Streetism And Child Labour In The Wa Municipality Of Ghana A Gender Analysis of Drivers
The challenge of child labor in Ghana, especially in Wa, has been given attention in recent times by various organizations within the country. An understudied dimension of these efforts at eradicating child labor is its gendered nature. This study was therefore conducted to unearth the gender dimension of the drivers of child labor. Specifically, it looked at the gender background of children engaged in street labor in relation to those who drive children to the streets, using the case of the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region of Ghana. Participants were those guardians and street children who were available and willing to participate in the study. Feminized poverty and gender roles and expectations were found to be critical driver of streetism. Specifically, 75% (three quarters) of the children engaged in street labor in the Wa Municipality were females. Out of those found to drive children to the streets of Wa, 75% were females and 5% were males while 20% of children on the streets went there on their own. The domination of girl children in street labor was attributed to perceptions such as extension of domestic roles and likely performance and/or teenage pregnancy. The study therefore revealed that certain socio-cultural practices and beliefs work against the girl child and until some of these practices are unearthed and dealt with, no amount of poverty eradication and educational campaigns would set the victims free.
Studies in Gender and Development in Africa. ISSN: 0855-9449