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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ga women's autonomy: a critique of the concepts and economy of the household and family
Author:Fayorsey, Clara
Periodical:African Anthropology (ISSN 1024-0969)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
gender relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Family Life
Sex Roles
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Social and cultural anthropology
urban areas
Gă (African people)
Women's role
Accra (Ghana)
Abstract:This paper describes social changes among the Ga in Central Accra, or Ga Mashi, Ghana, on the basis of research carried out among 216 Ga households in 1991. It analyses the changes in gender relations that occurred due to shifts in residential patterns, and the emergence of strong matrilateral households in Central Accra. It discusses the problems involved in the use of the terms 'family' and 'household' in the Ga urban context. Among the urban Ga, for example, household does not imply coresidence and, therefore, it does not have the connotation of intimacy and sharing. Economic relations within the Ga household are characterized by exchange rather than pooling. Attention is paid to the economic separateness of men and women in order to assess the position of urban Ga women. The paper analyses the formation of the matricomplex, an economically based corporate kin group of matrilaterally related females, its economic organization, the marginalization of the role of men as household heads, the effect of these changes on gender relations, and women's autonomy, despite the fact that Ga society is traditionally patrilineal. Bibliogr., notes, ref.