The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), in partnership with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has organised a community durbar at Oda-Nkwanta in the Eastern Region for more than 200 selected women drawn from the Birim Central Municipality.
The forum was organised under the Integrity, Participation, Accountability, Anti-Corruption and Transparency (IMPACT) project, with funding from Global Affairs Canada through Transparency International.
The main topic for discussion was “The fight against corruption – The role of women.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Petra deGraft Johnson, the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) Officer of Ghana Integrity Initiative, noted with concern that even though women represented 52 per cent of Ghana’s population, very few were represented or played any role in the fight against corruption, a critical developmental challenge that affected them most.
Quoting Transparency International (TI), she said women were more disadvantaged in corrupt systems and corruption had a disproportionately negative effect on them.
GII, Ms Johnson said, recognised the need to empower women to make their voices heard in the fight against corruption.
Platform for rural women
“For this reason, the GII is creating a platform for rural women to understand the manifestations of corruption, how it affects them and the role they can play to combat it vis-à-vis the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP),” she added.
According to Ms Johnson, the Birim Central Municipality and Upper West Akyem District in the Eastern Region, as well as Ahafo Ano South and Atwima Kwanwoma districts in the Ashanti Region, had been selected for the durbars based on an identified need to help strengthen social accountability, transparency and good governance issues, among others, in the districts.
Criteria for selection
She said the selection of beneficiary municipalities/districts was also based on, but not limited to, issues of high incidences of corruption, poor services delivery, low levels of citizens’ voice and participation in issues of governance, as well as weak accountability and transparency issues.
The participants included civil society organisations, community-based organisations, religious leaders, assembly members, organised women’s groups, opinion leaders, teachers, market women leaders, female traditional leaders and senior high school students.
Oda Divisional Police
The Oda Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr F.S. Adikah, advised the participants not to hesitate to report corrupt people in the society to the police for investigations, assuring them that the identities of informants would be kept secret.
Other speakers at the function, chaired by the Oda-Nkwantahene, Nana Dwamena Akenten, included the Municipal Director of CHRAJ, Mr Cephas Atido; the Pastor in charge of Oda-Nkwanta Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Mrs Adiba Musah Amponsah, and the Assembly Member for Oda-Nkwanta, Mr Dennis Obeng Agyei.