Factors of Gender Inequality in the Society

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Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure and hormonal differences. The following factors account for issues of gender inequalities in the Ghanaian society.

Education inequality
Gender differences in enrolment for formal education have narrowed slightly since Independence but continue to persist particularly at higher levels. Dropout rates for boys and literacy rates are still much lower for women than men. During the last decade, the private costs of education have risen, putting many families under financial strain as evidenced by continued high dropout rates. The private costs of educating girls are apparently higher than for boys: additionally the opportunity cost of girls’ labour is probably higher due to their greater domestic work load. Investment in male education is often perceived by parents to be a more important use of limited funds. The continuing gender imbalance in access to education limits women’s access to employment and productivity. In urban areas, lack of qualifications and narrow range of skills limits female access to formal employment. In rural areas, lack of female education is likely to limit farm productivity: currently three quarters of female farmers have no education. Inadequate literacy and numeracy skills are also reported to limit the efficiency of female traders. Educational disadvantage may be a major barrier preventing women from responding to adjustment induced incentives.

Gender blind laws and policies
The legal system in Ghana is governed by systems of customary law which vary by region/ethnicity; laws passed under colonial rule which remain on the statute book; constitutional provisions under the four Republics; and laws passed since Independence. The complexity of the legal situation, particularly in relation to personal law, has...
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