More than Just ‘Final Say’: Developing a Survey Measure of the Process of Household Decision-Making in Ghana

Naa Dodua Dodoo, University of Ghana
Francis Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University and University of Ghana

Because of the patriarchal nature of Ghanaian society women seem not to have much influence in household decision-making. In this paper, we posit that the measure of decision-making commonly used; that of ‘who has the “final say” in making a decision’; has often hidden the real amount of influence women have. Using primary data from three focus group discussions (FGDs) with married men and women and a survey of 391 women in Ga Mashie, Accra, Ghana, we develop a novel quantitative measure of the process of decision-making to investigate how much of an influence women have in decision-making within conjugal units. The results indicate that women are not relegated to the background in household decision-making as much as using just “final say” suggests. Refining the method will increase its potential as a viable tool that can be used to study decision-making processes in detail and provide generalizable population estimates.

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Presented in Session 138: Mixed Methods Research