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Title:Duolocal residence and gender relations in urban domestic water supply: understanding the Ga in contemporary Ghana
Authors:Mensah, Kenneth O.
Fitzgibbon, John
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:Ghana
urban households
water supply
gender relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00083968.2013.865540
Abstract:This case study employed a qualitative methodology to examine gender relations in urban domestic water supply under duolocality where heterogeneous spouses live in separate residences. It is based on the experiences of the Ga of Ghana at the present time (2011-present), with James Town as the study area. Results show that gender relations in duolocal water supply is mediated by several factors, including women's economic positioning and time reported to sleep at husbands' homes, age and authority structure, proximity of males and females, distance to water points, and availability of public showers and sachet water. There is significant participation of duolocal men in household water provision, aided by short distances to water points and ready access to showers and pure water. Women renegotiate their subordinate position in domestic water provision by using their economic clout as leverage, manipulating their physical presence at men's residences, including late arrival to sleep but early departure, and capitalizing on opportunities presented by new social dynamics to form indirect alliances with men. The study provides additional contribution to understanding gender discourse in urban water supply as it uncovers previously under-explored social processes in the linkages between residential patterns and gender relations in resource access and use. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]