Combining data from two Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Ghana in 1991 and 1993 and information from focus group discussions held in four rural areas of that country, we analyze how the prevalence of polygyny in an area affects the gender hierarchy and relations within the family, and spousal attitudes to and communication on issues of reproduction and family planning. We find that in areas with higher levels of polygyny, where women and their roles in the household are seen as easily replaceable, gender inequality within the family with respect to these issues is more pronounced and enduring than in areas with lower polygyny levels. We briefly discuss implications of these findings for the future of gender relations in Ghana and in similar social contexts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science