Gender equality, leadership, and governance are interconnected issues that have significant implications for society, and they encompass various challenges and concerns. CIWED Ghana on the 16th of September, 2023 hold a radio program to discussed some of these key challenges affecting women and girls in the Nanton District. Isssues discussed such as gender disparities in leadership roles, gender-based discrimination, political representation, economic empowerment, social norms and stereotypes among other.
The CIWED GH team indicated that, addressing these issues requires concerted efforts from governments, organizations, civil society, and individuals. Strategies to promote gender equality, leadership, and governance may include policy reforms, legal protections, educational initiatives, awareness campaigns, and efforts to challenge traditional gender norms and stereotypes. Achieving gender equality is not only a matter of social justice but also critical for sustainable development and the well-being of societies as a whole.
As an NGO committed to promoting quality health for all, CIWED-Ghana team, as part of the implementation of the PAI project conducted a net-mapping exercise with some key players and influential actors who have influence on and access to issues and matters concerning health at the community and district levels. The exercise was conducted on two separate days for Savelugu and Nantong and at different times for select community and district level stakeholders.
The exercise was conducted firstly in Nantong at the district assembly on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023 for the community leaders (opinion leaders, assembly members), state actors (health workers, district assembly workers, social welfare unit and other relevant actors at the district level) and the youth. Different net-maps were formed at the end of the day, each representing the power-play and the relationship between the various district level actors in health with regards to three (3) key issues, thus information, advice and money. The net map was a tool develop by the UN to conduct stakeholder engagement to get the necessary inputs and contributions from the relevant actors for advocacy or policy formulation purposes. The session at Nantong started with an opening prayer and discussions commenced ranging from the participants identifying the relevant actors in the health sector who can influence health outcomes in the district, the next was to identify how the actors are linked to each other in terms of information, advice and money and the third was to identify or rank them based on their power and influence in health issues at the district level. For the first engagement (community opinion leaders), eight (8) actors were identified (18) actors were identified in the second engagement (state actors). This shows the difference in perspectives of the groups engaged in the session. The most commonly identified stakeholders were; the GHS, NGOs, Traditional authorities, religious leaders and the District assembly. The net maps formed in Nanton didn’t see the mention of the media as a key player with regards to health information access and dissemination in the community and this in the analysis of CIWED was due to the unavailability of a radio/media station in the Nantong district. The power play was also with some community actors such as the chiefs and religious leaders who were considered very important and powerful actors in health information access and dissemination, however health advice only came from the GHS and the NGOs operating in health. Money as well was seen coming from the NGOs to all other actors and from the GHS to health volunteers at the district level.
SAVELUGU The net-mapping exercise for Savelugu was conducted on Thursday, 24th August, 2023 at the forecourt of the Fire Service department, Savelugu. Again, the various stakeholders in attendance were; the community leaders, state actors and some select community youth. The discussions were facilitated by Mr. Danaa and he started all sessions by briefly
In an effort to achieve the inclusion of inadequate youth representation on social accountability mechanisms that affect their access to SRMNCAH services is one objective under the activity of Global Goods Grants funded by the PAI. CIWED-GH organized an inception meeting on the 26th July 2023 at the resource center for disability inviting all project stakeholders including community level leaders (opinion and traditional leaders), state actor (health workers and district assembly officials) and some select youth to engage them, introduce the project to them, get their buy in on the new project in the district. CIWED-GH intended to know the best/most suitable implementation methods and strategies to be used to achieve the desired project results and also to know what to expect from the community members during the implementation to ensure the project is carried out successfully. At the end of the day, the various stakeholders contributed immensely and gave relevant demonstrations on how some actors have been overlooked in other projects who are spoilers and are influential enough to frustrate a project at the community and district level, this has shaped our implementation plan and strategies rolled out in the project implementation.
As part of project activities, CIWED organized quarterly review meetings for Ge-net group leaders. The Gender Network Groups (Ge-net) is a group of identified community leaders from various sectors of the community who lead advocacy on gender equality and gender transformation. The review meeting was to identify and discuss in details some gender and human right issues bordering their communities. The meeting was also to create a platform for action in tackling the identified human right issues.
The Ge-Net leaders in Zoggu reported that one key gender issue was youth out-migration from the community. They further reported that the issue is serious because it is predominant among young girls of school going age. A teacher among the leadership reported that, after the directive by the government for all schools to resume (after COVID-19 close down), about 50% of the females in his school did not return. He further explained that some got married off and some migrated to Accra and Kumasi to do petty jobs (popularly called Kayaaye). Similar issues were reported from Ge-net leadership from Nantong communities. It was found that child marriage and youth out-migration were the common issues in most communities.
As follow up actions, the leadership of the Ge-Net committed to discussing the issue with the entire community stakeholders for collective action. On her part, the Gender Coordinator for CIWED, Madam Basiru Mardiya pledged commitment to the course of the Ge-Net and promised for capacity support to the networks.
CIWED ORGANIZED TWO DAYS TOWN HALL MEETING ON ENDING GENDER INEQUALITIES
CIWED with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) seeks to increase the effective participation of women in decision-making roles and leadership positions and to empower them to have access and control of resources in two districts in the northern region. As part of the “women voice and Leadership” project, CIWED convened a town hall meeting on ending gender inequalities in the project districts. The theme for the town hall meeting was “Leave no Female Behind”.
Addressing the participants, the Executive Director of CIWED, Mr. Baako Abdul Fatawu reaffirmed that CIWED seeks to have visibly empowered women, girls, men and boys groups leading the campaign for gender transformation in the communities. He assured that CIWED will continue to work towards empowering women and youth at the community level to advocate for their rights. He added that the project will build community structures to lead the campaign and sustain the gains. He concluded that women and their groups in the communities will be supported more to make specific demands for their rights including access to resources, representation and participation in decision-making.
The town hall meeting was attended by various district and community stakeholders including the district coordinating director, the department of social welfare and community development, the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service, community chiefs and elders, the honorable assemblymen and women, students, youth groups and women groups.
The two days town hall meeting increased the confidence of community women and girls towards seeking community leadership positions. It also created platform for increased commitment from traditional leaders to support women with lands to farm.
As follow-up action to a reflection meeting held among Gender Network Groups (Ge-Net), CIWED supported the leadership of the Ge-Net to widen their discussion to the entire communities. Reports gathered from community volunteers revealed that the traditional leaders were full of praise for CIWED and OSIWA for facilitating a community led appraisal action.
The chief of Kparigilanyili in the Nantong District could not hide his satisfaction during a monitoring visit to his community and palace. CIWED can report that the reflection meetings created a community led appraisal platform for community members to find local solutions to their local problems. Parents increased their understanding on gender and human right issues. The Assemblywoman for Gbumgbum electoral area; the only female elected Assemblywoman in Nantong District was so happy for the CIWED/OSIWA intervention. She pledged to partner with CIWED to have more female elected Assemblywomen in the coming District Assembly elections
Two days’ trainer of trainees training organized for Girls Assembly (GAS) leaders and patrons on leadership, team-building and advocacy training
The Girls Assembly (GAS) and Boys Advocacy Clubs concepts are CIWED innovations that see a group of girls and a group of boys formed to deliberate on issues affecting girls in schools, such as leadership, gender discrimination & stereotype, and adolescent reproductive health, including child marriage issues. CIWED through OSIWA support has GAS and BACs in twenty schools in two districts.
As part of strengthening strategies, CIWED supported a two days’ trainer of trainees training for GAS leaders and patrons (120 members) on leadership, team-building and advocacy training. The training was co-facilitated by CIWED and the girl child officers of the Nantong and Savelugu Districts. The meeting gave the girls capacity on leadership and reproductive health issues. The training also gave them knowledge on pathways to report cases of abuse and dangers of child marriage.
The teachers and patrons of the schools saw the action as complementing the role of the Ghana Education Service and expressed satisfaction with the actions.
CIWED Livelihood Trainees undergo Refresher Capacity Training in Tamale-24/06/2022
CIWED GHANA Organized a refresher training workshop for its CLIP 2 beneficiaries in Tamale. This was in appreciation of the need to complement the practical skills of the trainees with soft capacity. The training centred on Business management, financial management & negotiation and Life skills.
The master craftsmen/women, who are tasked to train the beneficiaries, were given the opportunity to participate in this training. In sum, 30 participants showed up for the training. In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of CIWED, Mr. Baako Abdul fatawu welcomed the trainees and admonished them to take active part in the training. He also reminded them that learning and mastering the job alone will not bring much success until the workers learn how to manage their business, their finances and customer relations in general.
The trainer, Mr. Issah Aminu Danaa, used a mixture of pictures, videos and words to deliver the training. The participants felt very comfortable with the facilitation approach. The verbal post training evaluation showed that the training was rated very high. One trainee remarked; “Today I have increased my knowledge on how to relate with my future customers; I will be very honest and friendly with them”. Another remarked; “Now I understand why some master craftsmen lose their customers. I will be a good master when I graduate”
The project is supported by Tools for Self Reliance UK. It seeks to reduce the unemployment challenges in the Northern Region of Ghana and also contribute to empower these young people to become responsible and respected citizen in their home and communities as well.
CIWED’s Radio Discussion on Gender Based Violence gets Massive Public Response
On 4th June, 2022 CIWED Ghana had a radio discussion to educate the people of northern Ghana, especially, Savelugu Municipality and Nanton District on gender based violence and the various forms it takes. This was in response to objective two (2) of the CIWED/MSH programme to support advocacy activities of 20 groups for prevention and responding to Gender Based Violence (GBV) during the COVID-19 pandemic through campaigns targeting male engagement in domestic responsibilities and addressing drivers of intimate partner violence. The discussion featured the Northern Regional Director of the Department of Gender as well as a representative from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Men’s contribution to the programme blamed women for emotionally abusing them whereas women blamed men for physically and financially abusing them. The project is supported by Management Sciences for Health Ins. (MSH), with the goal to contribute to advocacy and accountability for the continuation of quality, lifesaving health and nutrition services for women, children, and adolescents during and after the COVID 19 pandemic, and for improving health outcomes in these areas.
CIWED Ghana holds 2-day Life Skills &Adolescent Health Training Workshop
CIWED Ghana carried out a capacity building training workshop for its livelihood focused trainees. the training focused on life skill and adolescent health practices to help them address the challenges they might face concerning their adulthood. The aim of the activity was to empower the young trainee with the requisite skills to enable them understand the developmental changes face by young adults and to prepare for them. The activity also aimed at differentiating between a child and an adult and how the two are interrelated.