Tsegaye Yilma Dessalegn, Ernst Berg, Thomas Berger:
Emancipating African Women through Agricultural Technologies -- The Case of Irrigation Technology in Northern Ghana


University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Department of Economic and Technical Change, Germany

Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is both rampant and widely spread. However, its distribution is skewed to the arid and semi-arid agro-ecologies, rural parts and to some of the socially disadvantaged groups, such as women. The Guinea-savannah agro-ecology of Ghana is a case in point where one can find an interface between the agro"=ecological and social layers of poverty. The Upper East Region is one of the regions located in this agro"=ecology in Ghana. In this region more than 95% of the population, which are mainly rural based live under the poverty line. Erratic rainfall, poor soil quality and increasing population pressure among others contribute to the prevalence of poverty in the region. In addition, the social construction is biased against women by depriving them entitlement to resources such as land. Most proponents of gender equality advocate for policies and technologies which are designed to generate income to women usually in the form of small trade. However, in a social set up, where women are deprived of title to resources the contribution of such endeavours towards emancipation of women is marginal. Therefore, the challenge ahead of researchers and policy makers is to identify appropriate technologies and policies that can address poverty in its totality. In this paper we analyse the effect of irrigation technology, on overall household income, gender differentiated income and rural job creation. It was found out that irrigation technology being a labour intensive technology is able to create huge employment to the increasing population in general and to women in particular. However, the sustainable utilisation of its potential contribution depends on factors such as, the performance of input and output markets.

Keywords: Emancipation, gender, irrigation

Full paper: http://www.tropentag.de/2004/abstracts/full/118.pdf


Contact Address: Tsegaye Yilma Dessalegn, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Department of Economic and Technical ChangeWalter-Flex-Straße 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany, e-mail: tsegayey@uni-bonn.de
Andreas Deininger, September 2004