POLICIES, PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES
SECTOR MEDIUM TERM DEVELOPMENT PLAN:
MOWAC has recently finalized its 4-year Sector Medium Term Development Plan (SMTDP) 2010 – 2013 with six (6) major stated objectives.
1. To promote Gender mainstreaming and Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in MDAs and MMDAs through capacity building
2. To improve the socio-economic status of women and children, the vulnerable and marginalized groups through targeted interventions
3. To enhance evidence-based decision-making on gender equality and women empowerment by collecting gender and sex-disaggregated data in all the districts
4. To protect and promote the development and the rights of women and children through awareness creation and effective implementation of National and International Policy Framework and Legislations
5. To assess progress on the implementation of women and child related programmes and projects and evaluate policy outcomes and impact through effective monitoring and evaluation framework to provide inputs for gender and children policy review and planning
6. To create awareness and support the implementation of government’s development policies affecting women and children in Ghana
In Ghana, as in most African countries, violence tends to be condoned under certain cultural practices and religious beliefs, particularly when the violence takes place within the home. Domestic Violence (DV) thus remains the most hidden form of violence in Ghana and elsewhere. Some actions to address domestic violence in Ghana include:
* Enactment of the Domestic Violence Act (2007), Act 732, which proscribes violence in all forms, punishes perpetrators and provides interventions to rescue and rehabilitate victims of domestic violence;
* Establishment of the Domestic Violence (DV) Secretariat to coordinate all interventions on domestic violence in Ghana and to implement the National Plan of Action (NPA) for the implementation of the law;
* Inauguration of the Domestic Violence (DV) Management Board (DVMB) to provide technical advice to the Minister on policy issues in tackling DV;
* A National Plan of Action which focuses on Coordination, Social Services, Prevention and Protection has been developed and launched. Copies of the Policy and National Plan of Action have been disseminated to stakeholders;
* Consultative meetings have been held with some development partners for support to which the UN System and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) are currently providing financial support for the implementation of the NPA on Domestic Violence.
* Establishment of implementation frameworks, mechanisms and guidelines for DV Secretariat and Management Board to coordinate activities outlined in the NPA and DV Policy guidelines;
* Facilitation of processes for the development of a Legislative Instrument (LI),
* Development of Protocols, strategies, service manuals and other standards of operation to guide capacity development and service delivery;
* Undertaking Research and Data collection to develop indicators for monitoring and evaluation of DV issues.
Ghana is noted as a destination, transit and origin of human trafficking (HT). Research indicates that about 70% of human trafficking cases are internal with about 78% of victims being children aged between 6-15 years. To address this canker, the Ministry with support from the UN Systems, IOM and the Danish Embassy in Ghana, have adopted the following interventions:
* Enactment of a Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 694) which proscribes, punishes perpetrators of human trafficking and provides for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of human trafficking;
* Establishment of Human Trafficking Secretariat to coordinate activities of the Management Board and other related issues on human trafficking;
* Inauguration of a Human Trafficking Management Board (HTMB) to provide technical advice to the Minister on initiatives to tackle human trafficking in the country;
* Production of documentaries on human trafficking to sensitize and create awareness on the dangers associated with trafficking.
* Information, Education and Communication materials have been designed on human trafficking. These materials highlight the nature of trafficking, hazards associated with the phenomenon, prosecution of offenders, and victim protection messages.
* Between 2009/2010 the capacities of over 151 law enforcement officers, including the police, immigration, CEPS, Navy, the judiciary and prosecutors have been built on emerging issues relating to human trafficking;
* Establishment of Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) throughout the country to serve as surveillance groups against acts relating to child protection in general and dealing with human trafficking in communities;
* Community sensitization and advocacy activities to create awareness on the nature and hazards associated with this crime and to solicit the support of families and communities in addressing human trafficking have been extensively embarked upon;
* Establishment of 5 Anti-Human Trafficking Units within the Ghana Police Service in selected regions to handle human trafficking cases; (Central region, Ashanti Region, Upper East Region, Greater Accra Region and Western Region
* Establishment and launch of a National Database on Human Trafficking (NDHT) in collaboration with Rescue Foundation with support from the British High Commission.
CHILD RELATED ISSUES:
Information Research and Advocacy
* Some of the research undertaken on child related issues include;
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD)
* National ECCD Coordinating Committee Meetings and Review of the Early Learning Standards and Indicators for 4 – 5 year olds being undertaken
* Organized Training of Trainers Workshops on ECCD programming for regional stakeholders
* Monitoring of the Child Health Promotion Week in the Upper East region
* Collaborated with GES to hold a training of trainers workshop on the ECCD policy implementation and Emerging Educational Issues and
* Held regional orientations on ECCD policy implementation and Emerging Educational Issues
GENDER RESPONSIVE SKILLS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (GRSCDP):
The design of the Gender Responsive Skills and Community Development Project, as an intervention, is aimed at promoting gender equitable socio-economic development through institutional capacity building and improvement of women’s gainful employment and entrepreneurship. The focus of the project is sustained poverty alleviation among women at both national and local levels. The project is jointly sponsored by AfDB and GOG.
* GRSCDP was launched on November 30, 2009 with participation from all key stakeholders and beneficiaries;
* Procurement process for consulting services is at 80% level of completion
* Officials and technical staff of the 59 beneficiary District Assemblies have been sensitized on the project through various regional seminars held between February and June 2010
* Funding of a 4-month ICT training programme at GIMPA for 15 MOWAC staff
* Selection process to award scholarships to 4 staff of MOWAC for 6-12 months Gender Studies abroad
* Undertaken field visits to all 25 Vocational and Technical Training Institutes within the 10 regions to assess the infrastructure and equipments needs.
* The Women’s Organizations Monthly Meetings (WOMM)
* Women Organizations Monthly Meeting (WOMM) is a platform for sharing information and educating women’s groups on government policies, health, social and other related issues of concern to women in general. The meeting also seeks to elicit feedback from the women to influence policy making at the national level.
* WOMM is one of the various ways through which MOWAC’s programmes are disseminated.
* The Women’s Groups comprise the following;
Women Economic Empowerment in Ghana
Women constitute about 80 per of informal productive sectors of the economy and control more than 50 per cent of informal sector businesses. However, women continue to encounter difficulties in accessing credit as compared to their male counterparts. The lack of access to finance with regard to women engaged in micro and small scale enterprises mostly in the rural communities is therefore a major impediment to the country’s ability to reduce poverty by half by 2015.
* It is for this reason that the Ministry since 2002 has been involved in the promotion of the economic rights of women by providing them with economic opportunities in order to improve their livelihood. These opportunities include access to Micro Credit and Small Loans, provision of Agro Processing Equipment, Skills Training and Information Sharing.
* The main goal is to empower women- socio economically and reduce poverty among them.
* Agro processing equipment that GRATIS Foundation was contracted to produce and distributed to women groups in all the Regions by the Ministry include:
Economic Empowerment Support through Management Training and Capacity Building Programmes
* The Ministry carried out training workshops for women’s groups in the informal sector throughout the country. A total of 23, 187 from 464 communities have benefited from the training programme.
* The women have acquired skills in business management (credit management, saving mobilization, marketing, customer relations, records keeping, financial management, costing and pricing), food processing, bamboo processing and soap making.
MAJOR CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR THE MINISTRY INCLUDE:
* Conference on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
* International Women’s Day
* International Day of Family
* World Day Against Child Labour
* AU Day of the African Child
* International Day Against Drug abuse and illicit trafficking
* Children’s Day
* Women’s Health Awareness Month
* World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse
* Universal Children’s Day and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of children
* 16 Days of activism Against Gender Based Violence
* World AIDS Day
Participation in the 54th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW):
* In March 2010, a 23 member government delegation led by the Minister, Hon. Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah (MP) participated in the Conference to review achievements of Ghana, with the rest of the world at the Commission on the Status of Women Conference (CSW).
* Presented Ghana’s Beijing + 15 Report on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and deliberations also focused on the way forward for gender equality
* A Side Event was organized at the Conference to showcase the achievements of MOWAC.
* The Side Event concentrated on showcasing the re-engineering efforts of MOWAC to make its programmes relevant to the grassroots.
* A one day decentralization forum on the outcomes of the CSW was held to enable MOWAC interact with its relevant partners to strategize on the way forward.
One -day Validation Workshop to Finalize Ghana’s National Plan of Action for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
* A one day workshop on the preparation and development of a National Plan of Action on UNSCR 1325 was organized for stakeholders on women’s issues.
* The stakeholders included MDAs, CSOs, NGOs, Development Partners and International Organizations such as the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Center.
* The Ministry is also in the process of establishing a network of women on peace and security in Ghana.
Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW
* MOWAC in collaboration with Cabinet and Parliament ratified the Optional Protocols to the CEDAW in 2009.
* MOWAC will forward the ratified Optional Protocol to the United Nations and organize sensitization programmes for stakeholders and the general public.
* Submission of Mid-Term Review of the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender Equality (CPoA) to the Commonwealth Secretariat
* MOWAC completed assessment on the Mid-term Review of CPoA on Gender Equality in 2009 and submitted it to the Commonwealth Secretariat for further action.
COLLABORATION & NETWORKING:
Effective collaboration and networking with the major stakeholders has greatly assisted in propelling the Ministry to higher realms and kept it focused on its mandate.
Despite some key challenges and constraints being encountered since the establishment of the Ministry, modest but significant achievements and interventions have been made to address women, gender and child related issues.
We acknowledge the numerous financial support given the Ministry through selected projects/programmes, technical aid and interventions made by other national, regional and international agencies and some development partners. The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Women’s Groups, Traditional Leaders, Private Corporations, the ECOWAS, International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Systems, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and a host of foreign embassies in the country, deserve special mention.
KEY CHALLENGES/ CONSTRAINTS:
* Low participation of women in decision making at all levels
* Harmful socio-cultural practices
* Violence against women/ Children
* Increasing number of kayaayes/ streetism in urban areas
* Inadequate disaggregated data (gender, sex and age)
* Inadequate capacity (technical, financial and human) of institutions to implement programmes for women and children
* Inadequate shelters for women and children in extremely difficult situation
* Low coverage of women under the Social Security Scheme
* Low access to credit and support facilities by women
* Commercial sex exploitation of women and children
* Low representation of women in conflict management
* Inadequate capacity of ECCD, Human Trafficking and DV Secretariats (financial, technical and human).
* Inadequate leisure and recreational facilities for children
* Low birth registration in rural areas
* Increasing incidence of women and children’s HIV infections
* High infant/maternal mortality rates
* Poor resource allocation for the implementation of the ECCD Policy.
Despite the above challenges, MOWAC intends to undertake the following:
* Intensify advocacy and awareness creation on the mission and mandate of MOWAC
* Facilitate the re-engineering process of MOWAC to enable it effectively and efficiently undertake its mandate
* Implementation and Sensitization of the Ghanaian Public on the outcomes of the 54 th CSW
* Formation and launching of a Network of Women on Peace and Security in Ghana
* Formally inform the UN CEDAW Committee on the ratification of the Optional Protocol and to also sensitize the Ghanaian public on the provisions of the Optional Protocol
* Work with the Public Services and the Office of Head of Civil Service to establish District Offices of DOW/DOC
* Establishment of shelters to promote victim protection and facilitate prosecution of offenders. MOWAC is committed to build 2 shelters this year
* Facilitate the development of the Legislative Instrument on the Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Acts
* Lobby government for adequate resource and also hold discussions with development partners on alternative ways of funding. MOWAC has held discussions with UNFPA, UNICEF, etc in this regard
* Strengthen collaboration with our partners especially NGOs, CSOs, among others