Women and Girls Empowerment
Gender discrimination in access to and control over productive resources and social services exacerbates women’s vulnerability to poverty. In many countries around the world, women and girls do not have equal opportunities as boys and men. Ghana is not an exception as girls and women are more likely to live in poverty, have less control over land, excluded from decision-making and subsequently make minimal income. Although Ghana is close to reaching gender parity in primary education, but inequalities in female access to education in post-primary education level remains a challenge. Today, boy – girl enrolment ratios Basic 1:1, Secondary 2:1 and Tertiary 3:1. Yet female population is 52% against 48% of their male counterparts.
Percentage of females pursuing non-traditional technical skills programmes (e.g. electronics, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, auto-mechanic) in Technical and Vocational schools accounts for less than 15% of total enrolment. According to the World Bank, Women entrepreneurs have serious challenges as far as accessing capital and other economic resources for start-up businesses is concerned. It indicates that only 47% of women globally have access to formal financial institutions and saving mechanisms making access to credit a critical challenge for women in business.” This is due to a number of reasons including lower levels of education and financial literacy, lower income levels, lack of tangible assets or collateral, legal constraints, time and mobility constraints, socio-cultural constraints, and a lack of market exposure among others. About 80% of women in Ghana are engaged in various economic activities, and predominantly operate in the small to medium scale sectors of the economy. These existing hardships make it hard for women’s and girls Empowerment in Ghana. This further result in low representation and participation of women and girls in decision-making and lack of gender parity at all levels of the socio-economic and political dispensation.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. To reduce the vulnerability of girls and women means that;
- Promoting Equality and Equity in social life at various levels of inclusiveness
- Support Girls to enrol and stay in school until completion at highest levels possible
- Economic empowerment of girls and women who posses innate roles as nurturers of human population.
- Skills training as impetus for making them socio economically independent and or substantially interdependent.
- Financial literacy and Entrepreneurial skills
- Access to capital, land and control over its usage.
- Ability to use innovation (social media platforms) to network business and expand their voices.
as part of efforts to achieve the National Gender and Children Policy of 2004 of mainstreaming gender concerns in national development process.