PhD defence

Aspirations and Everyday Life of Single Migrant Women in Ghana

Summary

The thesis focusses on single migrant women from Dagomba communities in northern Ghana who work in the informal sector in the Old Fadama market in Accra. Their circumstances and activities in the areas of origin and destination are linked in one explanatoryframework, in which gender is seen as performance and process rather than just as gender roles. It is shown how the women’s aspirations for a better life in the North inspire the way they enact their agency in generating livelihood and practising
consumption in Accra. The analysis reveals how moral obligations of mutual care and solidarity help the women to survive and create a moral community economy in Old Fadama, Accra. Upon their return, their empowerment derived from having been able to collect money, marriage goods and skills, helps them to strengthen their position in the patriarchal Muslim households in the North.