Female Chiefs in Dagbon Traditional Area: Role and Challenges in the Northern Region of Ghana (Published)
Traditional forms of leadership are many and varied globally and throughout the continent of Africa, chieftaincy institution has recognized only male chiefs, (Von Trotha, 1996 & Engelbranner-Koff et al 1995). However, literature points to the existence of female chiefs since the ancient times but the question still remains especially, the role these chiefs play in the socio-economic and cultural development of their traditiobal areas. This study sought to ascertain the existence of female chiefs in Dagbon Traditional Area and the role they play in sociocultural and economic development of Northern Region of Ghana. Qualitative methods descriptive statistics and processes were used which included interviews, observations and focus group discussions and percentages for the primary data. The targeted population were Traditional Authority (Chiefs, their Elders, Tindanas, Magazias), Drum historians, People with special knowledge on the matter and the Community elders from the study areas. Data collected were analysed through the process of Thematic Content Analysis and guided by sociological theories such as Social Role Theory, Role Congruity Theory, Sociocultural Theory and Functionalists Theory. The results showed that the qualification and the selection or nomination for a title as female chief was based on lineage either a daughter or granddaughter of the overlord (Ya Naa). They assumed important sociocultural, spiritual and political roles especially, during funerals of the King of Dagbon and some other selected chiefs as well as during festivities. They are bedeviled with a lot of challenges including lack of recognition, support in terms of finances, ill-treatment by their female counterparts and humiliation. It is recommended that Regional and National Houses of Chiefs and the District Assemblies as a matter of urgency support female chiefs with quarterly allowances and sensitization of the public by district assemblies to realise the importance of female chiefs in the development of the traditional area.
Citation: Yakubu Mohammed, Eliasu Alhassan, Mahama Seth Sayibu (2022) Female Chiefs in Dagbon Traditional Area: Role and Challenges in the Northern Region of Ghana, International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Research, Vol.8, No.2 pp.57-81