Like other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a high rate of disparity between men and women as it relates to education and unemployment of females in Ghana. There are so many conversations going on in the world to ensure that women are not discriminated and undermined but in many parts of Africa as well as other developing countries, the female experience is nothing to write home about.
So, while it is true that this issue is not peculiar to Ghana only, there is still a lot to be desired about the way women issues are handled in the country, especially based on the unwritten culture of the people.
The female population in Ghana is 50.2% of the total population, according to World Bank collection of development indicators in 2016. However, despite the fact that women outnumber the men in Ghana, the number of females who attend school are far below that of the males. According to the same source, the percentage of the female population who are 15+ with no education is 37.07% and that of females who are 25+ with no education is 42.99%
There are so many reasons why the girl-child has less opportunity to attend school than the boy-child.
The most prevalent reason is culture. The culture in Ghana, as well as many other parts of Africa, sees the girl-child as less important than the male-child. Therefore, women are praised for “producing” male children and condemned for their “inability” to “produce” male children. Some women are divorced for this reason or have to deal with their husband marrying another wife or adultery, all in the bid to have a male child.
Some of the men cannot be blamed because society (comprising of men and women) will mock them for not having a male child to continue their lineage. It is said that the woman will marry into another family and therefore, does have a place in that family. So a man has to do all he can to get a male child.
For this reason, many fathers refuse to send their girls to school. It is believed she will end up using her education cooking and taking care of the family and so, it is unnecessary to send her to school.
For some family, even though they are willing to send their girls to school, as far as there is financial constraint and the family is incapable of sending all the children to school, there is a high likelihood the girl will be the one to give up schooling for her brothers because of the reason above – she is a girl and educating her is not as important as educating the boys.
Some families burden the girls with so much house chores because in many parts of Africa, knowing how to do house chores is the pride and glory of a woman. So there is little time for school or even if she attends school, there is little time to concentrate on school work, enough for her to do well.
Female Unemployment in Ghana
According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, the percentage of female in labour was reported at 2.55% in 2017. This statistics shows the poor state of the female unemployment in Ghana.
Clearly, lack of education usually results in unemployment, because many available jobs (professional) require some form of education. As a matter of fact, even informal jobs sometimes require basic education to ensure staff can at least communicate to customers and clients or whatever requirement that having an education will make easier to execute.
So, as a result of the lack of education of many females in Ghana, that makes them automatically unemployable.
But there are also other reasons that cause unemployment, even for those who are educated.
Gender Stereotype: Some employers hastily generalize that women are weak and too emotional to handle certain positions. So, they usually seek men to occupy those positions and deny women the job, despite meriting the job.
Marital Status: Women are sometimes denied job roles because of their marital status. Unlike married men, women are likely to face discrimination for being married because the employer believes their marital responsibility will interfere with her job. They also deny women job because of maternal leave that comes in handy with being married.
Gender Roles: According to the culture, the man is said to be the provider while the woman is said to be the home taker. Some employees might believe men need the job most because they have to provide at home.
There are other reasons for female unemployment but these are the most prevalent and it is clear that there is so much that needs to be done to ensure gender parity in education and Jobs and employment in Ghana.