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Everyone belongs to abusua, and no one leaves their abusua or joins another abusua.Based on the matrilineal systems practiced in southern Ghana, a person belongs to the abusua of their mother side for the rest of their life.The culture seems to demand that men must always have some dominating advantages over their wives.Even until recently, marrying a strong, successful independent or well educated woman was looked at with some suspicion as it may prevent the man from being able to control the wife.Most Ghanaians lived in communal housing where the families or individuals rented rooms in houses and therefore a married man doing such work would attract mockery from neighbours.Also, the wife would be viewed as lazy and may even be reported to the man’s relatives as not fit for the man.
There is a lack of protection of vulnerable people in Ghana and legal instruments such as restraining order are not known or understood and therefore not leveraged to protect the vulnerable.
To this day, the economic power of the family unit is firmly in the hands of the husband and he provides an allowance often referred to as chop money for the wife to use to prepare the meals for the day and other household activities.
Under the chop money system, the man eats first, and gets the biggest portions and the best meat, while the children get the scraps and are made to feel they should be very grateful to get some at all.
Growing up in Ghana it was clear who the boss of the house was, the father.
The wife or wives and children were to make themselves available for any assignments required by the father.