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Men are poor but women are poorer: Gendered poverty and survival strategies in the Dangme West District of Ghana

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Abstract:

In contemporary times there has been a broader definition of poverty to include not only economic deprivation such as income, but also various forms of vulnerability such as lack of dignity and autonomy. The paper seeks to bring out the multidimensionality of poverty from the perspective of both men and women in the Dangme West District of Ghana, through their day-to-day experiences of poverty and how this leads to different livelihood strategies among men and women. It is argued that gender inequalities, the patriarchal system and the traditional gender roles of women create a situation where women's experiences of poverty tend to be more severe than those of men. The author recommends that specific policies geared towards poverty reduction must address the needs and concerns of both men and women. Thus, men and women must be involved in defining projects that reflect their local realities and this must be backed by vigorous gender sensitization and awareness programmes. Engendering poverty reduction programmes with gender sensitization and awareness programmes will go a long way to address patriarchal attitudes and gender inequalities that create poverty particularly among women.

Keywords: Ghana; gender; poverty; survival strategy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291950802335541

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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