Economic abuse among Ghanaian women in intimate relationships

Boateng, Jessica (2022) Economic abuse among Ghanaian women in intimate relationships. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Domestic violence, including economic abuse, is a global problem with far-reaching implications for women. Economic abuse occurs when an intimate partner deprives or threatens to deny their partner access to, and control of, financial and economic resources. Emerging evidence indicates that women in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, experience high levels of economic abuse, and that it takes many forms. Notwithstanding, academic research on this topic remains scant, and very few studies document women's lived experiences of economic abuse. This dissertation contributes to the literature by examining the lived experiences of women facing economic abuse in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, and the Upper East regions of Ghana. This study used qualitative in-depth interviews and feminist theory to explore the causes, consequences, and coping strategies of 16 female survivors of economic abuse in Ghana. Results indicate that economic abuse is a common experience for Ghanaian women, although they were often unaware of it. Women narrated experiences of economic exploitation, deprivation, and sabotage affecting various aspects of their lives. While some women had had their employment sabotaged by their male partners, others had experienced financial extortion by their partners. Husbands’ extramarital affairs, lack of interest in the family or apathy, drunkenness, jealousy, and cultural factors were major causes of these types of abuse. Economic abuse negatively affected female survivors' jobs, businesses, and food security, and led to physical violence and adverse health implications. Women coped with these types of violence by relying on external family networks, religion, and theft from husbands, while others trivialized their experiences. Policymakers need to implement programmes that educate women about economic abuse and empower them to be economically and financially self-sufficient.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15537
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-123).
Keywords: economic abuse, sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana, Ashanti region, Greater Accra region, Upper East region, cultural factors
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: May 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Abused women--Ghana--Economic conditions.

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