AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF WOMEN’S EDUCATION ON POVERTY REDUCTION IN NAVRONGO, GHANA
1.1 Study Background
Poverty feminization continues to be a global phenomenon. Women continue to remain the poorest of the poor, accounting for 70% of the world’s impoverished, or 1.3 billion people (UNDP, 1995). Poverty has deprived many women around the world of their economic, political, social, and cultural rights. It is the denial of a wide range of critical options and opportunities for human development.
These include the ability to live a satisfying, creative, and healthy life, the ability to gain information, the ability to have independence, dignity, and self-respect for others, and the ability to access resources required for a decent standard of living.
The situation in which one group thrives and is given every opportunity for progress while another group suffers and is denied that opportunity creates a number of issues in academia and society in general. At the UN Social Summit in Geneva in 2000, all world leaders reiterated their commitment to social protection as a key issue in poverty alleviation.
They also ratified the Millennium Declaration, which seeks to address global poverty and other challenges. During this event, the combined challenges of monetary hardship and the experience of limited civil and political rights were addressed, presenting a compelling case for exposing the dangers of social exclusion and its impact on long-term human development (World Bank, 2007).
2 According to a significant amount of empirical and statistical evidence, Ghana has attained unprecedented economic and political stability over the last eight years. Despite these achievements, there is a growing perception that a significant number of people and groups are not benefiting from the progress made thus far. Before we can talk about poverty reduction in Ghana, we must first break the long-standing poverty cycle.
This condition is characterized by low income and a lack of savings. Low savings lead to a lack of investment funds, which leads to a lack of investment. Low investment leads to low output, which leads to low income, which leads to low savings, and so on.
Poverty trends in Ghana differ according to economic sectors. Poverty is most obvious in two sectors in Ghana: agriculture and the informal economy, with agriculture suffering the most. Aside from agriculture, 29 percent of people working in informal and small companies are impoverished (UNDP, 2007). It was also revealed that the prevalence of poverty is reducing overall. According to absolute data, food crop growers are the poorest when compared to persons involved in other activities.
They had the highest poverty rate in 1991/92, at 68 percent, but it fell to 46 percent in 2005/06. The Upper East area has a poverty rate of 7 out of 10 persons, according to the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy document (Ghana Statistical Service, 2005b). Despite the fact that both men and women are affected by poverty in the region, institutional structures and socio-cultural factors tend to concentrate scarce resources in the hands of men, forcing women to rely on men for resources and, as a result, restricting their access to education and training.
Furthermore, gender discrimination against women, combined with religious and cultural constraints, tends to limit the amount of time they can spend accessing and using information and resources, as well as taking advantage of educational and training possibilities. As a result, women’s ability to climb above poverty and contribute to national economic success suffers.
According to Ghana’s Human Development report, there is a link between human development and poverty (Ghana Statistical Service, 2007). According to a study conducted in Ghana, a 1% increase in the Human Development Index (HDI) is associated with a 0.27 percent decrease in poverty. The HDI and poverty rate have a negative relationship. As HDI rises, poverty rates fall.
The capital of Ghana’s Upper East Region’s Kassena/Nankana East District is Navrongo. Navrongo is one of the oldest educational towns in Northern Ghana. The population of Navrongo is 15983 people (2000 population and housing census figures). This group contains 7615 men and 8368 women. A number of educational institutions, ranging from primary to university level, have been established in Navrongo.
The Navrongo people, especially women, who should have benefited from these programs, have been excluded (Awumbila, 2001). 4 There are several agricultural fields available for the cultivation of a diverse range of food crops. The Tono Irrigation Dam, which irrigates 300,000 hectares of land, is also close to Navrongo. Poverty affects women in Navrongo, both in the city and in the rural.
This age-old issue is seen as important economically, culturally, and socially. Poverty may be a more significant issue than traditional data collection reveals. Most parts of Ghana, particularly Northern Ghana and the Upper East Region, appear to be getting poorer.
The problem appears to defy every social, economic, and political advice, as well as a variety of government interventions across time. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of education and training as a strategy for reducing poverty among women in Navrongo, Kassena/Nankana East District, by enhancing their capacity to utilize economic, social, and political resources.
1.2 Problem Statement
Poverty levels were dropping, according to the Ghana Human Development Report (Ghana Statistical Service, 2007), with 28.5 percent of Ghanaians categorized as poor in 2005/2006, down from 29.5 percent in 1998/1999. The proportion of the population classed as “extremely poor” fell from 26.8 percent to 18.2 percent. Between 1991 and 2006, the prevalence of poverty in female-headed households fell from 43% to 19%, whereas the prevalence of poverty in male-headed households climbed from 55% to 31%.
The difference of 24% between male- and female-headed families revealed that poverty among women lessens when women are given resources and a voice. Despite these achievements, the study discovered that the gap between the rich and the poor has widened.
“Females, the urban poor, the rural poor, the disabled, the less educated, and individuals living in the Northern Savannah biological zones in general have performed worse on various indicators of development,” it claimed. This emphasized the need of narrowing the gaps in social exclusion. It is vital to work for a more inclusive society in the country at all levels of society, ” Ghana Statistical Services, p.55, 2007.
The gap between the three Northern Regions and the Southern Regions must be overcome in terms of important dimensions of human development. Empirical research based on well-disaggregated data should be done to properly identify and address the reasons.
As a result, the subject must be depoliticized and ethnic emotions should be minimized. As a result, the researchers planned to investigate and prove the link between women’s education and training and poverty reduction in Navrongo.
Poverty is characterized as a lack of basic requirements such as food, clothing, shelter, and safe drinking water, all of which have an impact on a person’s quality of life. It may also relate to a lack of access to opportunities such as education and employment, which assist people in escaping poverty and/or earning the respect of their peers (World Bank, 2009).
6 Farmers and small-scale business owners predominate in Navrongo, which is located in the Upper East Region’s Kassena/Nankana District. The people’s high level of material distress has resulted in a massive exodus of young people (mostly girls) to Ghana’s southern regions.
People who are poor are socially ostracized from all societies. Poverty is consequently one of the most significant barriers to women’s participation in their communities’ cultural, economic, and political activities. Isn’t this the situation that most Ghanaian women, particularly the women of Navrongo in Ghana’s Upper East Region’s Kassena/Nankana District, have found themselves in?
1.3 Study Objective
The following are the study’s objectives:
The importance of women’s education in empowering women
To investigate the link between women’s education and poverty alleviation in Navrongo.
To investigate whether educational attainment can lead to career opportunities in Navrongo.
1.4 Research concerns
This study is guided by the following research question:
What are the roles of education in the empowerment of women?
Is there a link between education for women and poverty alleviation in Navrongo?
Can a high degree of education lead to work in Navrongo?
1.5 Importance Of Research
Any culture or group’s growth is determined by the availability of a resource. Human resources are regarded as the most critical part of every development endeavor. The amount of education and training offered to a country’s human resources determines the country’s human resources’ quality and calibre. As a result, education is critical for poverty alleviation.
This research had to be carried out in Navrongo to determine how education affects poverty alleviation. The study assisted the Navrongo community, the District Assembly, and other stakeholders in adopting appropriate initiatives to educate women and alleviate poverty.
Despite the fact that the study was limited to Navrongo, the findings were expected to be beneficial to other communities, states, and organizations working to alleviate women’s poverty. The publication of the findings will assist women’s organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and communities striving to alleviate poverty in implementing appropriate education that will empower women to rise above their conditions.
This study will add to the current literature in this field and serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this or a similar topic.
1.6 Field of Study
This study investigates the relationship between women’s education and poverty reduction, the role of women’s education in women’s empowerment, and if educational levels obtained can lead to employment opportunities. As a result, this study will be conducted in Navrongo, Ghana, with selected women serving as participants.
1.7 Study Limitations
The researchers faced financial constraints, insufficient materials, and a time constraint over the course of the investigation.
1.8 Terms Definition
Women’s Education: Women’s education can be defined as a type of knowledge provided to women in order to improve their self-esteem and dignity. This information can be obtained through formal, non-formal, and informal education, as well as through Adult Education, Community Development, Workshops, Seminars, Conferences, and Training.
Poverty Reduction: This is a set of economic and humanitarian policies aimed at permanently lifting people out of poverty.
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AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF WOMEN’S EDUCATION ON POVERTY REDUCTION IN NAVRONGO, GHANA