An assessment of the contributions of women’s organisations to the socio-economic development of women in Ghana

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The study examines the activities of three women’s organizations. The central focus of the research was to review the programmes of these organizations and assess how relevant they are to the socio-economic development of women. Women’s organizations ranging from Political Wings, Self-Help Associations and Ladies Associations to the Women’s Wings of existing organizations have a long history in Ghana. Even though they all claim to be serving the interest of women in one way or the other, it is likely that some of their activities may stay clear from addressing the main issues affecting women. With the numerous challenges facing women, it is imperative that the programmes of these women’s organizations are revitalized and geared towards the barriers those constraint women from achieving development and make them inferior to their men counterpart. This is the thrust of the study. Information was collected from three women’s organizations in the Ashanti Region. Key informants on women’s issues were consulted for interviews. Questionnaires were administered to the leaders and members of the selected organizations. Focus group discussions were also employed. The selection of the organizations and the respondents was guided by purposive sampling and the snowball sampling method respectively. The data obtained from the stakeholders was taken through a careful analysis. The findings revealed that women’s organizations are playing a key role in addressing some of the identified problems. The indispensable roles of these women’s organizations are, however, being done within some limitations, which include finance, accommodation for service delivery, training materials and other logistics. Their major programmes include sensitization, training and female education. It is suggested that when women mobilize and organize themselves they can become an institutional mechanism to achieve collective interest. By this means, they will be contributing to the development of women in particular and the nation in general. Achieving this objective is contingent on several interventions some of which have been recommended in the study.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Development Policy and Planning, 2002