The Role of International Development Agencies in the Empowerment of Women: A Case Study of JICA in the Northern Region of Ghana

Show simple item record Yakubu, S. 2019-02-08T15:40:11Z 2019-02-08T15:40:11Z 2018-07
dc.description MA. en_US
dc.description.abstract There is a growing effort in the field of international development to address poverty in developing countries through women’s empowerment. However, development agencies often implement only a set of standard repertoire of interventions aimed at expanding the scope of women’s choices as the outcome of their empowerment. As a result, development interventions have failed to alleviate poverty among rural women as inequalities in the capabilities of and opportunities for both women and men persist. Nonetheless, in furtherance to the increasing acceptance of the central role of women in socio-economic development, International Development Agencies (IDAs) continue to undertake development projects with the rationale to promote women’s empowerment, reduce poverty and generate employment for sustainable livelihoods in rural communities in Ghana. In view of this, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also adopted various strategies for addressing gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment across its global operations, including Ghana. This study seeks to answer the central question of whether JICA’s development interventions have positively transformed and empowered rural women engaged in the shea butter sector in Northern Ghana. Its study adopted the qualitative research approach to collect and analyze data from interviews with 25 beneficiaries of the Sagnarigu Shea Butter and Soap Processing Center. The results show that, overall, the project beneficiaries received adequate training and technical support from JICA to improve the quality of shea butter produced and also to effectively manage their lives and work processes. Moreover, the women were involved from the beginning of the project in identifying their aim, objectives and monitoring roles. Leadership positions were also chosen by the women themselves and they reviewed their shea butter making processes from time to time. The findings also reveal that empowering women through micro enterprise increases their involvement in household decision-making in respect to credit, control of household assets, children’s education, nutrition and the health needs of their children which together lead to better living standards for the family. Overall, there has been significant improvement in local shea nuts/butter processing in terms of quality, production capacity, cost and delivery which has ensured sustainability of the industry. The study finds that to ensure women’s empowerment in development projects, beneficiaries should be regarded as agents of their own change but not passive beneficiaries of development aid. This study recommends that the center be expanded and equipped with modern technology to improve production processes and ultimately production capacity and also attract the youth to join the shea butter processing industry. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject International Development Agencies en_US
dc.subject Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) en_US
dc.subject Northern Region en_US
dc.subject Women en_US
dc.title The Role of International Development Agencies in the Empowerment of Women: A Case Study of JICA in the Northern Region of Ghana en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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