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Faculty Sponsor

Isidore Lobnibe

Abstract

This paper explores the experiences of female porters known as Kayayei in Agbogboloshie, Ghana. The Kayayei (singl. kayayoo) is a Ga term that describes these young women who carry goods and wares for a fee. A majority of them have migrated from the northern and rural parts of Ghana to earn a sure income in the southern cities. First, the topic is introduced with a case study based on a personal interview with a kayayoo. Next, the characteristics of the slum, Agbogbloshie, are explored. The cultural and socio-economic difficulties facing these women are discussed. This essay posits that the cultural and socio-economic challenges that a kayayoo faces seem to be largely based on cultural traditions and socio-economic factors that constitute the burden of the kayayei. The paper concludes with some suggestions of how the kayayei can break the bonds of the informal sector.

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