Skip to main content

An Empirical Approach to the Study of Well-being Among Rural Men and Women in Ghana

Abstract

The paper indicates using community development and sustainable livelihood theories as lenses that well-being indicators vary among societies, especially in developing countries due cultural differences. The study which was carried in three rural communities in Ho Municipality in the Ghana was to show the extent to which men’s and women’s sense of well-being were determined by their local economic, religious, social, and education indicators; all of which were driven by their cultural values. Since men and women placed different values on religious, social, economic, education indicators, the paper discusses that their importance to overall well-being also differs between men and women.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  • Afshar, F. (2005). Exploring the frontiers of international development: Countries of the north, well-being, spirituality, and contemplation. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, XXVI, 527–545.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arku, C. (2007). Changing gender roles and their socio-cultural implications for rural households’ well-being: A study of micro-finance in Bogoso, Ghana. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, University of Guelph.

  • Barr, A. (2005). The contribution of research to community development. Community Development Journal, 40(4), 453–458.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald A. J. (2005). Happiness and the human development index: The paradox of Australia. The Australian Economic Review, 38, 307–318.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chambers, R. & Conway, G. (1992). Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the 21st century. IDS Discussion Paper 296. Brighton: University of Sussex, Institute of Development Studies.

  • de Waal, M. (2007). Evaluating gender mainstreaming in development projects. Development in Practice, 16, 209–214.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Diener, E., & Suh, E. M. (2000). Measuring subjective well-being to compare the quality of life of cultures. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 3–12). London: The MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunham, A. (1970). Community development—whither bound? Community Development Journal, 5, 85–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Filson, C. F., Pfeiffer, W. C., Paine, C., & Taylor, J. R. (2003). The relationship between Grand Rive Dairy Farmers quality of life and economic, social and environmental aspects of their farming systems. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 22(1), 61–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R., & Black, W. (1995). Multivariate data analysis. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hambly, H. (2002). Men in women’s groups: A gender, agency analysis of local institutions. In F. Cleaver (Ed.), Masculinities matter! Men, gender and development (pp. 138–165). London: Zed Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helmore, K., & Singh, N. (2001). Sustainable livelihoods building on wealth of the poor. Bloomfield: Kumarian Press, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA) (2005). The medium term plan. Ho: HMA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kamara, M. J., & Kargbo, S. B. (1999). Initiatives for sustainable community development in Sierra Leone. Community Development Journal, 34(2), 108–121.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kerr, J. (1998). Women’s rights in the global economy: Can feminists transform development. Sixth Annual Hopper Lecture. Guelph: University of Guelph.

  • Littrell, D. W. (1971). The theory and practice of community development: A guide for practitioners. Columbia: University of Missouri.

    Google Scholar 

  • Longhurst, R. (2003). Semi-structured interviews and focus groups. In N. J. Clifford & G. Valentine (Eds.), Key methods in geography (pp. 117–132). London: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matsumoto, D. (2000). Culture and psychology (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove: Brooks Cole.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCracken, M. M., Justus, M., & He, B. (1996). Atlantic Canada human development index study. Nova Scotia: Informetrica.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCreary, J., & Shirley, I. (1982). In the rural tradition: Anthropologists come to town. In I. Shirley (Ed.), Development tracks: The theory and practice of community development (pp. 28–49). Palmerston North: The Dunmore Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moser, C. O. (1993). Gender planning and development: Theory practice and training. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Comapny.

    Google Scholar 

  • Orlikowski, W. J., & Baroudi, J. J. (1991). Studying information technology in organizations: Research approaches and assumptions. Information Systems Research, 2, 1–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Prokopy, L. S. (2004). Women's participation in rural water supply projects in India: Is it moving beyond tokenism and does it matter? Water Policy, 6, 103–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shah, M. K. (1998). Gendered perceptions of well-being and social change in Darko, Ghana. In I. Guijt & M. K. Shah (Eds.), The myth of community: Gender issues in participatory development (pp. 141–151). London: Intermediate Technology Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shek, T. L., Tang, V. M. Y., & Han, X. Y. (2005a). Evaluation of evaluation studies using qualitative research methods in the social work literature (1990–2003): Evidence that constitutes a wake-up call. Research on Social Work Practice, 15, 180–194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shek, T. L., Chan, Y. K., & Lee, P. S. N. (2005b). Quality of life in the global context: A Chinese response. Social Indicators Research, 71, 1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, N., & Titi, V. (1994). Adaptive strategies of the poor in arid and semi-arid lands: In search of sustainable livelihoods. Working Paper. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development.

  • Sumner, A. (2007). Meaning versus measurement: Why do ‘economic’ indicators of poverty still predominate? Development in Practice, 17, 4–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tiliouine, H., Cummins, R. A., & Davern, M. (2006). Measuring wellbeing in developing countries: The case of Algeria. Social Indicators Research, 75, 1–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • United Nations (UN) (2005). Human development reports. New York: United Nations. Retrieved on September 23, 2006 from http://www.hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/

  • Vainio-Mattila, A. (1996). The impact of development on community based natural resource management: Cases from Kenya and Namibia. FENNIA, 174, 125–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Veenhoven, R. (2005). Apparent quality-of-life in nations: How long and happy people live. Social Indicators Research, 71, 61–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Williams, M. (2000). Interpretivism and generalization. Sociology, 34, 209–244.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to International Development Research Centre (IDRC) which provided the financial support for this research.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Frank Sena Arku.

Annex One: Questionnaire

Annex One: Questionnaire

General Information

  1. 1.

    Village Affiliation. 1. Avenui Awudome 2. Dededo 3. Taviefe Aviefe

  2. 2.

    Gender. 1. Female 2. Male

  3. 3.

    Age

  4. 4.

    Level of Education: 1. No Formal Education 2. Primary 3. Middle/JSS 4. Sec/Voc 5. Tertiary

  5. 5.

    What is the main economic activity of the household? 1. Cash crop 2. Subsistence 3. Non-agriculturalist 4. Other

Well-being Indicators

Are the following the indicators of well-being?

How important are the indicators of well-being to you between 2000 and 2005?

How important are the indicators of well-being to you in 2006 and 2007?

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Arku, F.S., Filson, G.C. & Shute, J. An Empirical Approach to the Study of Well-being Among Rural Men and Women in Ghana. Soc Indic Res 88, 365–387 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-007-9197-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-007-9197-0

Keywords

  • Community development
  • Sustainable livelihood
  • Rural
  • Ghana
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Religious
  • Education