What Does Empowerment Mean to Women in Northern Ghana? Insights From Research Around a Small-Scale Irrigation Intervention

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1909

51 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2020

See all articles by Elizabeth Bryan

Elizabeth Bryan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Elisabeth Garner

Cornell University

Date Written: February 4, 2020

Abstract

Women’s empowerment is important to improve the status of women and achieve greater gender equity. It is also an important vehicle for achieving other development goals related to food security, nutrition, health, and economic growth. Increasingly, researchers seek ways to measure women’s empowerment, trace the pathways through which women’s empowerment is achieved, and provide guidance for policymakers and practitioners aiming to facilitate women’s empowerment through their interventions. This paper explores local perceptions of empowerment in the Upper East Region of Ghana in the context of a small-scale irrigation intervention targeted to men and women farmers. Using data collected through qualitative interviews and focus groups, the paper traces the linkages between small-scale irrigation and aspects of women’s empowerment, identified as important to men and women farmers themselves. The relationship between the components of empowerment and small-scale irrigation are placed within a larger context of social change underlying these relationships. Finally, this paper explores the ways that the introduction of modern technologies for small-scale irrigation may contribute to women’s empowerment.

Keywords: gender; irrigation; empowerment; women; gender equity; farmers; qualitative analysis; technology

Suggested Citation

Bryan, Elizabeth and Garner, Elisabeth, What Does Empowerment Mean to Women in Northern Ghana? Insights From Research Around a Small-Scale Irrigation Intervention (February 4, 2020). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1909, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532693

Elizabeth Bryan (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Elisabeth Garner

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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