Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 What are country-specific gender...
 How to chart quantitative data...
 Summary and conclusions
 Annex 1: Ghana country-specific...
 Back Cover

Title: Gender analysis tool kit
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080527/00004
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Title: Gender analysis tool kit
Physical Description: 1 case : col. ill. ; 27 x 34 cm.
Language: English
Creator: GENESYS Project
Futures Group
United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Office of Women in Development
Publisher: United States Agency for International Development, Office of Women in Development
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1994
Subject: Women in development -- Evaluation -- Handbooks, manuals, etc   ( lcsh )
Economic development projects -- Evaluation -- Handbooks, manuals, etc   ( lcsh )
Sex discrimination in employment -- Evaluation -- Handbooks, manuals, etc   ( lcsh )
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General Note: "Genesys, a project of The Futures Group in collaboration with Management Systems International and Development Alternatives, Inc. and United States Agency for International Development, Office of Women in Development, Dept. of State."
General Note: "Contains ten analytical tools"--GCID framework t.p.
General Note: "Under the GENESYS Project for USAID G/R&D/WID Contract # PDC-0100-Z-00-9044-00"--GCID Framework t.p.
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
    What are country-specific gender profiles and how are they used?
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    How to chart quantitative data on gender differences
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Annex 1: Ghana country-specific gender profile
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Back Cover
        Page 42
Full Text


FRO, W.i ;

I 4


Country Gender
Profiles: A Tool for
Summarizing Policy
Implications from Sex-
Disaggregated Data
Prepared by
John Jerome

September 1994
Under the GENESYS Project for SAID G/R&D/WID
Contract # PDC-0100-Z-00-9044-00


AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency
ALR Adult Literacy Rate
CSGP Country-Specific Gender
ERP Economic Recovery Program
FHH Female-Headed Household
GDHS Ghana Demographic and
Health Survey
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GLSS Ghana Living Standards
HDR Human Development Report
HIV Human Immunodeficiency
IMR Infant Mortality Rate
MHH Male-Headed Household
MMR Maternal Mortality Rate

MYS Median Years of Schooling
NIC Newly Industrialized Country
PHC Primary Health Care
QDS Quarterly Digest of Statistics
TBA Traditional Birth Attendant
TFR Total Fertility Rate
UNDP United Nations
Development Programme
USAID United States Agency for
International Development
WID Women in Development


I. Introduction 1
1.1 Rationale for Developing the Tool 1
1.2 Purpose and Usefulness of the Tool 1
1.3 Target Audience 1

II. What Are Country-Specific Gender Profiles
and How Are They Used? 4
2.1 The Panoramic CSGP 4
Background 4
Health 5
Human Resource Development (Education) 6
Economic Activity 6
Legal and Political Rights 7
Fertility Attitudes and Actions 7
Migration Patterns 8
Using Covariates in a Panoramic CSGP 8
Summarizing and Exploring Implications 8
2.2 The Focused CSGP 8
Purposes 8
Content and Structure 8
Data Sources 9
Analytical Procedures 9
Summary and Conclusions 9

III. How to Chart Quantitative Data
on Gender Differences 12
3.1 General Comments 12
3.2 Elements of Good Figures 12
Simplicity versus Complexity 12
Titles and Data Labels 12
Sourcing and Tabling Charts 12
3.3 Different Types of Charts 13
Pie Charts 13
Bar Charts 15
Stack Charts 21
Line Graphs 23
Combination Charts 24
Pictographs 25

IV Summary and Conclusions 25

References 26

Annex I: Ghana Country Gender Profile 30

illPI~lr~b~aE N F S Vwj,~

I. Introduction

1.1 Rationale for Developing the Tool
This tool was developed in response to a perceived need for specific mechanisms for incorporating gender issues
into development activities. There is a growing awareness among the personnel of the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) of the benefits of gender and social analysis for strengthening development goals
and enhancing program and project outcomes. There remains a need, however, for practical tools that facilitate the
incorporation of gender issues into development interventions. A Country-Specific Gender Profile (CSGP) is one
such tool that has been successful in raising people's consciousness about gender issues in both a general and particu-
lar sense, and in providing policymakers and planners with information that facilitates the design and implementation
of gender-sensitive development goals and strategies.

1.2 Purpose and Usefulness of the Tool
This tool provides general guidelines for constructing and using CSGPs. CSGPs are summaries of existing data
relating to gender issues in a specific country which have implications for development goals and strategies. While a
CSGP usually includes elements of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, this tool concentrates on the use of
quantitative data from published sources. The tool is divided into two parts. The first part describes the basic types,
uses, contents, data sources, and analytical methods of CSGPs. The second part focuses on charting of quantitative
data for analysis and communication. Specific issues addressed in the latter section include general guidelines for
making graphs of all types, choosing the right type of graph with which to present data, and using computerized
graphing programs. An example of a general, panoramic type CSGP (on Ghana) is provided in Annex I.

1.3 Target Audience
This tool is for development practitioners, including policymakers and planners, program and project officers,
and WID officers. The information on charting data is potentially useful to anyone who works with quantitative data.
A wide range of skills and skill levels is anticipated among the users of this tool and undoubtedly some will find
the guidelines too simplistic while others will regard them as too complex. This is, to a large extent, unavoidable. In
preparing this document, an effort was made to find a middle ground that would provide information of benefit to
the widest possible audience.


ilE li l l lI ,

II. What Are
Gender Profiles
and How Are
They Used?

II. What Are Country-Specific Gender

Profiles and How Are They Used?

A CSGP summarizes existing
quantitative and qualitative data on
gender issues that might impact the
development process in a specific
country. This discussion concen-
trates on how to work with the
quantitative aspects of CSGPs.
From a quantitative perspective, the
objectives of a CSGP are to identify
and describe sex differences as rep-
resented by quantifiable indicators
and to explore the implications of
these observed gender differences
for development goals and strategies.
There are two basic types of
CSGPs, designated as panoramic
and focused. The panoramic CSGP
provides a broad, general overview
of gender issues, while the focused
CSGP explores a more limited set of
issues in greater depth. The
panoramic overview rarely provides
specific, direct, or policy-relevant
information to development practi-
tioners, as it does not go into any
particular issue deeply or exhaus-
tively. The focused CSGP is
expressly created to provide infor-
mation that aids development
practitioners in formulating gender-
sensitive goals and strategies.
Panoramic and focused CSGPs
use somewhat different data
sources. Usually a focused CSGP

uses a data source in a more in-depth
manner than does a panoramic
CSGP. Much of the data examined
in a panoramic CSGP can be found
in annually published global sum-
maries of development statistics like
the UNDP's Human Development
Report and the World Bank's World
Development Report. Data used in
focused profiles come from many
sources such as specialized studies,
sectoral surveys, national census
data, or macro-level development
statistics from global summaries.
The two types of CSGPs use dif-
ferent types of comparative analysis
methods. Panoramic CSGPs
involve cross-country comparisons
as a basis for judging whether sex
differences on a particular indicator
for a country are higher or lower
than expected. Panoramic CSGPs
also rely on longitudinal comparisons
to judge progress of the country,
particularly on narrowing sex differ-
ences in areas such as education and
Focused CSGPs use almost any
type of comparative method but
rely principally on correlational
techniques. Focused CSGPs also
incorporate more covariates and
include more multivariate analyses
than panoramic CSGPs. The
focused CSGP is typically con-
cerned not only with identifying
and measuring sex differences, but
also with examining sex differences
in relation to other variables such as
rural and urban residence, educa-
tion, or income levels.

2.1 The Panoramic
A panoramic CSGP identifies
and describes the most salient sex
differences in a specific country and
links these differences to develop-
ment goals and strategies in very
broad terms. A panoramic CSGP
serves to raise the consciousness of
audiences regarding the general
types and magnitudes of sex differ-
ences in a specific country and their
potential impact on development
activities. This CSGP may also
identify potentially relevant gender
issues that warrant further research
and help formulate research ques-
tions to guide such investigations.
The basic content of a
panoramic CSGP includes general
background information about a
country relevant to gender issues,
and examines gender differences in
at least six main areas. These areas
include: (1) health, (2) human
resource development, (3) economic
activity, (4) legal and political rights
and participation, (5) fertility
attitudes and actions, and
(6) migration patterns.

The panoramic CSGP includes
general background information on
the country being examined,
because the intended audience will
probably contain persons with little
or no familiarity with the country.
Background material, however,
should be limited to those character-


istics that have relevance to the
gender issues being addressed in the
profile. Some of the main types of
background information to consider
* current development status;
* recent development progress;
* pertinent geographical, political,
and historical characteristics;
* major dimensions of socio-
cultural composition such as
rural-urban, ethnic and racial,
religious, and class divisions; and
N key development problems and

Background material may be
grouped as an introductory section
of the profile or distributed among
substantive sections. A combina-
tion of these options may work best,
but the actual organization depends
largely on personal preference. In
this type of CSGP, however, it is rec-
ommended that each of the sub-
stantive areas where gender issues
are likely to arise be addressed, even
if there is no evidence of problems
in some of these areas. Knowing
that there is not a significant prob-
lem in a particular area can be a
useful piece of information.
Exploring each of the areas sepa-
rately helps ensure potentially rele-
vant gender issues are not over-
In the following sub-sections,
each of the substantive areas that
should be included in a panoramic
CSGP is briefly discussed in terms
of basic rationale, key indicators
used, and kinds of comparisons
typically made.

Concerns about gender differ-
ences in health are based on the
premise that men and women may
face different kinds and degrees of
mortality risks. These differences
may be due to the division of labor
in which men's and women's work
pose different mortality risks.
Differences in mortality risks can
also result from men and women
having different access to the
resources needed for sustaining
The most basic and general
health indicator typically used to
look for sex differences is life
expectancy. Life expectancy is
defined, and its uses in assessing
gender differences are discussed,
elsewhere in this tool kit (see
"Quantifying Gender Issues: A Tool
for Using Quantitative Data in
Gender Analysis" and "Sex and
Gender-What's the Difference? A
Tool for Examining the Sociocultural
Context of Sex Differences"). It is
important to emphasize that life
expectancies of women and men are
not directly comparable because of
the apparent biological advantage
women have for outliving men.
Comparisons of life expectancies of
women and men therefore have to
focus on the magnitude or propor-
tion of difference. This requires an
external basis for comparison to
determine the difference between
life expectancies of men and women
relative to what would normally be
expected for a country at a particu-
lar level of development.
If an examination of life
expectancies indicates that there
may be significant differences in

men's and women's health risks,
then a brief analysis of key mortality
rates may be warranted. Infant and
child mortality rates are the most
easily obtained and can raise impor-
tant issues. The normal expectation
is to find more male than female
deaths under one and up to five
years of age. If more girls are dying
than boys, this may be a signal that
something in the culture of the
country is tipping the scales in favor
of male survival. If more boys are
dying than girls, the questions
become (1) by how much and (2) is
the difference sufficiently large to
raise questions about cultural prac-
tices that favor girls in the country?
Other mortality rates that may be
informative include maternal, occu-
pational, and accidental mortality,
the first being restricted exclusively
to women and the other two tend-
ing to disproportionately affect
men's longevity. Maternal mortality
rates are available for most coun-
tries, although their accuracy is
often suspect. Occupational and
accidental mortality figures are not
as readily accessible and may not
exist for some of the least developed


Human Resource
Education is an important area
of potential gender issues. In the
vast majority of developing coun-
tries, men's educational attainment
exceeds women's regardless of the
kinds of measures used. The most
important questions, however, are
(1) how big is the difference? (2)
what are the main dimensions of
the differences? and (3) how have
the differences changed over time?
When gauging the differences
between men's and women's educa-
tional attainment, it is important to
consider differences in basic literacy,
and in the quantity, types, and qual-
ity of education achieved.
The most basic indicator of
education in developing countries,
which is disaggregated by sex in
most global development sum-
maries, is the adult literacy rate
(ALR)-the proportion of the popu-
lation over the age of fifteen who
have at least minimal reading and
writing skills. Sometimes actual lit-
eracy rates by sex are shown, and
sometimes women's literacy is
shown as a percent of men's. The
accuracy of literacy data varies
widely across countries, which lim-
its the accuracy of international
comparisons. Nevertheless, they at
least provide a crude indicator of
gender parity in basic education.

Basic literacy, however, does not
tell us how men and women differ
in the quantity of education
received. For this we need a mea-
sure such as mean years of school-
ing (MYS) by sex. This measure is
available for most, but not all,
developing countries. Another
indicator of educational quantity
differences is the proportion of
women and men enrolled at the pri-
mary, secondary, and tertiary levels;
but these statistics are missing from
the global summaries for many
countries. Even harder to find are
measures that show differences in
the types and quality of education
received by men and women. For
these dimensions, specialized stud-
ies are generally required.

As with educational differences,
there are many dimensions to
explore in men's and women's eco-
nomic activity. Many problems
may also arise in making compar-
isons. All of the possible factors and
difficulties cannot be addressed in
this report, but a few examples may
alert readers to the kinds of things
to look for when exploring gender
differences in economic activity.
The most basic and perhaps
most commonly used indicators in
this area are the proportions of the
labor force comprised of men and
women. Often the statistic shown
in global summaries is women as a
percent of the total labor force, but
sometimes the figure given is
women as a percent of men in the
labor force. The problems with this
indicator are how labor force is
defined and how men and women
are counted as in or out of the labor

force. The technical notes accom-
panying the data sources should
specify how labor force is defined.
In some cases, the term may apply
only to the labor force of people
who work for wages and pay taxes.
This definition does not adequately
account for people working in the
informal economy and family work-
ers, particularly in agriculture, who
do not receive formal wages. These
categories tend to include large por-
tions of women in developing coun-
tries, so official labor force statistics
tend to systematically underestimate
women's participation.
A more detailed look at the
labor force could also include a
breakdown of the economically
active population by age as well as
sex. This method has the advan-
tages of showing at which age levels
men and women are most likely to
be economically active and how the
labor force changes over time. If
more women in the younger ages
work than older women, this may
indicate that it has become more
acceptable (or necessary) for
women to work outside the home.
An example of charting the eco-
nomically active population by age
and sex is shown in Section III
(see page 19).
It is possible to explore several
other dimensions of gender differ-
ences in economic activity if space
permits and data are available.
These include sex distributions by
economic sectors, occupational
groups, occupational levels, and
incomes. Most of these, however,


require data from special focused
studies and are appropriately
reserved for a more focused CSGP.
It may be useful and appropriate in
a panoramic CSGP to include some
discussion of characteristic gender
differences in the customary divi-
sion of labor, including relevant dif-
ferences between major ethnic or
religious groups. These kinds of
data are typically found in ethno-
graphic case studies.

Legal and
Political J-. ~jh
Data on legal and political dif-
ferences between men and women
are not as readily available or pre-
sented quantitatively as the other
differences discussed, but should be
included in a panoramic CSGP. In
most cases, the basic concern is
whether women have equal rights
with men. One way of addressing
this question is to construct a check
list of key areas where men's and
women's rights may vary. Pertinent
topics could include:
* ownership and inheritance of
* credit eligibility,
* marriage and divorce rights,
* occupational rights (i.e., mini-
mum wages, health and safety,
etc.), and
* rights to vote and stand for
public office.

This kind of information is not
generally available from global
development summaries;
researchers will probably have to
look for special studies or possibly
consult an information service
agency. Also, there may be a differ-
ence between formal law and actual,
day-to-day practices; women and
men may have equal rights under
the law, but the law may not be ade-
quately or equitably enforced.
Furthermore, women may be unin-
formed about their rights or may be
fearful of informal sanctions by
their families and communities if
they attempt to exercise these rights.
These kinds of issues may be
beyond the scope of a panoramic
CSGP but should be kept in mind
and at least minimally addressed.
Quantitative data on gender dif-
ferences in political participation
may be more accessible than data on
legal rights and practices. The
UNDP's Human Development
Report (HDR) includes one indica-
tor of political participation: the
percent of seats in parliament held
by women. This is a crude basis for
making cross-country comparisons,
but it is interesting to note that in
the 1993 HDR the mean percent of
women parliamentarians in devel-
oping countries was larger than the
mean for the industrialized nations.
Some countries may have sur-
vey results on numbers and percent-
ages of women voting in elections.
One might also look for data on
women's political organizations;
their number, membership size and
composition, agendas, accomplish-
ments, and so forth. Researchers

also could gain insights into gender
differences in political participation
through content analysis of newspa-
pers, and radio and television
broadcasts. In general, however,
this level of effort would be more
appropriate for a focused CSGP.

Fertility Attitudes
and Actions
There has been an increasing
awareness among researchers of the
relevance of gender differences in
fertility attitudes in recent years.
Unfortunately, however, data
sources for examining these issues
are lacking for many countries.
There are interesting data on these
subjects for countries where
Demographic and Health Surveys
(DHS) or similar kinds of studies
have been conducted and where a
male or husband component was
included in the survey. If data are
available, the main questions to be
explored are (1) how do men's and
women's fertility aspirations differ?
(2) how do men and women differ
on knowledge of and attitudes
toward family planning? and (3)
who has the dominant decision-
making role on fertility matters?
The exploration of these and related
questions should be reserved for a
focused CSGP, but it may be useful
to sketch the major dimensions of
gender differences in fertility atti-
tudes and actions in a panoramic


Migration Patterns
The panoramic CSGP example
on Ghana included as Annex I devi-
ates from the structural model pre-
sented here in that it does not
include a separate section on gender
differences in migration. In this
particular CSGP, migration differ-
ences pertained primarily to gender
differences in economic activity, so
an exploration of migration pat-
terns was included as a subsection
of economics. Gender differences in
migration patterns can, however,
have important implications for
other non-economic issues such as
household headship and fertility-
related actions.
The first step in exploring
migration is to determine if there
are gender differences in migration
patterns. Two basic types of migra-
tion should be considered: rural-
urban and international. Do either
or both of these types of migration
predominantly involve one sex or
the other? How large are the flows
of migration of one sex relative to
the other? These are the most basic
concerns to quantify. Often, how-
ever, there is a lack of data available
on migration patterns in developing
countries. One way to get a general
idea of gender-specific migration
patterns is to examine the sex ratios
of the rural and urban populations,
broken down by age group, if

Using Covariates in a
Panoramic CSGP
A panoramic CSGP cannot
realistically delve too deeply into
patterns of variation in gender dif-
ferences associated with other
socio-cultural dimensions such as
rural-urban, ethnic, and religious
compositions. These dimensions,
however, may be important covari-
ates of gender differences. Major
differences between rural and urban
populations, for example, have long
been recognized as important con-
siderations in development policy-
making and planning. Gender
differences in education and health
can also vary significantly with these
other factors, and it is generally wise
to include (if data are available) at
least a brief summary of some of the
more important of these covariates.
In general, however, covariates of
gender differences play a much
more prominent role in focused

Typically, any analysis should
end with a summary or conclusion
section. The panoramic CSGP is
not an exception. At a minimum,
the summary section should reca-
pitulate the main issues identified.
Some effort to link these findings to
development activities is also appro-
priate, but the depth of analysis
used in this type of CSGP does not
typically warrant such precision.
The findings of a panoramic CSGP
should point to areas that warrant
further study and suggest potentially
rewarding lines of inquiry.

2.2 The Focused CSGP

A focused CSGP provides infor-
mation on gender differences that is
pertinent to setting goals or design-
ing successful sectoral strategies. A
focused CSGP helps define develop-
ment problems so that practitioners
can formulate goals and objectives
that address relevant gender con-
cerns and that account for the socio-
cultural realities of gender relations
in a specific development arena.

The content and structure of
focused CSGPs vary widely depend-
ing on the specific reasons for their
construction. Focused CSGPs are
commonly organized by sector or
by a specific development goal. The
sector-specific CSGP explores gen-
der issues that arise in or pertain to
a particular sector such as economic
growth, democracy, or health.
The goal-directed CSGP gener-
ally begins with a specific develop-
ment goal and explores ways in
which gender relations and differ-
ences in a specific development con-
text potentially impact on this goal.
The goal-directed CSGP examines
relevant aspects of gender relations
to incorporate into the design of
strategies for enhancing program
and project outcomes.


Data Sources
Focused CSGPs generally rely
on a wide range of data sources, but
in some cases they concentrate on
just one or two. Some focused
CSGPs have centered on data from a
country-specific Demographic and
Health Survey. A common problem
of all types of secondary analysis
particularly relevant to focused
CSGPs is the availability of data;
often data does not exist or is not of
sufficient quality or specificity to
answer research questions that arise
in a focused profile. A compromise
has to be struck between answering
the vital questions and those for
which relevant data exist.

Focused CSGPs typically make
extensive use of gender covariates
and of multivariate analytical tech-
niques. As a consequence, the pre-
sentation of findings is usually more
complex than in the panoramic
CSGP. Examples of charts showing
multivariate analyses are included in
Section III. Often, analysis in a
focused CSGP needs to go beyond
what can be done using data from
tables found in published reports.
Focused CSGPs may require the
analyst to obtain raw datasets and
perform statistical procedures
directly to answer the research

"-. .-mt ; ;-y a 7 and
Focused CSGPs should link
findings on gender differences to
relevant development goals and/or
strategies. Unless policy recom-
mendations are specifically request-
ed in the scope of work, it is sug-
gested that the CSGP phrase policy
implications in terms of questions
and/or alternatives for considera-
tion. In many cases, because of the
limited availability of data, a key
conclusion of the focused CSGP will
be that there is not enough infor-
mation available to answer suffi-
ciently the research questions posed.
In this case, appropriate recommen-
dations may be for further research
and guidelines for subsequent



III. How to Chart
Data on Gender

III. How to Chart Quantitative Data

on Gender Differences

3.1 General
Graphic presentations of quan-
titative relationships generally get
people's attention better and are
easier to understand than citing
numbers and statistical test results.
Therefore it is valuable for the
researcher/analyst to have some
basic skills in charting and present-
ing data to communicate findings
and policy implications that might
not otherwise be understood or
appreciated by policymakers and
decision makers. It is always appro-
priate, however, to make available
the data tables that were used as
sources for the graphics presentation.
Graphic presentations can dis-
tort or mislead the audience even if
the numbers in the accompanying
tables and on the graph are techni-
cally correct. For example, the
starting point of scales used to make
a graph can give the impression that
a difference between groups is
greater or smaller than it actually is.
Generally, the visual impression has
a stronger impact than the actual
numbers that the graphic represents.
The following discussions
assume that the construction of
CSGPs will take two forms; an
audio-visual presentation and a for-
mal written report. Guidelines are
generally more stringent for the
written report.

3.2 Elements of
Good Figures

Simplicity versus
One of the more difficult
decisions to make when preparing
graphics for a quantitative presenta-
tion is how much information to
put into a single graph. If the chart
is made too simple the audience
may be bored. Oversimplification
also may distort the image of reality
that is being presented because it
does not adequately convey the
multi-dimensional complexity of
the issues being discussed. The
presentation of quantitative relation-
ships in simple dichotomous
comparisons can be inefficient,
requiring more separate charts.
On the other hand, if a chart is too
complex, the audience and possibly
even the presenter may fail to
understand the key points.
There are no concrete rules for
deciding when a chart is too simple
or too complex. In general, quanti-
tative analyses should try to incor-
porate some of the complexity of
social reality. Charts showing simple
dichotomous relationships should
be minimized. In the examples that
follow, several suggestions are given
for showing multiple relationships
with one figure. Often, showing
complexity in a simple way is a mat-
ter of the right medium. In general,
charts should be previewed by
others for understandability and

Titles and Data Labels
Charts are figures, not tables,
and should be labeled as such.
Figures and tables should be
sequentially numbered, and all fig-
ures should have a title. In academic
circles, figure and table titles can
often be several lines long. In many
applied settings, this level of detail
tends to be regarded as tedious or
pedantic. In general, however, it is
preferable to err on the side of saying
too much than too little.
Figures should be able to stand
alone. Variables and measurement
scales should be clearly labeled.
When more than two variables are
shown in a chart a legend is needed.
Including value labels, especially on
bar and pie charts, is generally
advisable. Charts and tables often
have accompanying footnotes
explaining questionable aspects,
qualifying relationships, or defining

The source from which the data
in a chart was obtained should
always be cited and these sources
should be listed in a reference section
in the final report. It is appropriate
and desirable to include an appendix
in the final report of the data tables
from which the figures in the profile
were made.


3.3 Different
Types of Charts

Pie C-40. -. a r:.
Pie charts are limited exclusively
to showing proportions of a whole.
They do not provide a clear propor-
tional comparison between groups
or categories, although they are fre-
quently used in this way. Comparing
proportional distributions across
groups requires that a separate pie
chart be made for each group and
the audience must be able to see the
differences. If the differences across

charts are small, the audience will
have a difficult time seeing patterns.
In any case, the audience must men-
tally superimpose the charts in order
to make comparisons.
Figure 1 shows a multi-dimen-
sional comparison that works fairly
well using four pie charts. In this
example, the comparisons concern
relative proportions of males and
females in the literate population of
Nepal. We also want to know how

these proportions have changed
over time and how they vary by
rural and urban residence. Thus,
there are four separate pie charts,
each divided into male and female
proportions. Reading horizontally,
we see a comparison of the rural
and urban populations at two
points in time. In both years, there
is not much difference in the rural
and urban populations in terms of
the proportions by sex, although the
urban literate populations have


Figure I

Literate Populations of Rural and

Urban Nepal by Sex, 1981 and 1991


Source. Nepall 01991) Census, Advance Tables, 1993

Figure 2

Cochabamba, Bolivia: Primary

and Secondary Activities of Rural

Women, 1992

Primary Actriity
16 3%o 8.
2 6' 4 4".

Care of Household
M Animal Husbandry
Construction, Transport & Servces
Source: CochabamDa Rural Household Survey, 1992

Secondary Activity
7 9% 1 20o 7 40
26 70

slightly higher proportions of
women than do the rural. We can
also perceive, although not very
clearly, that more progress toward
gender equity in literacy has been
made in the urban population than
in the rural.
Note in this chart how the male
and female portions of each pie
chart are labeled with symbols. 2
In Figure 2, two pie charts show
the breakdown of primary and
secondary economic activities
reported by women surveyed in the
rural population of the Cochabamba
district of Bolivia. The focus here is
to compare the proportions of each
type of activity named as primary
and secondary in the total sample.
These data could also have been
presented in the form of bar charts
or combined into stacked charts
(discussed later). The bar or stack
chart would emphasize the size of
each category of activity relative to
the others. The pie chart draws
attention to the proportion each
category comprises of the total
group. For example, over half of the
sample named care of the house-
hold as their primary activity and
about a quarter named it as their
secondary activity.
When using pie charts, one
needs to consider the number of
sections to a pie. Sometimes simple
pies with only two sections can
become boring to an audience,
especially if there are several such

2 This was done to add some visual interest to the
chart and to eliminate the need for a separate leg-
end box. These symbols were made using the draw-
ing tools of the graphics program. Once a pair of
symbols were constructed, they were copied, pasted
four times, and individually moved into position.


pies. Dichotomous pie charts can
also be redundant. For example, pie
charts are sometimes used with atti-
tude variables in which the propor-
tions answering affirmatively and
negatively are shown. When there
are only two possible answers to a
question, the proportion who
answered one way is somewhat
irrelevant if the proportion answer-
ing the other way is known. This
redundancy may also apply when
making comparisons between the
proportions of men and women in a
population; if we know that women
constitute 26 percent of the labor
force in Morocco, do we really need
to show that men make up the
remaining 74 percent? Reducing
this type of redundancy enables us
to include more variables, thereby
heightening audience interest,
increasing the efficiency of the pre-
sentations, and possibly increasing
the sophistication of the analysis.
On the other hand, pie charts
can also have too many sections.
The pie charts in Figure 2 have six
sections. This is about as many as
one would want to include in a
chart. When data has more cate-
gories than can clearly be distin-
guished in a pie chart, some of the
categories may be combined with-
out too much loss of information or
clarity (e.g., Construction,
Transport, and Service categories
were combined in Figure 2).

Bar Cha~rlts
Bar and column charts make
comparisons between one numeric
variable and one or more categorical
variables. A bar or column chart
uses a rectangular bar to represent a
quantity or proportion associated

Fiure 3

Women's Adult Literacy Rate as a

Percent of Men's, Arab Nations, 1990

Un ptd Arab Emirapes
Iraq .

LSyian Islam Rep
Yemengyp Arab Rep.

Saudi Arabia
Libvan Islam Rep
Yemen Arab Rep

0 10 20

30 40 50

Source UNDP Human Development Repon 1993

with a group or category. Technically,
the difference between a bar and a
column chart is that the bars run
horizontally while columns run ver-
tically. The only basis for selecting
one orientation over the other is the
number of categories to be included.
When there are a large number of
categories to be shown, a column
format may not fit as conveniently
on a page as a bar format. In this
discussion, the term "bar chart" will
be used in most instances to refer to
both horizontally and vertically
oriented charts. The basic bar chart
has a set of categories along one axis
and a numeric scale along the other.
A number of variations or embell-
ishments can be added to the basic
bar chart. Some of the more useful
of these are shown and discussed
in the following examples.

80 90

100 110

Figure 3 is an example of a basic
(horizontal) bar chart in which the
variable along the vertical axis is
Arab countries and the variable on
the horizontal axis is the ratio
between women's and men's litera-
cy. While the basic structure of the
chart is easy to understand and
needs little discussion, there are sev-
eral aspects of the comparisons
being made in this chart that
deserve comment.
First, there are two types of
international comparisons being
made. The country of focus is
Morocco and is designated simply
with a darker shade. 3 One objec-
tive of this chart is to compare
Morocco with other Arab countries

3Mostgraphics programs will not allow you to
make one bar different from the others unless you
ungroup the chart, select only those components
that you want to change, and make changes using
the drawing and coloring tools of the program.


on gender equity in education as
measured by women's literacy as a
percent of men's. The second objec-
tive is to see how Morocco and the
Arab states compare with the aver-
age female-to-male literacy ratio for
all developing countries. Only three
of the Arab countries equal or
exceed the developing country aver-
age, and Morocco not only falls well
below this mark, but is also rather
low in ranking among the Arab
countries. The developing country
average is shown as a simple vertical
line cross-cutting the bars. This
chart could have been simplified by
using an average for the Arab states,
however, the range of values among
the Arab states is very wide. This
range would not be revealed if only
an average was used.
Figure 4 is a simpler example.
In this chart, sex ratios are shown

for five regions of Egypt. A sex ratio
is usually expressed as the number
of males for every 100 females in the
population. The comparison line
drawn horizontally from the 100
mark on the vertical axis is to show
the level at which the number of
women and men would be equal.
The purpose of this chart is to
determine which regions have the
greatest shortages of men. This
observation is part of an analysis of
sex-specific migration patterns.
Large numbers of Egyptian men
have been migrating to the oil-
exporting Arab states to work in the
oil fields. This chart provides evi-
dence that the bulk of these men are
probably coming from rural Egypt
and to a lesser extent from Upper
(southern) Egypt. What does this
have to do with gender issues? The
migration patterns raise questions

about the possibility that many
women in those areas with low sex
ratios may be serving as de facto
heads of household while their hus-
bands are away working in another
country. This raises questions
about the changing roles and needs
of women in these areas.
Rather than starting at zero, the
scale range on the vertical axis
begins at 88 and rises in increments
of 2. The differences between
groups would be almost impercepti-
ble if a full scale had been used. It is
advisable to clearly include actual
values for the bars whenever a scale
modification occurs to ensure that
the audience does not misinterpret
the information.
Bar charts can also be used to
show comparisons between more
than one variable on the same
numeric scale. In Figure 5, a double

Figure 4

Regional Sex Ratios of Egyptian Population, 1992

102 .







881 urI
urban urban
Govis Lower
Source: Egypt Demographic and Health Survey. 1992


Sex Parity



Sex Pan



bar chart is shown in which infant
and child mortality rates are com-
pared by sex. When more than one
categorical variable is used, the bars
are clustered by one of the variables.
In this case, males and females are
clustered and infant and child mor-
tality groupings stand apart. The
bars could have been grouped the
other way so that male mortality
rates stood apart from female mor-
tality rates, but this would have
placed the emphasis on the mortali-
ty rather than the gender variable. 4
Figure 5 also includes brief defi-
nitions of infant and child mortali-
ty. The normal pattern in mortality
rates is for male mortality to exceed
female mortality at every age level.
This is the pattern in Figure 5 for
infants under the age of one year.
However, the female child mortality
rate exceeds the male rate. Is there
some kind of discrimination against
female children occurring in Egypt
that results in higher than normal
death rates? This is an excellent
example of what an analysis of
quantitative data should do; a
potential gender issue is revealed
that warrants further study.
Figure 6 is a triple bar chart in
which the primary comparison is of
women's levels of school enrollment
and the secondary is of Arab states.
Data on the other Arab countries
were not available. The clusters of
bars convey the impression of female
attrition from the school system.
The averages for all developing coun-
tries are provided below the graph
for the three levels of enrollment.

Figure 5

Infant and Child* Mortality Rates

by Sex, Egypt 1992

S 1m Females
.1 I Males

Infant Mortality Child Mortality
Infant mortality = mortality under age 1
Child mortality = mortality under age 5
Source. Egypt Demographic and Health Survey. 1992

Figure 6

School Enrollment by Level: Females as

a Percent of Males, Arab States, 1990

United Arab Emirates

Synan Arab Rep




Saudi Arabia

4 The grouping of categories depends on how you
put the data into the charting program's data sheet
and on whether you choose the option to show data
series in columns or rows. The simplest way to
explain how to change the grouping is to suggest
that you put the data into the sheet and see what
happens. If the groupings are not the way you want
them, find the 'data series' option. Whichever way
the option shows the data as being currently orga-
nized, choose the other option.

Source. UNDP Human Developmem Report, 1993

Three-dimensional or perspec-
tive bar charts are an interesting and
useful format when there is a con-
sistent pattern across clusters. The
El Salvadoran Ministry of Planning
used this type of chart to present
survey data on incomes by sex and
education. At all levels of education
women had lower average monthly
salaries than men (see Figure 7).


Morocco6 o2 40 0 8 1
Developing Country Averages 1990: Primary = 86%, Secondary = 36%, Tertiary = 5%

Figure 7

Average Monthly Salary by Sex, Residence (Urban and Rural),

and Years of Schooling Completed, El Salvador, 1991-92
Percentages indicate females' average salaries as o of males'



I I Males 1 Females




1 -3



Years ol School

I Males =::::.1 Females
1dAAn- R-




I- -


Years of School

Source El Salvador Minislry ol Planning, 1992

Placing men in the back rows reveals
a pattern of differences. The format
is not, however, as conducive to
comparing men's and women's rela-
tive educational levels as one that
places bars side by side. To clarify
these gender differences, percentages
have been added to the face of each
of the women's bars. We can see, for
example, that at the 'no schooling'

level in urban El Salvador, the aver-
age salary for women is 82% of the
average salary for men.
In the urban sample in Figure 7,
the rise in income for each level of
education appears to be more linear
for women than it is for men, while
in the rural sample the pattern
across the men's income averages
appears slightly more linear than
the women's.
In Figure 7, the two charts allow
us to make indirect comparisons
between rural and urban salary lev-

els for men and women. One aspect
that is almost immediately apparent
is that salary levels for both men
and women are lower in the rural
than in the urban sector across all
educational levels. When two charts
are used in this way, one needs to
ensure that the scale used on the
numeric axes (incomes) and the
overall dimensions of the two charts
are identical to avoid perceptual




Another type of bar chart that is
usually quite interesting and infor-
mative is the pyramid chart or, more
technically, the two-way bar chart.
The example shown in Figure 8 is
actually a two-way, double bar chart.
It is called two-way because it con-
tains bars in two directions (left and
right) and it is a double bar chart
because there are two sets of bars in
each direction. In this case, however,
there can be no three-dimensional
perspective to the chart. The second
sets of bars are laid directly on top of
the first. This type of chart can only
be used when the second sets of
values are smaller than the first.
In Figure 8, the first sets of bars
(light shading) depict the total pop-
ulation of Tunisia by sex for each
age group. The darker sets of bars
show subsets of the population cate-
gories classified as economically
active. This type of chart is often
referred to as a pyramid chart
because of its characteristic shape.
The shape, however, derives from
the nature of the data used rather
than from the structure of the chart
itself. While there are several obser-
vations that could be made about
the data depicted in Figure 8, the
purpose of using this format is to
show the general shape of the eco-
nomically active population in rela-
tion to its age and sex composition,
relative to the overall structure of
Tunisia's population.

Figure 8

Economically Active and Total

Populations of Tunisia, 1989


1 200,000 800,000 400,000
NA Tolal Population
Source, El Salvador Ministry of Planning 1992

0 400.000 800 000 1.200,00
- Economically Active Population

q. e .
.j A.. .. N P4L.

4-., -.21 R.
4.. 4.,* iii i. R .

; .V..... ..
.. ... .. ... ... ; .. :: `
k.; i ? '': 'l`''' i; ld'~;
,,. n 4.6,


Figure 9

Urban and Rural Literate Populations and Total Urban and

Rural Populations, Egypt, 1986



2,000 1,000

0 1,000 2.000 2,000 1,000
Population in 1,000s

1.000 2,000
T'a Total Population
m Literate

Source. U.S Bureau oi Census International Database, 1993

Figure 9 shows another use for
the two-way, double bar chart.
Here, the inset bars represent the lit-
erate population of Egypt by age
and sex. The two charts are shown
on the same page, one for the rural
and one for the urban population. 5
This format allows additional
observations about differences in
the composition of literacy by age
and sex between rural and urban
sectors of the population. The two
charts must be in correct propor-
tion to each other. That is, the
numeric (horizontal) axis of each
chart needs to be scaled the same.
By maintaining a proportionate
scale across charts, more meaning-
ful and accurate comparisons
between the rural and urban popu-

nations can be made. For example,
the rural and urban populations of
Egypt are close to equal in size; 48
percent of the Egyptian population
live in urban areas. In Figure 9, the
rural population (the area inside the
outer pyramid) looks larger than
the area included within the overall
urban pyramid. This is largely due
to the difference in shape, where the
rural pyramid is very wide at the
base and rapidly tapering, while the
urban pyramid is steeper and
almost bulging in the midsection.
We can infer from these shape dif-
ferences that there is much higher
fertility in the rural areas than in the
urban areas and that there is proba-
bly a high degree of rural-to-urban
migration, particularly among peo-
ple in their 20s to 40s. There are
substantial differences both in size
and shape of the rural and urban
literate populations. Much more of
the urban population, both men

and women, are literate. This is
particularly true for the higher age
groups. The urban population is
also much closer to achieving gen-
der equity in literacy at all ages than
is the rural population.
Figure 10 shows another varia-
tion on the two-way double bar
chart that is useful for looking at
differences in sex ratios across age
groups. This chart has only popula-
tion data without any subset popu-
lation, but it shows rural and urban
differences in the same chart rather
than with two separate charts. The
left-hand side shows the urban pop-
ulation by age and sex of El
Salvador in 1991 and the right-hand
side shows the rural population.

5 These charts were made separately, reduced in
proportionate size, copied and pasted onto another
page, and arranged so that they stand side by side.


Figure 10

Population by Age and Sex, Urban and Rural

El Salvador, 1991-92

70+ Urban

25 -29 i ,. .....
15. 19
215.000 172,000 129.000 86.000 43.000
Source El Salvador Ministry of Planning, 1992

SMales i Females

0 43.000 86.000 129.000 172,000 215,000

Instead of having the men's bars
pointing left and the women's
pointing right, men's and women's
bars are side by side (with no gap)
so that their lengths can be com-
pared. 6
Higher fertility appears in the
rural sector, as shown by the longer
bars in the younger age groups.
More importantly, there are large
differences in the sex ratios of both
rural and urban populations in the
middle age range. In almost every
case, there are more women than
men. El Salvador has been experi-
encing high rates of migration out
of the country, particularly among
males, and has also recently ended a
bloody civil war that claimed many
lives, especially men's. These events
are indicated by the data in Figure
10. The differences in men's and
women's bars are greater in the
urban than in the rural sector, ten-
tative evidence of a predominance

of female over male rural-to-urban
migration, or of international
migration by men.

The stack chart can be very use-
ful for showing relationships involv-
ing multiple categorical variables.
There are two main types of stack
charts; those that show relationships
between quantities and those that
show relationships between propor-
tions of wholes.
Figure 11 shows an example of a
quantity stack chart in which the lit-
eracy rates for the Arab states are
compared at two points in time.
Each of the bars in this chart repre-
sents adult literacy in one Arab
country. Each bar is composed of
two quantities. The dark section
represents the adult literacy rate
(ALR) in 1970. The light section is
the difference between ALRs in 1990
and 1970, or in other words, the
increase in rates between 1970 and
1990. The combined length of each

bar (dark and light sections) equals
the ALR of 1990.
This format provides an
excellent sense of how much the
countries shown have improved

6Although Figure 10 appears to be a single chart, it
was actually made by splicing two charts together,
one for the left side and the other for the right. In
these charts the gap was set at 0% but the overlap
was also set at 0% instead of 100% as in the previ-
ous examples. To make the left-hand chart, a
'Reverse Values' option was used rather than enter-
ing the data as negative numbers, but either way
will work. The 'Reverse Values' option in this case
had the advantage of reducing the subsequent edit-
ing required but one still needs to ungroup one of
the charts to remove redundant labeling. When
splicing the charts together, one should make sure
that correct proportions are maintained between the
two charts and magnify (zoom in) when aligning
the touching edges of the two charts.



Figure 11

Adult Literacy Rates, Arab States,

1970 & 1990
Deleloping&Countr Iey rage 1990 = 650

Synan Arab Rep
Libyan Islam Rep
Saudi Arabia
Egypi Arab Rep
remen Arab Rep.

0 10 20 30 40
Percent Literale
Source World Bark Wonra Developmrren Report. 1993




60 70 80

Figure 12

Labor Force Distribution by Sex,

Residence (Urban and Rural), and

Occupational Group, El Salvador 1991-1992

500 000
I Females
400 000 -
u Males
S300 000
F=460. F65'. F=24%
M=54%1 M=35" F=74 M=764.
-D 200 000 M=26%
M=F -8'% F--640 F=48%
M00 000 EM A% [&F

0 Prof & Comm & Service Aqnculture Unskilled SKilled Tranap.
Aam Sales Worker WorKer Worker

W,5 Females
400 000
o Males
0 300 000

8 F=80 F=24% F=50
S100,000F=31 M20 F=59 F=51% M= M=95
100 'r000M: M=49%
P C e

Prof & Comm. & Service
Aom Sales
Source El Salvaaor Ministrr of Planning, 1992

Agriculture Unskilled Skilled
Worker Worker Worker



their literacy in 20 years and how
they stand now in relation to each
other and to the average adult litera-
cy rate of all developing countries.
Figure 12 is another example of
how a quantity stack chart can be
used. Here, each stack represents
the total number of people in each
occupational category for the rural
and urban populations. The overall
lengths of the bars represent the
total labor force breakdown across
occupations. The sections of each
stack reveal the proportions of each
occupational category that are male
and female. The stack sections
depict: (1) how each category is
divided by sex, and (2) how males
and females are distributed across
Percentaged stack charts can
also compare groups in terms of
their proportional breakdowns
within a categorical variable. This
type of chart is preferred to using
multiple pie charts for a more direct
visual comparison between groups.
In a percentage stack chart, each of
the bars is equal in length, repre-
senting 100 percent of the cases in a
given category. However, the cate-
gories may not be equal in size; the
relevant comparison is between the
proportional differences across






Figure 13

Next Child Sex Preference of Women Without Sons and

With One Son, Pakistan 1990-91

100"- ....... ..





0 0 1 2 3
Source' PaKistan Demographic and Healn Survey, 199

Each of the bars in Figure 13
represents all the women surveyed
by the Pakistan Demographic and
Health Survey (1991) with a certain
number of children. All of the
women in the left chart have no
sons, but are divided by the number
of daughters they have, from none
to 5 or more. The women in the
right chart have only one son and
are subdivided by the total number
of children they have. The first cat-
egory on the right-hand chart,
therefore, includes women with
only one child and that child is a
boy. The second category on this
chart includes women with a son
and a daughter, the third category

m %b preferring male
* opreterrlng female
S0o with no preference
- 100 oo.1

4 5 oo t-0". 1
Number of chllaren women currently have

represents those with a son and two
daughters, and so forth.
These proportions show the
high prevalence of preference for
sons in the Pakistani culture. The
most salient observation from the
whole figure is that there is only one
category in which the proportion of
women saying they want their next
child to be a girl is large enough to
show up on the chart; this is the
women with only one son and no
daughters. It may be speculated
that these women are planning
small families and want to have at
least one child of each sex. This
would certainly be a line of inquiry
worth pursuing. Son preference is
very strong in Pakistan. What are
the implications of this pattern for
gender relations?

Women with one son

As previously noted, line graphs
are principally used to show rela-
tionships between two numeric
variables. Because gender analysis
so often involves categorical com-
parisons between men and women,
line graphs are not used extensively.
There are, however, some cases
where a line graph can be more use-
ful than a bar chart. Line graphs
can be used in place of bar charts
when the primary objective is to
reveal a pattern across categories
rather than to compare sets of cate-
gories or when there is a perceived
need to simplify the bar chart.


Figure 14 shows a double line
graph in place of a double bar chart
to show, by region, the percentages
of husbands and wives questioned
in the Egyptian DHS (1992) who
agreed that a wife should be allowed
to express her opinion when she
disagrees with her husband. The
patterns emphasized are changes
from the most urban, modern to
the most rural, traditional regions:
(1) the decreasing levels of agree-
ment of both sexes, and (2) the
increasing disparity between the
husbands' and wives' percentages.

Figure 14

Percentages of Husbands and Wives Who Say

the Wife Should Express Her Opinion when

She Disagrees with Her Husband, Egypt 1992

0 I-I
urban urban urban
govls Lower Upper
Source: Egypt Demographic and Healmn Survey. 1992

i Husbands


Figure 15

Median Years of Schooling by Sex, Residence, and Total

Fertility Rate, Egypt 1992

6 AV


Source Egypt Demographic and Health niey, 1992

Combination Charts
Most computerized graphing
programs will combine two or more
graphs into one and will organize
the charts so that dissimilar scales of
measurement remain accurate, but

lower upper
Urban F e Urban
I Female
i Male
-- Fertility

proportionately scaled. In some
cases of multivariate analysis, this
can be a useful medium, but it may
also be confusing.
The graph in Figure 15 is a
combination of line and bar graphs
which shows the total fertility rates
(TFRs) of Egypt's main regions


(line) overlaid on a comparison of
gender differences in median years
of schooling. The emphasis in this
chart is on educational disparities
and how they vary across regions.




Also portrayed is the possible corre-
lation between fertility, educational
attainment, and gender differences
in education relative to strategies for
reducing population growth in

The last charting example in
this tool is a pictograph. A picto-
graph is a term used to refer to
almost any type of graphic repre-
sentation of quantitative relation-
ships not classified by one of the
other types. As with the other types
of charts, the pictograph uses geo-
metric area, shape, and volume or
quantities of objects to depict rela-
tionships. In the pictograph sum-
marizing some of the findings and
projections concerning AIDS in
Ghana (see Annex Figure 9), two
pictographs are included on one
page. On the left side of the picto-
graph the drawing tools of a graph-
ics program were used to construct
four rectangular prisms, the respec-
tive volumes of which are propor-
tionate to the numbers shown to the
right of the drawing. On the right,
objects (in this case, women and a
man) are used to show a ratio of
women to men in reported cases of
HIV infection in Ghana. 7

7 Thefigures were initially obtained from a dipart
file that comes with the graphing program. The
drawing tools were used to edit the male figure,
adding a skirt and long hair to make the female fig-
ures. To do these kinds of representations, one
needs to become quite familiar with the drawing
tools. Once one has mastered the tools, one can use
one's imagination to create interesting, accurate
ways to portray quantitative relationships.

IV Summary and Conclusions

This tool has provided a set of
practical guidelines about con-
structing Country-Specific Gender
Profiles (CSGPs). The main pur-
pose of these profiles is to assist
development practitioners to identi-
fy and describe gender issues in
development as an important first
step toward effectively and efficient-
ly incorporating gender concerns
into development activities.
The two basic types of CSGPs
described in this document are
panoramic and focused. As the
terms imply, the panoramic CSGP is
broad in scope and rather limited in
depth. Its purposes are to provide
an overview of gender relations in a
specific country and to identify key
areas where gender issues may exist
that warrant further study. The
focused CSGP concentrates on a
particular sector of development
activity or a particular development
goal, and explores the gender issues
relevant to that sector or goal. The
two types of CSGPs differ in content
and structure and also in data
sources and kinds of analytical
The second part of this paper
focused on using computer-assisted
graphics to visually display and con-
ceptualize quantitative relationships
to include in a CSGP. Several exam-

ples of quantitative charts were
shown and discussed. Each chart
was chosen for inclusion in this tool
because it represented an aspect of
gender issues that could be
addressed in a CSGP, and because it
showed a particular way of organiz-
ing and presenting quantitative
data. An example of a completed
panoramic CSGP on Ghana is
included as an annex to this tool.
Few of the guidelines in this
paper should be considered
absolute. They represent lessons
learned from the author's experi-
ences working with CSGPs. There
is, however, room for creativity and
experimentation in the field of
quantitative data analysis.



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Carrington, Tim. 1994. "Ray of Hope: Amid Africa's Agony, One Nation, Ghana, Shows Modest Gains." The Wall
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El Salvador Ministry of Planning. 1992. Data.

GENESYS Project. 1994. "Gender and Household Dynamics: A Tool for Analyzing Income and Employment Data
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International, USAID Office of WID.

Ghana Country Profile: Annual Survey of Political and Economic Background. 1991-92. Economic Intelligence Unit,
Business International Limited.

Ghana Statistical Service. 1992. Quarterly Digest of Statistics (QDS). Accra: Republic of Ghana Statistical Service.

Ghana Statistical Service. 1993. Rural Communities in Ghana.

Glewe, Paul and Kwaku A. Twum-Baah. 1991. "The Distribution of Welfare in Ghana 1987-88." Living Standards
Measurement Study (Ghana Living Standards Survey GLSS). Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Haddad, Lawrence. 1989. "Gender and Economic Adjustment in Ghana." Development and Economic Research
Centre, Coventry, England: University of Warwick.

Higgins, Paul and Harold Alderman. 1993. Labor and Women's Nutrition: A Study of Energy Expenditure, Fertility and
Nutritional Status in Ghana. Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program. Cornell University.

Institute for Resource Development. 1992. Egypt Demographic and Health Survey. Columbia, MD: Macro
International Inc.

Institute for Resource Development. 1988. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Columbia, MD: Macro
International Inc.

Institute for Resource Development. 1990. Jordan Demographic and Health Survey. Columbia, MD: Macro
International Inc.

Institute for Resource Development. 1991. Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey. Columbia, MD: Macro
International Inc.

International Labor Organization. 1989. Yearbook of Labor Statistics. Geneva: ILO.

Jamison, Ellen, Gail Lippmen, and Gail Rhoades. 1991. Working for Development: A Study of Women's Labor Force
Participation. Center for International Research, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census.


Moncrief, Jacqueline. 1989. Legal Constraints and Enhancements to Women's Participation in Horticultural Export
Enterprises in Ghana and The Gambia. Washington, D.C.: Office ofWID/USAID.

Okoth-Ogendo, H.W.O. 1989. "The Effect of Migration on Family Structures in Sub-Saharan Africa." International
Migration 27 (2, June).

Oppong, Christine and Katherine Abu. 1987. Seven Roles of Women: Impact of Education, Migration and Employment
on Ghanaian Mothers. Geneva: International Labor Organization (ILO).

Smith, Susan. 1993. Background Briefing Book for Ghana Family Planning Health Project. Washington, D.C.: The
Futures Group International.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, Statistical Division. 1993.
Statistical Yearbook 1993. New York, N.Y.: United Nations.

United Nations Development Programme. 1993. Human Development Report (HDR). New York, N.Y.: UNDP

United States Bureau of the Census. 1994. International Database 1994. Washington, D.C.: Center for International

van den Oever, Pietronella. 1986. "Participation des Femmes aux Travaux Publics a Haute Intensit6 de Main
d'Oeuvre." International Labor Organization monograph.

Weeks, John R. 1992. Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
Publishing Co.

World Bank. 1993. World Development Report, 1993. Oxford University Press: Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Yeboah-Afari, Ajoa. 1991. "Ghana Revises Population Policy." People, 18:3, p. 28.


!Elm W;

Annex I: Ghana
Gender Profile
(A Panoramic CSGP)

Annex I: Ghana Country Gender Profile

I. Introduction

The purpose of this presentation
is to identify and describe key gender
issues relative to development goals
and strategies in the Republic of
Ghana. This profile can be used by
policymakers and a wide range of
other development practitioners as
a general overview of or orientation
to the main dimensions of gender
issues. The information provided is
not of sufficient specificity or scope
to be directly useful for formulating
development goals or strategies, but
can serve to identify key areas where
more attention and information are
needed and help in formulating rel-
evant research questions concerning
gender issues in development in
Ghana. Primary areas examined
include gender differences in health,
education, economic activity, legal
rights, and fertility attitudes and

General Background
The Republic of Ghana, located
on the western coast of Sub-Saharan
Africa, is bordered on the east by
Togo and on the west by C6te
d'Ivoire. The Atlantic Ocean is to
the south and Burkina Faso to the
north. There are three main topo-
graphical regions: the tropical
southern coastal plain; a central
forested plateau; and the northern
savannah, which claims two-thirds
of the country. This northern area,
hotter and drier, has experienced
prolonged cultivation and soil
degradation. Lake Volta, the world's

.nnex Figure I

Real GDP Per Capita of Ghana, 1960-90

and Developing Country Averages

nadrid LOW income Rll uevelopinlg ou-oDanra
Average Countnes Average
GDP6 1 = -3. 780. 52'. 120.
GDP60 I Percent ol grown 1960-1990)
Source Human Developmem Repon. 1993

largest artificial lake, originates in
the central savannah highlands and
runs east to the upper coastal plains.
Ghana covers a total area of 238,537
square km., an area slightly smaller
than Oregon.
Ghana's population is divided
into four major ethnic groups. The
largest, the Akan, make up 44 per-
cent of the population. Over 15
percent of the Ghanaian population
are Muslims, and the remainder fol-
low indigenous religions. English is
the official language, but several
other languages are spoken.
Economic Growth
Ghana gained its independence
from Britain in 1957, and main-
tained a stable and flourishing econ-
omy for 10 years. From the late
1970s to the early 1980s the country
was plagued with severe drought
which led to famine. Oil prices also

soared, limiting economic growth,
and unfavorable trade terms caused
the cocoa industry to plummet. In
1983, when the Nigerian govern-
ment, whose economy was equally
unstable, deported one million
Ghanaian oil field workers, Ghana's
economy collapsed (Biddle, 1988).
A comprehensive and stringent
Economic Recovery Program (ERP)
was implemented in April 1983 in
an effort to rebuild. Since that year,
Ghana's economic progress has
been slow and barely felt by the typ-
ical Ghanaian. Annex Figure 1 uses
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per
capital as an indicator of economic
development in Ghana and as a
basis for comparison with other
developing country averages.


Annex Figure 2

Population by Age and Sex, Urban and Rural Ghana, 1984

1 Urban Male 70-74 = Rural Male
l Urban Female 65 69 Wa Rural Female

750.000 600,000 450.000 300.000


Source U S Bureau of Census Inlernallonal Dalabase. 1993

Between 1960 and 1990,
Ghana's GDP per capital declined by
3 percent while in developing coun-
tries as a whole, this indicator
increased by an average of 52 per-
cent (this figure does not include
the Asian NICs). Total GDP of
Ghana, however, has been growing
at an average rate of 5 percent since
1983 and much of this improve-
ment has been due to a decline in
inflation rates (ILO, 1989). To revi-
talize the stalled economy, the ERP
temporarily shifted resources away
from family planning and educa-
tional programs. These shifts had
seriously adverse effects on the
quality of educational, family plan-
ning, and public health facilities and

One probable reason for
Ghana's economic vulnerability and
slow recovery may be that Ghana is
still a predominantly agricultural

economy with over half of its cur-
rent GDP derived from this sector
and over 60 percent of the labor
force working in agriculture
(GDHS, 1988). The majority of
Ghana's population still live in rural
areas (67 percent) as can be seen in
Annex Figure 2 (HDR, 1993).
There are many development
problems typically associated with a
predominantly agricultural and
rural population structure.
Economic surpluses to fund devel-
opment initiatives are not generated
from subsistence farming.
Commercial agriculture for export,
on the other hand, tends to be highly
vulnerable to fluctuations of the
world market. Lack of physical
infrastructure in rural areas limits
access to health, education, and
family planning services. Rural
populations in almost all developing
countries have significantly higher
fertility and infant and maternal
mortality rates and lower levels of
educational attainment than the

urban populations. Furthermore,
gender differences in educational
attainment also tend to be greater in
rural areas. Most of these typical
rural-urban differences are also evi-
dent in Ghana.

The population pyramid in
Annex Figure 3 shows the census
populations by age and sex for
Ghana in 1960 and 1984. Placing
the age-sex distribution of the earli-
er census on top of the distribution
for the more recent census reveals
the consequences of rapid popula-
tion growth in Ghana. The average
annual rate of population growth in
Ghana during the 1980s was 3.2
percent. The very young popula-
tion structure depicted in Annex
Figure 3 forecasts high growth rates
for Ghana for the next few decades
as a result of population momen-
tum, even if fertility rates drop pre-
cipitously in the near future.


0 150 000 300,000 450 000 600.000 750.000

II. Gender Differences
in Fertility Attitudes
and Actions
Fain ,v' Planning in Ghana
Ghana's total fertility rate (TFR)
in 1960 was 7.0 children per
woman. This was higher than the
average for all Sub-Saharan African
countries (6.7), and for developing
countries as a whole (6.3) at that
time. Thirty years later, in 1990, the
TFR of Ghana had declined by only
12% to 6.2 (HDR, 1993) and rural
fertility was still 1.5 children higher
than urban fertility (GDHS, 1990).
In 1969, Ghana became the first
African country to initiate a nation-
al family planning program. The
program aimed to reduce the popu-
lation growth rate from about 3.4
percent (1969) to 1.5 percent by the
year 2000. Twenty-five years after
the initiation of this program, the
growth rate is still between 2.6 and
3.2 percent (sources differ); the pro-
gram has generally been regarded as
a failure (Carrington, 1994). A con-
ference held in Accra in 1989 criti-
cally examined the Ghanaian popu-
lation program policies, citing two
major reasons for failure. First,
there was a lack of family planning
programs in rural areas where they
were most needed. Second, the pro-
grams targeted only women when,
in fact, according to more recent
studies (e.g., Yeboah-Afari, 1991),

Innex Flgre 3

Population by Age and Sex of Ghana,

1960 and 1984

60-64 Males
20-24- _

1,1oo00,0Mo 80.000 e.000 440,00 .2;000ooo o0 2C
8oum.- US. Bureauof.Cersus IntmedlfMal DalabaS B1993

husbands tend to have the domi-
nant decision-making role concern-
ing when to have another child and
how many to have altogether.
Husbands are also more likely to
have higher fertility aspirations than
wives (Yeboah-Afari, 1991; GDHS,
1989). Another issue cited was that
many Ghanaians regarded discus-
sion of sexual matters as taboo.
Without sufficient communication
between spouses, decisions to use
family planning services remain a
remote possibility. Since the 1989
conference, the Ghanaian govern-
ment has been actively restructuring
its population program to address
weaknesses of earlier efforts. This
restructuring acknowledges the
importance of gender relations and
gender differences in fertility atti-
tudes, communication, and actions.


,000 440,000 660

A.Mo 88OUQ00 I.J0 000

Annex Figure 4 uses data from
the 1988 GDHS to show the per-
centages of wives, husbands, and
couples surveyed who express a
desire for no more children. Only
23 percent of the women and an
even smaller percentage of hus-
bands (19 percent) wished to have
no more children. Among this
small segment of the population,
there also appears to be a fairly high
amount of disagreement between
couples about limiting fertility.
When couples' responses were
matched, only 13 percent of the
couples were in agreement that they
wanted no more children.
Annex Figure 5 shows hus-
bands' and wives' ideal numbers of
children, broken down by educa-
tional levels. It can be inferred from
the chart that education makes a
large difference in ideal family size,


and men at all educational levels
have a higher average ideal number
than do women. The gender differ-
ences range from a low of 1.2 chil-
dren among those with secondary
or higher education to 4.0 children
among those without any formal
In Ghana, there is limited infor-
mation available on fertility deci-
sion making at the household level.
The GDHS of 1988, however, shows
that less than 20 percent of the hus-
bands and wives surveyed said they
had ever discussed family planning
with their spouses. Yeboah-Afari's
(1991) analysis of fertility survey
data concluded that, in a majority
of households, husbands appear to
have a dominant influence over fer-
tility decisions. Other studies have
indicated that women in Ghana can
exercise a fairly strong amount of
independence in marital sexual rela-
tions, especially if the wife knows
her husband has AIDS or is having
relations with another woman
(Smith, 1993).

Anner Figure 4

Desire for No More Children, Ghana 1988






Want no more children
I Wives i Husbands i Couples
Source: Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. 1988

Annex Figure 5

Mean Ideal Number of Children Among

Husbands and Wives by Education,

Ghana 1988

- Wives
i Husbands

2 "wwAFt eia
Higher Primary/Middle
Level of Education
Source. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. 1988

PAGE .r!
k J .. -

III. Gender
Differences in
Life Expectancy and

Life expectancy in Ghana (for
both sexes combined) is 55 years,
which is low by comparison to
developing countries as a whole, but
four years higher than the average
for Sub-Saharan Africa. Women's
life expectancy at birth in Ghana is
57 years, which exceeds men's by 4
years or approximately 7-8 percent
(HDR, 1993). Based on life
expectancies, therefore, there is no
indication that either sex in Ghana
experiences a relative disadvantage
in mortality risk or access to health
resources. The average difference in
life expectancy between men and
women in all of Sub-Saharan Africa
is also approximately 7-8 percent.
Differences between the sexes in
Ghana are compared to relevant
developing country averages in
Annex Figure 6.
While overall infant and child
mortality rates are high in Ghana,
differences between males and
females are on par with other low-
income countries. Annex Figure 7
shows that the male infant mortality
rate (IMR) exceeds the female IMR
by 15 percent and that male and
female mortality between ages 1 and
5 are almost even. Infant mortality
rates in Ghana tend to be under-
counted due largely to cultural
beliefs. Traditionally, rural infants
who die hours to weeks after birth
are not discussed, as infants are

Anne. Figure 6

Women's Life Expectancy at Birth as a

Percentage of Men's
Ghana, 1990 and Developing Country. Averages

unana LOW income
Source Ghana Derographic and Healrn Survey 1988



.-Inet Figure 7

Infant and Childhood Mortality by Sex,

Ghana 1987-88



U '
Age 0-1
Source. Palaisan Demographic ana Health Survey 1991

considered "visitors" until they
reach a minimum age, which varies
by each community (GDHS,1988).
Maternal mortality is, of course,
a sex-specific mortality risk, and is
high in Ghana. Ghana's maternal
mortality rate (MMR) of 700 deaths
for every 100,000 live births is high-


Age 1-5

er than the MMR averages for both
the low-income (630) and all devel-
oping countries (420); and it exceeds
the Sub-Saharan average of 690.


During the 1970s, Ghana's
government placed emphasis on
developing hospitals and clinics in
the major cities. According to a
1991 rural survey, only three per-
cent of Ghana's rural communities
had access to a doctor or hospital.
Family planning services are avail-
able in only 17 percent of the com-
munities. On average, 64 percent of
rural women have their children at
home using a traditional birth
attendant (TBA). The less popular
trained midwives or maternity
homes are available in 22 percent of
communities. Ghana's Primary
Health Care (PHC) program, trying
to remedy high rural fertility and
mortality rates, is providing special
training to TBAs in midwifery, pre-
and post-natal care, and family
planning practices including the
dispensing of contraceptives.
Midwives are also being trained to
encourage family planning and to
dispense contraceptives.

A|DS in
AIDS is a serious and growing
problem in Ghana, and one which
appears to be affecting women to a
greater degree than men. As the fig-
ures on the left of Annex Figure 9
show, in 1993 there were just over
3,000 reported cases of AIDS in
Ghana but researchers estimated
that there were in actuality approxi-
mately 10,000 cases and that there
were as many as 250,000 cases of
HIV infection. Studies predict that
by the year 2000 AIDS will infect
roughly 1,000,000 adults and
approximately 3 percent of all births.

Annev Figure 8

Maternal Mortality Rates *1988

1000 -




200 -


0 -
Gnana Low-Income All Deeloping
Average Counlnes
*Deatns per 100 000 lrle birtns
Source Human Developmenr Report. 1993

Sub Saharan

Inner Figure 9

AIDS in Ghana: A Summary of Findings

BV year 2000 AIDE prevalence
is expected Io slDIItize at 10'
---- or 1 000,000 case o01
T n-fiV inlecuon
.'.',' 250 000 esTimaTed
HIV infecnons
1. 19931

10.000 estimated
AIDS cases
3000+ AIDS
cases reported

Source Smrth 1993

In Ghana and many other parts
of Africa, women are currently
more likely to get AIDS than men.
The sex ratio of reported cases is
four women to every man, but a
large measure of under-reporting
among males is suspected. The first
case of AIDS was reported in Ghana
in 1986 and was likely brought into

The sex ratio or AIDS cases
Is rigly unoalancea ai
4 women for every man


the country by commercial sex
workers returning from Abidjan.
Sexual norms and conjugal
patterns characteristic of many
African cultures contribute to the
rapid spread of HIV infections. In
Ghana sexual relations with multiple


.4nex Figure 10

Literacy Rates by Sex in Ghana and Sub-Saharan

Africa 1970,1985, and 1990

S 1970 M 1985. M 1990
- ..,**If L-.^, ..---....,.--- : -------------------- .-------------------------------------'----,---...---------.----.--

*:"`"~; :'-:":_,~.~~Ei~i~ :~pm iee i
j I,,

partners are common-including
pre- and extra-marital relations.
Women having sex for compensa-
tion is also common but most of
these women are not regarded as
prostitutes. There are, nevertheless,
estimated to be over 2,000 prosti-
tutes in the Accra area alone. These
women are among the main victims
of AIDS and are the main agents for
the spread of the disease. Military
personnel, transportation workers,
miners, and foreign travelers are
also high-risk groups (Smith, 1993).
While AIDS is a concern of the
urban population more than the
rural population, other health care
problems are particularly salient for
the rural sector. As previously
noted, these rural concerns center
on the accessibility of health care
and on sanitation and other infra-
structural elements that affect
health and living conditions.

IV. Gender Differences
in Education
.. Literacy
The World Bank estimated the
overall literacy rate of Ghana in
1990 to be about 60 percent, with 70
percent of men and 51 percent of
women having basic reading and
writing skills. Women's literacy as a
proportion of men's, therefore, was
estimated to be 73 percent, indicat-
ing a fairly high degree of equity by
developing country standards. Data
on literacy in Ghana, however, is
somewhat suspect. Using a func-
tional test of literacy, a 1993 USAID
study found less than 2 percent of a
sample of 12,000 students who
could read at an acceptable level,
and over half who could not read at
all (Carrington, 1994). This raises
questions about using official litera-
cy rates to examine gender differ-
ences in educational attainment.
One might assume that, if literacy
rates were inflated in Ghana, the

rate would be similar for both sexes.
If this is true, then proportional dif-
ferences between men and women
would be accurate even if actual
quantities and proportions within
each sex category were not. A sys-
tematic sex bias in data collection,
however, could render this assump-
tion invalid.
To gain a comparative picture of
literacy progress over time, Annex
Figure 10 shows the literacy rates of
the adult population 15 years and
older by sex for Ghana, compared to
those for Sub-Saharan Africa for the
years 1970, 1985, and 1990.
According to these data, the propor-
tion of the female population attain-
ing literacy has nearly tripled in 20
years, while the proportion of literate
males has increased by about 63 per-
cent. The data further indicate that
Ghana has higher literacy rates for





Annex FIgure II

Literacy Rates by Locality, Sex, and Age Group, Ghana 1987-88





Rural Female
Source: Ghana Living Standards Survey. 1987-88

both sexes than the averages for the
Sub-Saharan region as a whole.
The data used to construct
Annex Figure 11 are somewhat
dated, but show interesting patterns
in literacy across sex and age groups
and between urban (Accra) and
rural populations. Some of the pat-
terns are familiar and expected. For
example, for both sexes and all age
groups, the residents of Accra have
higher literacy rates than their rural
counterparts. In every age and resi-
dential category, men have higher
literacy rates than women and the
differences are greater in the rural
sector than in the urban sector.
Indicative of progress in develop-
ment, literacy rates also decline with
age for both sexes and residential
categories. A noteworthy deviation

25-34 35-44 45-54
Age Groups
m Rural Male M Accra Female Accra Males

from anticipated patterns, however,
is the peaking of literacy in the
25-to-34 age group instead of in the
15-to-24 age category. There may
be two possible reasons for this.
First, when the economy collapsed
in 1983, the government shifted
resources away from education and
health programs. A resulting
decline in provision of educational
services may be reflected in the
lower rates of literacy among those
at or near school age in the post-
collapse period. Second, there is a
tendency in Ghana and other
agricultural societies of Africa,
particularly in the rural sectors, for
parents to delay enrollment of
children in school.

Quantity and Types of

Ghanaian women achieve closer
parity with men in basic literacy
than they do when educational
attainment is measured in terms of
the mean number of years of
schooling received; overall, women
receive less than half as much edu-
cation as men, averaging only 2.1
years to men's 4.8 years.
When school enrollment among
persons ages 6-25 is used as an
indicator of gender differences in
educational attainment, it is not
surprising that female enrollment
tends to drop off more rapidly and
in greater proportions than male
enrollment, particularly after the
age of 15. In Ghana there is also a
tendency to postpone enrollment of
both sexes, especially in the rural
sector. The percent of rural males
aged 12-15 enrolled is greater than


the percent of males aged 6-11.
These two age groups are about
equal for rural females, but under
normal conditions the younger
group should be larger. According
to the Digest of Statistics (QDS) of
1992, females comprise about 13
percent of university enrollment in
Ghana. The largest proportion (26
percent) of female college students
are enrolled in Arts and Social
In polytechnic schools, female
enrollment comprises 30 percent of
part-time students and 23 percent of
full-time students. Among the dif-
ferent curricula offered in these
schools, female enrollment is highest
in Business Studies, where females
make up 50 percent of the class.
Educational i"),.. :..s'' -/
Literacy, years of schooling, and
enrollment numbers are quantita-
tive indicators of educational attain-
ment, but they do not reflect the
quality of education received.
Between 1988 and 1993, industrial
world donors contributed about
$225 million to Ghana's education
programs, but USAID discovered
that out of the 64,000 primary-
school teachers, over one half still
had no teacher training and another
16,000 (or 25 percent) had not
finished high school themselves
(Carrington, 1994). Other prob-
lems such as lack of facilities, text-
books, and other materials also
hamper education efforts in Ghana.
While it appears that the education
system as a whole is in need of
improvements, no evidence was
found that the quality of education
in Ghana systematically varies by sex.

.nne Figure 12

Population, Total Labor Force, and

Modern Labor Force by Sex for Ages

15-64: Ghana 1984
4 000 000 -----

c 3.000.000

(- 2 000.000 -o

1.000 000

Male Female
Modern Work Force I Total Work Force Tolal Population Aged 15-64
Source International LaDor Organization, 1989

V. Gender
Differences in
Economic Activity
Labor .. : .
According to the International
Labor Organization (ILO) women
make up 57 percent of the popula-
tion of Ghana between the ages of
15 and 64 (see Annex Figure 12).
These data suggest an imbalance in
sex ratios that may be due in part:
(1) to male-dominated internation-
al migration patterns and (2) to
greater longevity of women that
shows up particularly in the higher
age groups. Other data do not indi-
cate sex ratio imbalances this large
in Ghana, which raises questions
about the accuracy of the data used
by the ILO.
Male migration is a familiar
pattern in many parts of Africa and
it is not unusual to find modest
shortages of men in the poorer

countries and corresponding sur-
pluses in the more prosperous
countries. Ghana has experienced
considerable male emigration in the
past, particularly to the Nigerian oil
fields, but has also been a host of
migrant labor from poorer neigh-
boring countries like Burkina Faso
(Okoth-Ogendo, 1989). Current,
reliable figures on migration pat-
terns by sex were not found in this
research. However, none of the
sources reviewed noted or provided
evidence of a labor shortage in
Ghana. We can, therefore, tenta-
tively conclude that male emigra-
tion is not a significant problem in
Ghana at this time. There appears
to be a high degree of internal
migration patterns, according to the
Ghana Living Standards Survey
(1991). Rural-to-urban migration
flows, however, are not particularly


heavy; during the 1980s the urban
population growth rate was 3.9 per-
cent, compared to a growth rate for
the total population of 3.2 (HDR,
1993). Furthermore, while interna-
tional migration appears to be heav-
ily male-dominated, internal migra-
tion flows do not appear to be
noticeably unbalanced between men
and women.
'..'. i .. .- c e '.'. ": :* ; -.'* .,.
In Annex Figure 12, a distinc-
tion is made between the total and
modern labor forces, the former
including all forms of economic
activity including unpaid farm labor
and the latter including only per-
sons who work for wages and pay
taxes on those wages. In the total
labor force, women represent a
majority at 52 percent. As is typical
in many African countries, rural
women do a large share of the agri-
cultural work, which accounts for
their dominance in the total labor
force. In the modern labor force,
however, 80 percent of jobs are held
by men and only 20 percent by
women. The modern labor force in
Ghana is a relatively small propor-
tion of the total, employing only
about 19 percent of men and 6 per-
cent of women aged 15 to 64.
Among women in the total
labor force, 77 percent were classi-
fied as "own-account workers" or
self-employed; 15 percent worked
for no wages (usually within a fami-
ly business); 8 percent worked as
employees (similar to the 6 percent
in the modern labor force); none
were listed as employers; and less

than 1 percent were members of a
cooperative (ILO, 1989). The
majority of Ghanaian women are
classified as self-employed and are
engaged in agriculture, but trading
and selling are also common activi-
ties for women.
In an analysis of female labor
participation rates in Sub-Saharan
Africa, Jamison et al. (1991) found
that Ghana had higher levels of par-
ticipation than the average for the
region, while male participation
rates were about average.
The reasons for these high par-
ticipation rates are not immediately
clear. However, Moncrief (1989)
suggests that the prevalence of
matrilineal traditions among many
of the ethnic groups may afford
women more prominent positions
and opportunities in the economic
and political lives of their commu-
nities than in cultures where these
traditions are not found.
iEV e- and Femarn e-

In Ghana approximately 25 per-
cent of all households are female-
headed. Researchers usually assume
that female-headed households
(FHH) in developing countries are
economically disadvantaged relative
to male-headed households (MHH)
because adult males usually have
more earning power than females.
The Ghana Living Standards Survey
(GLSS) of 1987-1988, however,
compared head of household con-
sumption expenditure levels by sex
and area of residence, and found
that the consumption levels of the
FHH were on average 7 percent
higher than the male-headed house-
holds. Furthermore, female-headed

households tend to be more numer-
ous in the more prosperous regions
of the country. For example, in the
forest and coastal areas the propor-
tions of households that are female-
headed exceed one-third, but in the
poorest region of the northern
Savannah, only about 15 percent of
the households are female-headed.
A literature review uncovered no
case studies that addressed the ques-
tions of why Ghana has such a large
percentage of female-headed house-
holds, or why the average consump-
tion levels of these households is
higher than that of male-headed
households, but these are certainly
areas that warrant further analysis.

VI. Gender
Differences in Legal
and Political Rights

Under the statutory laws of
Ghana, women have the same rights
as men to own land, to write a will
and pass property down to their
heirs, and to receive land through
inheritance. Women often receive
land from their birth families or as
gifts from their husbands, however,
in many cases they do not hold full
legal title to this property because
the land has not been properly sur-
veyed or legally recorded (Moncrief,
1989). More often, plots are
assigned or leased to a woman for
use by her family, husband, or vil-
lage chief and she can do whatever
she wishes with the land except to
pass it on to someone else. Women
typically use such land to grow crops



for family use and sell the surplus in
local markets. However, they are
reluctant to make capital improve-
ments to such property for fear that
the land will be reclaimed by the legal
owner and the women will lose their
investment (van den Oever, 1986).

Contracts and Credit
Ghana statutory law also permits
women to make binding contracts
and to obtain credit. Lack of educa-
tion for both sexes, but particularly
for women, inhibits the use of formal
contracts for a large portion of the
population. While women's formal
access to credit is well established,
there has been some reluctance by
women to violate traditions and pur-
sue formal bank loans for business
purposes. Women have also been
hampered by a lack of legally recog-
nized collateral for such loans. In
many cases, the land that they have
received from their families or hus-
bands does not have a clear title and
cannot be used to secure a loan.
There is evidence, however, that
credit opportunities are improving
for women and that women are
becoming more actively entrepre-
neurial, especially in agriculture and
commerce (Oppong and Abu, 1987).

Family law is somewhat com-
plex in Ghana due to the co-exis-
tence of four different legal systems:
(1) Statutory law, (2) Received Law
of England, (3) African Customary
Law, and (4) Islamic Law. There are
slight variations in these different

types of law that can affect a
woman's rights, and the system
under which a woman is married
becomes the governing system. In
both customary and statutory law,
women have the right to control
their own property and income. A
wife is generally obligated to assist
her husband in tending his crops
but is not entitled to a share of
income from those crops. The hus-
band, however, is obligated to pro-
vide his wife (or wives) with a plot
of land on which she can grow food
for family consumption and can
produce a surplus to sell at market.
The wife is entitled to use the
income from her land as she sees fit
but is generally expected to provide
for the domestic needs of herself
and her children from this income.
Under Islam, which includes
about 15% of the Ghanaian popula-
tion, wives must comply with
Islamic law and their status cannot
be altered by statutory or customary
law (Moncrief, 1989). Except under
Islamic law, women and men have
equitable rights to sue for divorce,
and divorce is reported to be rather
common in Ghana (Smith, 1993).

VII. Summary and
As is typical of a general
overview of gender relations in a
developing country, the foregoing
explorations raised more questions
than answers. From the data exam-
ined for this CSGP, no severe gender
inequities were apparent in Ghana.
Educational differences indicate
that women are at a disadvantage
relative to men, comparable to the

situation in other low-level develop-
ing countries. Women appear to
have a relatively secure, although
not profitable, economic position in
Ghana. It may be worthwhile, how-
ever, to explore the possibilities of
what could be done to increase
women's contribution to economic
growth, particularly in the areas of
commercial agriculture and trade.
This brief overview of develop-
ment data on Ghana also indicated
that gender relations should be given
more attention in the design and
implementation of population pro-
grams. Rapid population growth
threatens to undermine Ghana's
economic recovery and future
growth, and as noted in this profile,
there are important gender differ-
ences in fertility aspirations, com-
munication, and decision making
authority that need to be addressed.
The government of Ghana has
experienced stringent conditions
since the economic collapse of 1983.
It is understandably difficult to con-
vince government officials of the
need to be concerned about gender
inequities when they are faced with
serious economic difficulties. Long-
term, sustainable development,
however, requires a balanced
approach that addresses both
immediate problems and problems
likely to arise in the future. Paying
attention to equity in develop-
ment-ensuring that both men and
women are equitable participants in
and beneficiaries of development-
pays worthwhile dividends.


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