Ghana now has democratic stability and sustained economic growth. Thanks to women’s rights campaigners, the West African country also has a legislative framework ready to tackle domestic violence.
But police, courts and health services need resources, training and education to make it effective. Women and girls still face poverty, discrimination and violence, and are often excluded from the Ghanaian political system and patriarchal society.
- 21 per cent of women in Ghana have experienced physical violence from a partner (2011-12 Progress of the World’s Women: in Pursuit of Justice, UN Women).
- In the 2012 Ghana elections, women only won 11 per cent of seats (Inter-Parliamentary Union 2014).
- Of the 1,332 candidates in the 2012 elections, only 134 were women (Inter-Parliamentary Union 2013).
- Just 18 per cent of ministerial positions are occupied by women (The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 World Economic Forum).
Funding leadership and opportunities for women
Supporting women to take part in decision-making processes – both at home and in wider society – is a crucial part of reducing poverty and ending violence against women and girls.
As leaders, women can play a vital role in promoting equality, and making their voices and opinions heard locally and nationally.
With our partner, the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (Gender Centre), we are:
- Supporting female candidates for local and national leadership positions, and female MPs, through research, campaign materials and media opportunities
- Establishing young women’s clubs focused on rights and democracy and promoting leadership skills. This supports the next generation of women to have an equal say and share in Ghana’s progress
- Educating voters to support female candidates to improve women’s involvement in society
- Conducting meetings with women’s associations and high profile figures to discuss women’s involvement in governance
- Promoting gender equality and women’s rights to government officials and politicians.
“As result of the knowledge and skills I have acquired from the Gender Centre training, I serve as a role model to women in my district, especially young women. The Gender Centre has also helped me as a Girl Child Education Officer. I educate girls on leadership, and how to be assertive, boost their self-esteem, make decisions and provide constructive criticism. It has given me the skills to negotiate with my male counterparts who have given me positive comments on my leadership career.” Ama
The Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (Gender Centre)
The Gender Centre is committed to promote and protect the human rights of women, and it works with both women’s ...
Strengthening women’s role in politics
Although there has been a slight increase in the number of women holding ministerial positions in government, they are still severely under-represented in Ghanaian politics. There isn’t a law which supports women being appointed and elected into political decision-making.
Working with our local partner, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF-Ghana), we are:
- Lobbying the government to introduce a law providing legal clarification and clear cut guidelines about increasing women’s involvement in politics and to fulfil Ghana’s commitment to international conventions, treaties and protocols
- Collecting signatures across Ghana to petition parliament for the adoption of this new law
- Establishing Coalitions of Women in Governance (COWIGs) – groups that are educating the public about the proposed law and women’s rights
- Promoting the proposed law online, on the radio and through advertisements
- Holding forums for traditional women leaders to get their support for the new law and talking to other influential people to get their backing for it.
“When the first female MP in our area was running for election, the men supported her at first. But because she got to that position maybe three times, they got jealous of her. Men want me to pull out of politics too. The COWIGs are helping to change these attitudes. Women who have not been to school are not well-educated and have struggled. But they have now had their eyes opened to opportunities through the COWIGs. It makes them feel empowered and they have the courage to speak among the public.” Agnes, District Assembly member
Women in Law and Development in Africa, Ghana (WiLDAF-Ghana)
WiLDAF-Ghana is one of the members of a strong pan-African organisation, bringing together organisations to promote a culture of respect ...
Our impact in Ghana
Thanks to our partnership with women’s organisations in Ghana:
- Since 2010, 28 COWIGs have been established across Ghana, with over 500 members (65 per cent women and 35 per cent men). They are building support for a new law for more women to become involved in political decision-making – with 81 per cent of people now agreeing that the law is necessary.
- Over the last five years, more than 600 women have received training to take part in political decision-making across Ghana.
- More than half of 30 female students trained in leadership went on to take up leadership positions in their high schools.
- After the Gender Centre held a four-day workshop to equip women with the skills, knowledge and confidence to contest elections, 49 stood in local elections.
Find out more about our impact
Help us do more
£109 can pay for one female traditional leader to receive training about how they can best influence politicians about women’s rights.
£114 can train one member of the COWIGs to educate the public about the importance of strengthening female political participation in Ghana.
£324 can go towards developing a radio programme or advert promoting a law to get more women in government.