NGO engages communities on gender norms

Social Girls Empowerment
Some participants at the FGD

The Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD) Ghana, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), operating in the Upper West Region has engaged two communities in the Wa Municipality to ascertain some gender norms that discriminate against Girls and Young Women (GYW).

The Focused group Discussions (FGD), held at Chegli and Kperisi communities were to enable the NGO to plan its activities towards transforming those norms that militate against the development of GYW under the SHE Leads project.

Similar engagements were held at Sagu and Nyagli communities and yet to be done at the Chansaa community, all in the Wa Municipality.

The discussion, which was in the form of story-telling, focused on how the communities treated issues affecting different cohort of people at their communities, such as persons of different social classes and disability status, nationality and gender among others.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided funding support for its five-year implementation (2021-2025) in six regions, with Plan International Ghana and CARD Ghana implementing it in the Upper West.

Madam Ernestina Biney, the Project Officer for the SHE Leads project at CARD Ghana said, “The purpose of the FGD was to collect information on the experience of GYW in advocating and participating meaningfully in interactions as compared to their male counterparts in the community” and emphasized the need for GYW to assume leadership roles at the community, institutional, local and national levels.

She explained that the SHE Leads project was aimed at identifying barriers such as negative social norms that hindered GYW from playing leadership roles and to help address same.

Madam Hajia Lailatu Issah, the Wa Municipal Gender Desk Officer, entreated the communities to discourage gender norms that hampered the development of GYW, such as ascribing girls to marriage, child birth and caring for the home and advised them to take their education seriously to become responsible people in the future.

“Mocking at girls and the young ones for maybe becoming pregnant, giving birth or having some tribal marks will discourage them from being in school”, Madam Issah observed.

Madam Prisca Kanmwaa, the Guidance and Counseling Officer at the Wa Municipal Education Directorate, appealed to men to involve women and children in decision making on issues that concerned their lives.

Mr Iddrisu Yussif, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Chairman for Kperisi Basic School, said the education of girls at the community was appalling and only few of them were able to complete Junior High School.

“More girls than boys start school from the primary level, but by the time they get to JHS to complete, a lot of them dropout. Some of them become pregnant along the line”, he explained.

CARD Ghana identified change agents at the communities to help in the transformation of gender norms at the communities towards ensuring that GYW realized their full potentials and Community leaders, parents, teachers and school children participated in the focused in the discussion.

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