The Impact of Gender Inequality on Trade in Ghana: An Empirical Study

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October, 2016
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Free trade is considered the ―royal highway‖ for enhancing economic growth and decreasing the incidence of absolute poverty. Developing countries including Ghana have therefore made several efforts to enhance their trade flows. However, Ghana is still experiencing low export performance and hence its persistent balance of payments deficit. Also, there is a lot of gender inequality in terms of employment, property ownership, education among others in Ghana even though females make up about 51.2% of the total population. How does gender inequality impact on trade in Ghana? Does Ghana stand a chance to gain from trade by taking advantage from its relatively abundant female labour force? This study seeks to answer these questions by examining the impact of gender inequality on trade in Ghana using the ARDL model for the period 1980 to 2013. The empirical results reveal that; female employment, male employment and male education positively affect trade. Also, gender inequality in education has a negative impact on trade. The study therefore recommends that, policy makers should make policies that are favourable for more female employment since female employment affects trade more than male employment. Also, girl child education policies should be intensified to promote female education and reduce gender inequality in education since a reduction in gender inequality in education promotes trade. More so, when male education is increased in the short run, it has the tendency to decrease trade but in the long run it increases trade, therefore policy makers should consider such policies which will generally be beneficial in terms of trade.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Economics of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science Degree in Economics.