Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS) is working with two assemblies to create space and platforms for active participation of excluded groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Fulanis and the youth in local governance.
The assemblies are West Mamprusi and Gushegu Municipalities of the Northern Region.
To this end, RAINS, a non-governmental organization working in the northern sector, under its Enhancing Social Inclusion in Local Governance (ESILG) project with funding from STAR Ghana Foundation, has held a day’s workshop for Members of the Social Services Sub-Committee of the West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly at Walewale.
The workshop was to assist the municipal assembly to develop a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategy to guide its work in ensuring an inclusive society.
Participants discussed four main topics during the workshop, which included how to improve the Assembly’s environment to make it possible for women and other vulnerable groups to feel welcome to their offices and how to make the local economic activities championed by the assembly accessible to women and other vulnerable groups.
The rest of the topics were how to make it possible for the socially excluded to access social services in the Municipality and how to improve the representation of women, persons with disabilities, Fulanis and youth in the Assembly and communities.
Participants identified certain stereotypes, low level of education and some cultural values as causes of the exclusion of some members in the Municipality’s planning and other programmes.
They pledged to raise awareness in their communities using the provisions in the Persons with Disability Act 2006, Act 715, the Local Governance Act 2016, Act 936 and the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that no one was left behind.
They also agreed to carry out specific actions to ensure gender equality and social inclusion including keeping a database of the socially excluded at the Assembly to enable them to be invited to participate in programmes, auditing existing educational and health facilities in the Municipality and ensuring that the managers take steps to make them disability friendly.
The rest included ensuring that women, Fulanis, youth and persons with disabilities are part of the existing farmer-based cooperatives to enable them benefit from government’s flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and Rearing for Food and Jobs, and advocating for leadership roles for women, Fulanis, the youth and persons with disability in their communities.
Alhaji Mohammed Rabiuad Jabaah, Chairman of the Social Services Sub- Committee of West Mamprusi Municipal, said members of the Sub-Committee are prepared to work to make the Assembly an inclusive institution where everyone would have the opportunity to contribute to its socio-economic development.
Alhaji Rabiuad Jabaah expressed gratitude of the assembly to RAINS and STAR Ghana Foundation for convening the workshop and expressed the hope that the partnership would continue in other areas of the Assembly.