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Story September 17, 2009

Ghana's Kayayo: Making the Most of Poverty


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Every year, thousands of women and young girls migrate from Ghana’s poorer, Muslim north to the...

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Struggling to escape the center of a cycle of poverty, thousands of girls migrate from Ghana's barren north to find work in southern cities, but their false hopes often clash with grim realities. This class of young women, known as the Kayayo, leave their homes and families, seeking the chance to earn money to support and educate themselves. However, instead of a better life, they find meager living arrangements, often with twenty to thirty girls housed in one room, and those lucky enough to secure employment must work labor-intensive jobs for little pay. While some see Kayayo work as an opportunity, others consider it their only option.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality
teal halftone illustration of a construction worker holding a helmet under their arm


Labor Rights

Labor Rights

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