Exploring the Nature of Gender Equitable Attitudes among Ghanaian Men: Why do Some Men Reject the Patriarchal Dividend?

Ashley E. Frost, Pennsylvania State University

Gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa has far-reaching demographic implications; fertility, mortality, sexual behavior and domestic violence are all affected by men’s traditional decision-making power in the household. However, because the preponderance of research on gender in Sub-Saharan Africa examines women’s perspectives, we do not know the full extent to which African men endorse gender equity, the basis of their resistance and the best approaches to gaining men’s support for greater gender equity. This study uses a mixed-methods approach to examine how some men in Ghana develop more equitable gender attitudes. Using both the 2003 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey and 33 in-depth interviews with Ghanaian men who were identified as gender equitable, this study examines the quantitative predictors of gender equitable attitudes among men and explores the experiences that can cultivate these attitudes over the life course. Additionally, this study investigates the costs and benefits of holding such attitudes to Ghanaian men.

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Presented in Session 68: Demography with a Gender Lens