Women’s activities in the Ghanaian fishery: The role of social capital
Women play important roles in the Ghanaian fishery. This thesis focuses on the roles of women in the Ghanaian fisheries and their means of raising capital to finance their activities. The roles played are broadly categorized as an intermediary one linking fishermen and fish consumers. The women offer financial assistance to the fishermen in times of need and this has led to a strong relationship between the women and the fishermen. To perform this intermediary role, the women rely on relationships they have with the fishermen and existing fish traders. This is due to the difficulties they face in accessing formal credit from the bank as a result of lack of collateral. The findings of this study indicate that social capital plays a very important role both in the raising of capital for the fish trade and the performance of the role as intermediaries. Success in the fish trade has earned the women a prestigious status in the society and their financial success affords some of them the ability to own and control fishing equipment. The influence they possess in the fisheries through the interdependence between them and the fishermen is what makes this category of women different from their counterparts in other parts of the world. Theories used in this study include the middlemen theory, social capital, principal agent theory and micro finance.