Selenia Marabello

Ghanaian Migrants to Italy as Agents of Change? Making Sense of Gender Hierarchies and Development Discourses

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Co-Development; Gender and Family Representations; Ghanaian Migrations; Development Brokers.

Potentially embodying ideas of democracy, participation and social engagement, co-development policies and initiatives are multi-faceted and heterogeneous. This paper explores Ghanacoop, a co-development project involving Ghanaian migrants to Italy, analysing cultural frictions and arrangements concerning gender norms. The gap between gender narratives and the practices these new brokers perform in the development arena are investigated anthropologically, focusing on the process of re-framing gender and family representations. Migration and Akan studies intertwine to investigate Ghanaian longue durée practices and idioms of conjugality. Based on ethnographic research, this article shows how marital roles are displayed and concretely enacted within the project, acquiring political meaning. In so doing, it reveals how Ghanacoop mirrored and translated development institutions' discourses on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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