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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kayayei: The Women Head Porters of Southern Ghana
Author:Opare, James A.
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Volume:18
Issue:2
Pages:33-48
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Subjects:porters
women
Women's Issues
Labor and Employment
Economics and Trade
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
economics
urbanization
sociology
Job vacancies
Social systems
poverty
Abstract:For over a decade now, southern Ghana has witnessed a growing influx of young women and teenage girls whose sole business is to engage in the head porterage of goods. A woman engaged in such business is referred to as a 'kayayoo' (from 'kaya' or luggage in Hausa, and 'yoo' or woman in Ga; pl. 'kayayei'). This paper offers information on who these women and girls are, why they migrate from their places of origin, why they engage in the head porterage business and the plans they have for the future. A non-random sample of 700 subjects from all the major markets in the Accra-Tema metropolitan area was selected for the study. Unstructured interviews and personal observation were used as the tools for data collection. It was found that most of the woman porters hail from the savanna zones of northern Ghana and adjoining areas of Burkina Faso and Togo. They move down south to work and save money for various forms of investment. The paper attributes the push factor, poverty, to the interplay of natural phenomena and human agency. Suggestions for policy measures are offered. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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