Migration affects cultural bearings – Research

Patience A. Gbeze, GNA

Accra, Sept. 7, GNA
– A research conducted by the Centre for Migration Studies, University of
Ghana, has revealed that migration leads to loss of cultural bearing.

The research, under
the auspices of the Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme on “Migration,
Intra-Household Dynamics and Youth Aspirations in Ghana” revealed that most
people who migrate and come home were unable to prepare the traditional meal
and speak the local language correctly.

Dr Akosua Darkwa, a
Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Ghana, and a member of
the research consortium, at a dissemination workshop in Accra, said the
research, which explored how migration was changing gendered power relations
and roles within households, focused on the Northern, Upper East and Greater
Accra regions.

She said it also
investigated the intra-household dynamics and youth aspirations in Ghana and it
came to light that migration decisions were taken by the migrants themselves as
their families saw the act as belittling the head of the family.

Dr Darkwah said the
research revealed that the older people were normally opposed to migration
because it portrayed the family heads as not playing their roles well.  

“The younger people
interviewed admitted that migration has increasingly become a significant
driver of transformation within the family and households and a significant
livelihood strategy adopted by many to move out of poverty.

“To these young
people though migration is not good all of them expressed their willingness to
migrate because they see their friends or elder sisters who migrate come back
home with lots of basic items and some remit their families regularly,” she

She said for the
first time in the history of Ghana female migrants out-numbered their male
counterparts adding; “in the olden days our colonial masters tailored migration
for the male to come and engage in hard work such as farming and factory work”.

Professor Mariam
Awumbila, the Director of Migrating out of Poverty Programme at the Centre for
Migration Studies, University of Ghana, said females were playing important
roles in migration and attention must be focused on their welfare.

She said even if the
remittances they brought home came in small bits they contribute to improve
upon their families.

She said the
consortium was working on a proposal to look for funding for the economic and
social remittances of migrants.

Dr Joseph Teye, the
Co-ordinator of Migrating out of Poverty Programme, said migration could not
always be said to be bad because some people migrated to add to their fortunes
while others also did so to break their poverty cycle.


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