January 16, 2011

 

World War II created a host of new opportunities for women in the United States to enter employment, replacing male workers who were in the military.

Fast forward to present day Ghana, where violence between the Mamprusis and the Kussassis tribes has led to a government ban on men travelling by motorcycle. 

Since young men on motorcycles have been responsible for much of the violence, the Ghanaian government has recently banned all men in the region from traveling on motorcycles --the chief form of transportation for IPA surveyors.

Enter the ladies.  IPA surveyors are overwhelmingly male, as it can be difficult to find women with top educational qualifications and a willingness to take on the physically demanding work.  In Bawku, the project manager was successful in finding half a dozen qualified women with motorcycles to fill out the ranks of IPA surveyors in the region.  Women are not subject to the ban, and can legally ride motorcycles to visit respondents.  The team includes women of both ethnic groups, to enable IPA to work in both territories and with respondents of both tribes.  The field manager, who will oversee the survey team in that region, is a women of mixed descent, half Mamprusi and half Kussassi, and can safely work in either tribe’s territory.

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