Ghana Celebrates International Women’s Day

ghana1 600x454 Ghana Celebrates International Womens Day

Kpatua 1 is located in the Garu Tempane district of the Upper East region of Ghana. It is one of the 22 communities Pathways operates in. It has an estimated population of 500 people and it is located 28kms to the southwest of Garu. It is inhabited by the Kusasis with Bimobas as settlers. The main occupation of the community is subsistence farming and the crops cultivated include: rice, soybeans, groundnut, millet, cowpea, maize, sorghum and bambara beans.

Since 2012, CARE Ghana has been very visible in the community with a number of interventions to address gender inequalities that negatively affect women. Some of the activities also seek to empower women in household and community level decision-making and women’s access and control of certain opportunities in the community. These interventions are include:

  • Establishment of three Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) which are very effective and operational with a membership of 75 (67 women 8 men).
  • Two gender champions (1male 2female) within the community who facilitate discussions on gender issues.
  • There are three Community Based Extension Agents (CBEA) comprising (1 male:2 female) who promote Good Agronomic practices amongst project participants.
  • There are three Market Research Committee members (MRC) comprising (1 Male: 2 female) who help the VSLA to address their marketing challenges.
  • Two Farmer field and Business School (FFBS) plots that improve the capacity of women farmers on Good Agronomic practices for soya and Groundnut

This year’s International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on the 8th of March 2016, was held in the community with the theme: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality!”

A gender dialogue was carried out in the community to commemorate the day. The dialogue was attended by chiefs, elders, opinion leaders, women leaders, assembly members, unit committee members, men, women, young men, young women and persons with disabilities. A total of 146 people attended the dialogue comprising 38 men, 18 young men, 70 women, and 20 young women.

A participatory approach to the discussions was used between CARE and the community and the topics discussed were as follows:

  • Myths/traditions and beliefs/taboos that prevent women and girls from accessing, controlling and owning household and community resources.
  • Access and control profile of household resources.
  • Twenty four hour clock (daily clock and work distribution)
  • Roles, responsibility, opportunities and benefits allocated to men, women, boys and girls.
  • Household and community decision making process.
  • Women’s participation in decision making

After the dialogue the community members made the following commitments;

  • “We the traditional leaders (chiefs) appreciate the roles played by women and we commit to further involve them in community level decision-making processes.”
  • “We men will continue to help our wives to carry out their daily activities such as carrying water since it is not a taboo.”
  • “We will continue to involve our wives in decision-making at home to enable us bring up our children very well.”
  • “We will continue to make productive lands accessible to our wives to cultivate soybean, groundnut and other crops of their choice to earn income to meet their needs and support in upkeep of the household.”