Stakeholders discuss women’s rights issues: Strategies to promote gender equality on agenda
A National Feminist workshop has been held in Accra to develop a common advocacy agenda and action plans to address women’s rights issues in the country.
The collective action plan will also ensure increased and continuous enjoyment of human rights by women and girls and the promotion of gender equality.
Organised by Plan Ghana, the Network for Women’s Right in Ghana (NETRIGHT} and the Women in Law and Development (WiLDAF) with support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) under its Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Ghana project, the one-day workshop was also to facilitate how the advocacy platforms made up of networks and women’s right organisations (WROs) will strengthen and or build relationships and influence policy makers, generate and present evidence to influence policy, while remaining responsive to national context and current government strategies.
The project Lead WVL, Patricia Essel, said the WVL was a five-year initiative that was being carried out by Plan International Ghana, Plan International Canada, NETRIGHT and WiLDAF, through the support of GAC.
She said women’s rights organisations working under the project would have the opportunity to chose whichever advocacy work they wanted to work on but together as WRO’s they would also have the opportunity to advocate with one voice on a particular feminist agenda.
She said as a humanitarian organisation, Plan International strove for a just world that advanced children’s rights and equality for girls with focus on gender transformative programming saying the organisation had launched its new five-year global strategy and over the next five years and would build on the many successes of its previous strategy.
She said “as we deliberate and develop a common feminist advocacy agenda and action plans, we must always remember that success is not just in whether needs are met, but also whether through meeting those needs, we have also empowered those we are serving, and worked to ensure greater equality between men and women’’
A Programme Manager and Head, NETRIGHT, Patricia Blankson Akakpo, in a remark, said so far the implementation of the WVL had helped a lot of WRO’s to strengthen their advocacy work in the area of feminist agenda.
She said the project was so flexible that WRO’s had the opportunity to work in their own areas of focus in the feminist agenda before they came together to work on a common agenda all aimed at pushing the feminist agenda forward.
So far, she said, gender equality in the country had not done so well adding that in Africa, Ghana placed 23 out of 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in the World Economic Forum on Gender parity, the country, in 2016, ranked 58 and jumped to 117 in 2021, a situation, she said, was not good.
Programmes Coordinator, WiLDAF Ghana, Melody Darkey, in an address, said the forum would help in building on previous work done in the area of the feminist agenda saying a lot had been done already but there was still the need to build on them for greater impact.
She said at the national level, a lot of frameworks had been built and, therefore, there was the need to prioritise some of the areas and build on them.