by Faustina Obeng Adomaa
The percentage contribution of rural deprivation to national poverty is high. In Ghana, it is above 70%, and rises to about 90% in the northern parts of the country (FAO and ECOWAS, 2018). Poverty is a rural phenomenon and women in rural areas are the face of poverty, especially less resource-endowed women. In rural communities, land-based livelihood is dominant (Jarawura and Smith, 2015) and access to land and associated resources for agriculture is crucial. Family or household production dominates in such areas, amidst strict gender and household hierarchical divisions of labour (FAO and ECOWAS, 2018). Rural women live and work in contexts where poverty and deprivation are rife, livelihood options are limited (De La O Campos et al., 2018), and gender norms and their associated differential access to resources are entrenched (Ajadi et al., 2015; Cheteni et al., 2019). Lifting rural women, especially the poorest of the poor, out of poverty to the level where they can live and thrive, demands placing special emphasis on areas that have the strongest potential to improve their livelihoods.
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