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Hon. Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo
Hon. Isaac Nii Djanmah Vanderpuye


The Ga-Dangme are a patriarchal, patrilineal and patrilocal society. The largest ethnic group in the region is the Akan, comprising 39.8 percent, followed by Ga-Dangme (29.7%) and Ewe (18%). In terms of individual ethnic sub groups, detailed results indicate that the Gas form the single largest sub-group, accounting for 18.9 per cent of the population. Among the Akan group, the Fantes constitute 10.6 percent, Asantes, 8.3 per cent and Akuapem 4.9 percent.

Festivals
Perhaps the most important common religious institution that has survived as an expression of the unity of the Ga-Dangme people relates to the three main annual festivals celebrated in the region. These are the Asafotufiam celebrated in the Ada area, Ngmayem in the Shai Osudoku area and the Homowo by the Gas.

The festivals provide an occasion for the gathering together of the Ga-Dangme from every part of the country, where they happen to be temporarily domiciled in order to eat communally together and at the same time to welcome new members of the family while remembering the dead. It is also an occasion for the settling of personal quarrels and important family disputes.

Religious Groups
The percentage distribution of religious groups shows the predominance of Christians (82.9%) in the region, compared with the second major religion, Islam (10.2%). Among the Christian group, adherents of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches constitute the largest religious denomination (38.0%) followed by Protestants (26.0%) and Catholics (9.7%) in that order. The distribution is almost similar for both sexes except for the predominance of females in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. There are however more male than female Muslims which conforms to the national pattern.

Household Composition
Children of the head constitute 32.3 percent, while grandchildren and other relatives together make up 30.9 percent. Twenty eight per cent of males are household heads compared to 12.7 per cent of females. Where a female is the head of household, it is very likely that it is a single person household or a single parent household. This explanation is reinforced by the finding that 2.3 per cent of males compared to 16.1 per cent of females were reported as being spouses of the head of the household. It is also noted that the large proportion of grandchildren and other relatives in the household is evidence of the continued importance of extended family relations.

Marital Status
In most of Ghana, procreation is expected to take place within marriage and hence the implication of the pattern of marital status for fertility. 50.0 per cent of persons 15 years and older are in formal marriages or informal cohabiting unions, while an additional 9.6 per cent have once been in a marriage. In spite of the minimum legal age of 18 years prescribed for marriage, there is an indication that marriage takes place among persons aged 12-17 years.

The proportion of persons aged 12-17 years who are either married or in consensual unions is 5.8 per cent compared to a national average of 6.4 percent. Analysis of marital status by sex shows that 48.5 per cent of males and 51.5 per cent of females are in formal or informal unions.

The proportion of females (13.2%) who have once been in a marriage is 2.2 times that of males (6.1%). This may partly reflect the fact that males, after a divorce or death of spouse, are more likely than females to remarry. The phenomenon may also reflect the fact that polygamous marriages may hide dissolution of unions between women and the man in such a union. As is expected, there is a higher proportion of widowed females than males; among the factors that explain this is deferential age at marriage and differential mortality.



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