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Challenges faced by street women with children: A case of Ac | 17340
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Challenges faced by street women with children: A case of Accra-Ghana

Abstract

Ba-ama Elizabeth M, Kumador David K, Efua Vandyck and Dzandu Joyce A

The study investigated the causes and effects of streetism on mothers and their children who lived on the streets of Accra. Stratified and purposive sample of 200 women with children from the Central Business District (CBD) of Accra were interviewed using a structured interview schedule. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS/PC) software version 17. The chisquare statistic was used to determine statistically significant relationship between streetism and access to formal education by street children. Most of the women (63%) came from the three Northern regions of Ghana. Major causes of streetism included low level of education, resulting in unemployment and high poverty in the rural areas. The women engaged in head pottering (kaayayee) constituted (48%), hawking (26.5%), those assisting in chop bars service (13%) and a person earned an average daily income of GH¢3.00. As they slept at lorry parks (40%) and dilapidated structures (35%), they contracted malaria (81%) and skin diseases (27%). Theft of personal belongings and money (53%), physical assault and rape (31%) and vehicular accidents (15%) compounded their life in the street. Despite the challenges, the women were determined to acquire work capital, learn a trade or rent decent accommodation, when they went back home, to improve family life. Streetism had a significant effect (p<0.005) on access to formal education by street children as only a few (12%) children of school going age were in school. It is recommended that girls’ education be intensified by Ghana Education Service (GES) in the three Northern Regions of Ghana so as to equip many young girls with marketable skills that would enable them gain employment in the formal sector.

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