In the last few decades, there has been growing scholarly interest about the implications of women’s increased economic role on household decision-making dynamics. Contributing to these conversations, the current paper examines couples (wives and husbands) perceptions and attitudes towards women’s decision-making power in the context of Ghana’s small-scale fishery where both couples engage in the same economic activity, performing different, but complementary roles. The study involved interviews with 20 and 18 married female and male fisherfolk respectively, which was part of a larger study by the first author among fisherfolk in the south-western coast of Ghana. We show that accounts of perceived decision-making power of women varied by spouse. Using a gender lens, we show how both women and men discursively reproduced and challenged hegemonic gender discourses and relations in different contexts. We argue that exploring the gaps in couples’ account of women’s household decision-making power as well as their perceptions and attitudes towards such roles provides important ground to understanding the inconsistencies in the outcomes of programs targeted at women empowerment and gender equality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by Lingnan University, Hong Kong, through its Research Postgraduate Studentship Award [RPG 1134482]. The funders, however, played no role in designing the study, collecting and analyzing data, manuscript preparation and the decision to publish the manuscript. The authors wish to thank the informants who shared valuable information to make this study possible and the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.
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- couples' perceptions
- small-scale fishery
- women's decision-making