Economic crisis and structural adjustment in Ghana have put large numbers of formal sector employees and civil servants out of work. This informalisation process has gendered consequences. Unemployed people, rural-urban migrants and school-leavers of both genders seek employment in the urban informal economy, and increasingly take up occupations hitherto categorised as 'female' - particularly in retail trade. Overcrowding in women's economic domains thus occurs. This study examines how informally employed men and women in Accra get by in a changing macro-economic environment, and how they accommodate but also stretch local ideologies of gender-appropriate behaviour in their economic strategies. Thus, even if female traders face competition, declining returns and a heavier dependency burden, frustration with government policies failing to create decent jobs (for men) is more prevalent than gender antagonism and ridicule of those who find gender-untypical ways of eking out a living.

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