regionally distorted historical development and biased development policies.

Ghana’s population is about 22 million, includes over 90 different ethnic groups. Among these the Akan, Ewe, Mole Dagbani and Ga-Adangbe are dominant. Different ethnic groups are characterized by a variety of kinship systems with different implications for access to resources and decision making power by gender. The Akan, who are from the southern part of Ghana, are the largest amongst all ethnic groups, and matrilineal inheritance system is very dominant. Most other ethnic groups, in the North, but also the East, are patrilineal. The Ga, who are concentrated around Greater Accra, are somewhat known in having bilateral inheritance and kinship structures.

Matrilineal systems may give women greater access to resources outside marriage than patrilineal systems, but they are characterized by a weaker nuclear household offering little economic security to women. Matrilineal systems do not necessarily imply significantly greater access to resources or higher status of women.

There is extreme diversity and complexity of household forms as well as of the organization of the household economy. Pooling of resources and joint decision making between men and women in households is generally not the norm, with men and women tending to have separate income and expenditure steams. This is in most cases where the man is the breadwinner of the household.

Other gender issues such as women labour participation rates which are generally high throughout Ghana. The most striking feature,…...

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