Effects of Climate Shocks and Climate Adaptation through Livelihood Diversification on Gendered Welfare Gaps in Northern Ghana

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William Adzawla
Abou Kane


Globally, addressing poverty levels and inequality remained one of the topmost priorities and has been accorded the first position in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although Ghana as a whole is faring well in poverty reduction over the past decades, poverty levels and inequalities remains high in the northern parts. This study analysed the gendered welfare gap and the effects of climate change and livelihood diversification on the welfare gap. Through multistage sampling, 432 households were selected and interviewed using a questionnaire. A selectivity bias corrected Oaxaca Blinder model was estimated using household per capita consumption expenditure as a measure of households’ welfare. The result shows that there is a significant welfare gap of $45.85 (GH₵211.85), an equivalent of 11.4% between male headed and female headed households. Controlling for selectivity bias revealed that the observed gender welfare gap was underestimated. Livelihood diversification had positive significant effect on the explained component of gender welfare gap. Climate change/variability had positive significant effect on welfare gap through the explained component and a negative significant effect through the unexplained component. Therefore, observed climate change and variability led to an increase in gender welfare gap by 64.62%, while the unobservable returns from climate factors contributed to a reduction in gender welfare gap by 193.26%. Since addressing unobservable climate factors is limited, there is the need to improve the climate characteristics of women. Although livelihood diversification is a necessary condition, policies such as training and education that would ensure that females also have higher returns from such strategies are sufficient to address gender welfare gaps. To improve the welfare of farmers in the midst of climate change, animal rearing should be promoted among maize crop farmers. Similarly, government’s policy of one district one factory should consider improving agro-processing opportunities in the region into commercial activities.

Climate change and variability, gender, livelihood diversification, welfare

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How to Cite
Adzawla, W., & Kane, A. (2019). Effects of Climate Shocks and Climate Adaptation through Livelihood Diversification on Gendered Welfare Gaps in Northern Ghana. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 9(2), 104-119. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2019/v9i230100
Original Research Article