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Research gender issues with Partner West Africa in Ghana, West Africa

A Woman's Place Is... PWA Gender Blog #8

Date Posted: 25/06/2018

Follow this blog as we explore where a women’s place is in a post #metoo Ghanaian society.

A Woman's Place... Is Her Choice

Gender stereotypes have existed for centuries; from women’s roles as housewives in the 17th century, to men’s inability to ask for directions in the 21st. These stereotypes are key contributors to our conscious and unconscious biases, and more specifically to the opportunities many women are afforded. For example, research has shown that people often favour men when assessing intelligence, regardless of the facts or information being presented to them, leading to more frequent promotion and higher salaries for males.  

Through the PWA Gender Research Project, we have been exploring the stereotypes impacting people in our communities. One prevalent theme has emerged around the roles of men and women in the home. 3 out of 4 people believe that the mother is solely responsible for the emotional care of their children and 1 in 2 that the father is solely responsible for the financial care of their children. Although both roles are important there is no scientific reason why they should be assigned to either gender or not even shared between the two. However, this bias is leading to many men and women remaining in these roles despite their own wishes. As such, to achieve gender equality these biases need to be broken down so that men and women can make informed decisions on their lifestyle choices, rather than be dictated by the stereotypes of their society.

Gender equality does not mean that roles of men and women should swap, it may be that women may choose to stay home and care for their children. What is important is that this is a choice made free from bias, after all, a woman’s place is her choice.  

Author: Amy - PWA Volunteer

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