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Drah, Bright Bensah

Grant Type
Engaged Anthropology Grant
Completed Grant
Approve Date
Project Title
Drah, Dr. Bright, Independent Scholar, Alberta, Canada - To aid engaged activities on 'Strengthening Female Political Leadership for Orphans' Interventions Through Community-Based Research: The Role of the Anthropologist,' 2013, Manya Krobo, Ghana

DR. BRIGHT DRAH, then an independent scholar, Alberta, Canada, received a grant in February 2013 to aid engaged activities on 'Strengthening Female Political Leadership for Orphans' Interventions through Community-based Research: The Role of the Anthropologist.' The recognition of African women as mediators of orphan care comes against the assumption that these women are submissive, lack initiative, and are subjugated by their men. Consequently, researchers and interventionists have focused mainly on women's domestic roles and ignore women's political leadership roles outside of their households. In Manya Klo, Ghana, care for orphans is a political responsibility for queen mothers (traditional female leaders). This project was in response to an unmet need in Manya Klo to use contextual data to identify strategies to further empower queen mothers who are also caregivers and advocates for orphans. Through a ('non-customary') consultative approach (workshops, brainstorming, consensus building, and information sharing), the queen mothers identified the factors that inhibit their work as leaders and identified specific actions that could strengthen their positions. Queen mothers want to: 1) democratically elect leaders who would be accountable to them; 2) be involved in making decisions that affect women and children; and 3) be treated with respect by chiefs. The project approach marks a shift from Klo custom where leadership decisions are mostly made by male leaders with minimum input from females.