Year of Graduation
Cornelia ameyo Nyadroh
Career Paths of Female Politicians: Comparative Analysis of Female Politicians in the North and South of Ghana
Comparative Social Research
The international community has shown distinct commitment to gender equality and bridging the gap in the formal political arena. Despite this commitment, there is currently only 15 percent women's representation in legislature around the world, with only 12 countries where women hold 33% or more seats in parliaments (UNDP Report 2005). Politics is historically dominated and bespoke to men's experience. To succeed in this working field women have to adjust themselves by adopting certain professional identity which can be seen as a career strategy. In order to investigate what gendered professional identities women in the South and North of Ghana adopt in order to succeed in the field of politics, 10 women politicians were interviewed using semi-structured interview. The findings revealed that women in both the North and South have different perception about the field of politics. It was revealed that the women in the North mostly perceive the field to be inaccessible because they build their perceptions around group perceptions while the women in the South perceive the field to be accessible. Success in the field of politics is connected to success in the private space. Positioning in the field of politics is linked to how the women perceive the field. Overall, these positioning influence which career strategy the women adopt in order to succeed in the field of politics. The main difference is the women politicians in the North perceive the field to be distant and opt for “feminine” positions in the field while the women politicians in the South perceive the field to be accessible and as such take pride in positioning themselves in the supposed male positions in the field. This research contributes to identity construction discussions and delves deeper into different socio-cultural environments and spaces, by looking at how females perceive the field of politics and how they tend to identify themselves in the field in order to achieve their aims in the field.