The interplay between literacy skills, literacy use and the personal lives: An assessment of women of rural Dagbon

Judith A.K. Bawa, Gordon Nii-Nai Marley


This paper assessed the impact of adult literacy on the lives of women in rural Dagbon. Interviewing, focus group discussions and questionnaires were administered for data collection from two communities each from Tolon and Kumbungu districts of Ghana as well as the literacy providers. The sample respondents included 60 women who have successfully graduated from a literacy programme and 40 other community members included elders and immediate family members of beneficiaries. Key informant interviews were conducted to gather data from the literacy service providers. The study revealed that the acquisition of literacy skills enables the women gain organisational abilities through which they formed stronger social networks for solidarity, income generation and advocacy skills, to speak out on issues that directly affect their lives. The study revealed that adult literacy programmes do have the positive impact of empowering women, and that, scaling these programmes up, with more support, would contribute to the overall sustainable development of Dagbon in particular and Ghana as whole.

Key Words: Rural women, Empowerment, Adult Literacy, Dagomba ethnic group, Northern region

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1735 ISSN (Online)2222-288X

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