Trends In Family And Marital Processes
Since the 1960s, the Ghanaian family has come under intense stress as a result of contact with the outside world. For example, with increasing levels of education and urbanization has come an increase in the nuclear form of marriage common in North America (Oppong 1983b). Takyi and colleagues (2000) also find that mate selection is increasingly becoming an individual, rather than a family, matter, as it used to be. In terms of property rights, legislation on Intestate Succession (PNDC III) has helped to challenge the existing status quo. Under the law passed in 1985, the majority of marital property (even in the absence of a will) now goes to the nuclear, rather than the extended, family. Increasing urbanization has also been followed by more marriage dissolutions, and it appears that divorce rates in Ghana are on the rise (see Table 1). In terms of household structure, studies increasingly point to an increase in the number of households headed or principally maintained by women (GSS 1989; Lloyd and Gage-Brandon 1993).