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My encounter with the Gender Centre – Joyce Lena Danquah

JOYCE LENA DANQUAHINTRODUCTION

I am Joyce Lena Danquah, a trained bilingual secretary, administrator, project manager and development worker. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin and bread winner. I grew up in a family of five. During my school days I dreamed of a job that takes me to the country sides and being of help to the folks there, especially the women. I never knew there existed a word ‘gender’. I first heard the word ‘gender’ in connection with the Beijing Conference in 1995. The question I asked was ‘with whom did these women leave their husbands and children to go to the international conference? Did they leave them with female house helps? I immediately joined the bandwagon of critics and condemned those women.

Today, I still have that mental picture of what I thought a woman’s place should be. But I have switched camp: I am now on the side of those women who went to Beijing and others who did not go but continue to promote a corrective vision of the place of women in society. I shudder when others do not give women their due and rather act in different ways by encouraging others to make an effort to understand what ‘gender’ is about and why we need to pay more attention to it. I have arrived at this destination because my life’s eventful journey took me to an organisation by name, Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre.

The birthing of a paradigm shift

It all started when I served as an Administrative Assistant with an international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in the water and sanitation sector of Ghana, Water Aid. I read a piece, probably a paragraph of what gender in water and sanitation was. I later had the chance of attending a gender mainstreaming in water and sanitation projects at Bauchi, Nigeria. Subsequently, I became the gender focal person of WaterAid Ghana with the responsibility to promote gender mainstreaming in its programmes and activities.

My deep appreciation of gender issues was further strengthened when I joined the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (GSHRDC), usually referred to as the “Gender Centre”. A friend had passed the advertisement for a job position to me. The recruiter introduced itself as a “growing women-centered, rights-based Ghanaian NGO”. I quickly applied and was lucky to have been offered the job. Thus began my journey on the road to becoming a gender advocate.

The early years at the Gender Centre

My first year at the Gender Centre was a time for exploring, learning and adjusting. On my first day at work, I was introduced to the staff. The warm environment immediately caught my attention and I felt welcome. This was indeed a family; the immediate sense of togetherness was overwhelming. Personal and official relationships, though evident, blended with each other easily mirroring how women’s personal and professional lives are so well intertwined.

The first few months were explorative and learning periods. I got to understand the role of staff members, as well as their temperaments. Together we shared information on our immediate family members, religious affiliations, and previous experiences. The organizational culture, language, dress code were also discussed. All of these enabled me to adjust quickly to my new environment. Clearly the Gender Centre was to become my second home, a place I always looked forward to going when I woke up each morning.

A Communications Policy

The first major project I was tasked with was to develop a Communications Policy for the organization. This came with some challenges. I needed to create a sense of ownership among staff about the need for such a policy. Series of meetings and workshops soon got the staff owning the process.In the end,the document was produced but its implementationalso became a challenge. Though the provisions spelt out in the policy document were being adhered to, some staff seemed not to realize it.

I had a few queries on why the policy was not being implemented. I had assumed that once we were using the Gender Centre’s accepted channels and tools in communicating with each other internally as well as with our stakeholders, we were indeed implementing the communication policy.Sometimes I wondered if it would not have been better to have developed a separate action plan with assigned roles for each staff clearly spelt out. I never really came round to doing that.

Newsletter

Another major task was to restructure the Gender Centre’s newsletter, ‘The Genderlens’. New content and a style guide were developed to appeal to the different stakeholders.Readers were delighted with the ‘Just for Laughs’ page and I always received favourable comments with each edition. Getting staff to contribute articles to the newsletter was also critical. So we decided to dedicate a page to stories on staff issues and experiences.

Website

Redesigning of the Gender Centre’s website also became necessary during my early years. This was a team effort with every person in the organization contributing to the process. I so much cherish those moments – the series of staff meetings, the discussions, disagreements, proposals and everything else. In the end, we all learned to use our new website including how to connect with our stakeholders by a Facebook page.

I had not been much a fan of Facebook but I created a page for Gender Centre so it could reach out to persons who best connected with this media tool. Photos are indeed a strong communication tool, and if it is true that actions speak louder than words,then pictures of the activities of the Gender Centre were needed.

Internal communication at the Centre was formalized at the biweekly staff meetings at which progress of project activities and other matters were discussed and reviewed. This created cross learning and a sense of belonging among staff. At the sessions, staff had the opportunity to express their views on both official and personal matters.

Field Visits

My first field visit took me to a Mpasatiain the Atwima Kwanwoma district of the Ashanti Region. We were to educate the people on the effects of violence against women on society. This gave birth to my work as a women’s rights advocate. Having gone through some activity reports of the Centre as well as engaging in discussion with staff of activities related to addressing violence against women, I was able to chip in a few messages on why the rights of women needed to be upheld in the community. What I put across was closely related to my exposure to women’s limited control over sanitation facilities during my work at WaterAid.

It was such a joy, listening to how Gender Centre’s work on reducing violence against women in the communities had brought them relief and joy. Hitherto, issues of violence against women were quite afar from what I thought of on a regular basis. My subsequent involvement in activities at the Centre, namely community meetings, stakeholder meetings and workshops, newsletter production etc., set the tone for me working towards becoming a women’s rights advocate. Issues bordering of improving the status of women including ensuring their rights are respected became objective of activities I engaged in.

2.0 MATURING AS AN ADVOCATE

At the Gender Centre, I really developed a love for promoting the rights of women and girls. I particularly loved to work around issues of women’s assertiveness. I had the opportunity to speak to different groups of men, women, girls and boys on the benefits of involving women in development processes at all levels. I found it necessary to read about various international treaties and conventions aimed at promoting and upholding the rights and dignity of women and girls. I came to realize that sensitizing women on such issues enhanced their self confidence and urged them to strive for improved well-being.

I learned about the different ways to engage with different audiences on topics related to gender. Clearly, my time at WaterAid where I had focused on women’s active participation in water and sanitation projects had laid the foundation for my work at the gender Centre. Now the focus was on violence against women; women in politics as well as women, HIV and AIDs. The issues were different but closely interlinked making it possible for me to modify different gender responsive approaches and methods in relation to different target audiences.

I realized the importance of talking on the issues with the right persons using the right communication tools, and maintaining a relationship with them. That there is strength in numbers became a truism when I experienced the benefits of Coalitions and Networks on the women’s front. Attending meetings of organizations such as the Ark Foundation, ABANTU for Development as well as Networks such as Network for Women’s rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) Domestic Violence Coalition(DVC) and Women’s Manifesto Coalition (WMC)strengthened my belief that indeed if women could organize themselves to pursue a cause they would indeed succeed.

At the Gender Centre, I was privileged to undertake field visits to communities in the Ashanti, Upper West, Volta and Greater Accra Regions. The value of sensitizing women and other usually marginalized groups on the rights of women in politics and health was the impact such activities had on my own life. Clearly community women and men were conscious of their own situation and they were always eager to share their perspectives with me.Soon such engagements shaped my thoughts, beliefs, practices and impressions on the place of women in our society. Now when I talk about an issue I do so with awareness, knowledge and passion. I have come face-to-face with several gender issues confronting women in Ghana, aside water and sanitation. Women and HIV and AIDs, violence against women, women in politics are all issues I am deeply concerned about. I think and act on them at all times.

3.0 CONSOLIDATION OF IDEAS AND PRACTICES

The various engagements shaped my thoughts, beliefs, practices and impressions on the place of women in our society. Now when I talk about an issue I do so with awareness, knowledge and passion. I have come face-to-face with various gender issues confronting women in Ghana, besides issues of gender, water and sanitation. Women and HIV infection, violence against women and women in public decision making spaces are now daily issues of concern to me.

Gender,HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence

I had just entered Secondary School when the word AIDS was introduced into the Ghanaian lexicon. The erroneous meaning I knew then was ‘Ama is Dying Slowly’. AIDS was a killer disease which infected prostitutes and promiscuous women. These ‘bad women’ ended up infecting ‘innocent men.’ This was my understanding – straight and simple!

On my arrival at the Gender Centre, I was handed the book, Gender Norms, Domestic Violence and Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS (2009).It was a report of a national study by the Centre to establish whether or not violence and or other social factors had any links with women’s vulnerability to HIV infection. From the book, I realized how misinformed I was.

I learnt that AIDS stood for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and was different from HIV (Human Immuno Virus). One was a state of health the other, a mere dangerous virus.

Statistics in Ghana had indicated that over the years more women have been infected with HIV than men. As at 2009, the prevalence rate of HIV infection among pregnant women was 2.9%. This and previous data findings influenced the Gender Centre to conduct a nationwide study, to establish whether or not violence and or other social factors had any links with women’s vulnerability to the disease. The Gender Centre, sought to find out whether there were reasons other than biological, underlying this phenomenon. Biologically, it was presumed that the sexual organ made the female more vulnerable to sexual infections than men.

The findings of the study established that, indeed there was a link between violence and gender norms and women’s infection rate. Among others, the study demonstrated that in the context/society, where women did not enjoy equal power relations with their male partners with regards to sexuality, they did not have much power and control over their own bodies and could therefore not practice the ABC approach to avoiding HIV infection as was being propounded by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC). The ABC approach to avoiding HIV infection proposed Abstinence, Be faithful and use of Condoms. They were therefore very vulnerable to infection.

The book highlighted seven main socio-cultural norms which contribute to women’s vulnerability to HIV infection, as well as reduce women’s power and control over their own bodies and sexuality. These were:

• Lack of sexual knowledge

• Acceptance of male promiscuity even within the confines of marriage

• Polygyny

• Sex as a women’s marital obligation

• Infertility as a women’s problem

• Control over choice of a marital partner

• Widow inheritance

I asked myself,“If this is so much a part of our way of life, (culture) why then did we feminize AIDS? Why did we not ask ourselves more questions?”

The study also further revealed how children,particularly girls are violated sexually almost daily in Ghana, with the society protecting the perpetrators and ironically branding the victim as ‘bad’. Most girls do not have access to information on their sexuality, sexual and reproductive health rights. Girls who venture to access and also demonstrate understanding of such information are branded as bad girls.

Is it any wonder therefore that as a society we still talk extensively about teenage pregnancy? It has now become almost a ritual that, come any Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE)period, the media will want to pierce our ears with the number of pregnant girls writing the BECE and others who registered but could not write the exams.

The study also recounted how women are sexually abused even in marital relationships and yet cannot talk because they are women while their male counterparts continue to wield power over them. The gender centre taught me that sex should never be a forced act. It should always be consensual even if it is being sought from a commercial sex worker. This was indeed invaluable learning to transfer to many other women and men.

I also became aware of what Violence Against Women (VAW) is. The various forms, prevalence rates in Ghana,,and what CSOs are doing to address it became personal issues of concern to me. I no more took things for granted: physical violation, emotional or psychological abuse were all to be abhorred and punished through the legal system. I also realized what the social responses to violence were; their implications on women and also how we should move forward as a society in all this.

I also understood why sometimes mothers stayed in abusive marriages, correcting the impression I had when young that such women were not clever enough. “Why do you continue to stay with the man if he no longer wants you? Why remain there, when all the signs prove that you are no longer wanted or loved?” I did not know then, that violence was a cycle, with some of its stages invisible to third parties. According to the Gender Centre’s brochure on VAW, Domestic Violence followed three stages in a repeating cycle:

• Tension building Phase – a time of stress and tension, but no violence. The victim may feel that she is walking on eggshells and waiting for the abuse to begin. It is important to remember that there is nothing the victim can do to prevent the violence from occurring.

• Violent Episode or Acute Battering Phase – the violent partner explodes and attacks the victim verbally, emotionally and or physically this phase can last from a few minutes to several days. The time immediately after the explosion is commonly when the victim will look for help from friends, police and or a women’s shelter.

• Reconciliation or ‘honeymoon’ Phase – the abuser is often very apologetic in this phase and seeks for forgiveness from the victim. Gifts could be given and promises made.

Not too long after the victim believes everything is okay, she finds herself having seemingly done something wrong again and the tension resurfaces.

So I came to realize that there is more than meets the eye. On why women stay in abusive relationships, Gender Centre identifies two key reasons: economic dependency on the male partner and societal insistence that a woman enters and stays in a marriage. Is it any wonder therefore that these days the media is awash with reported incidents of men maiming and sometimes even brutally murdering their female partners who have ‘dared’ or threatened a break, or walk away from relationships they can no longer put up with or contain? These were often justified as ’ components of our culture. But that is false because in the various traditional cultures in Ghana, violence against women is unacceptable, a fact which is specifically stressed during marriage ceremonies.

In abusive relationships women are discouraged from bringing the issue into the public domain. One would be accused of washing one’s dirty linen in public if she did so. There is much more awareness now with the media and ordinary citizens coming out with facts for the public to know what is happening behind closed doors as it were..

If a woman is obliged to stay in an abusive relationship then it means she virtually has no say in it. If she has no say about her own life, and how she desires to live even at home, then how on earth can she have a say outside her home? How can she participate in decision making processes and structures outside her home? How can she have the courage and self-esteem to stand in public and speak her mind on issues that are of concern to her? If she can’t speak on such issues then it will be difficult to even talk on issues affecting other women.

Women and Politics

Another aspect of our society which used to baffle me and yet escaped my critique, was why there were fewer women than men in public decision making spaces. Thankfully, I was offered the opportunity to coordinate the Gender Centre’s project, “We Know Politics II Project” which was implemented in the Jaman South and Jaman North Districts of the Brong Ahafo Regio nas well as in the Sissala East and Lambusi Karni districts of the Upper West Region. The project,Increasing the Participation and Representation of Women in Ghana’s Political Processes and Structures aimed at increasing the participation and representation of women in both national and district governance structures in Ghana. It was implemented with other CSOs namely Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF),International Federation of Women Lawyers(FIDA) Ghana and The Hunger Project.

Among the many factors hindering women’s active participation in public decision-making, I found the socio-cultural factors most intriguing:

• Women suffer low self-esteem from childhood and consequently lack the courage to mount political platforms to campaign or advertise themselves

• Only a few women are highly educated and enjoy high social status. Such women may not have adequate financial resources for organizing campaigns and also ‘buying votes’.

• Society holds the view that women should be confined to the home; the assumption is that public decision making arenas are not meant for them. Therefore irrespective of what a woman has to offer, she is not likely to receive the endorsement of the electorate should she avail herself for an elective position. Any woman who stands in public to air her views without the permission of a male relative, parent or spouse, risks being rejected on account of this.

It is therefore not surprising that Ghana boasts of the low level of women’s representation in public offices as indicated below:

Appointment to key positions in 2008

SECTOR Total No. Female Male
Cabinet Ministers 17 1 16
Ministers of State 63 2 47
Members of Parliament 230 18 205

Appointment to key positions in 2012

SECTOR Total No. Female Male
Cabinet Ministers 18 6 12
Ministers of State 87 16 71
Members of Parliament 275 30 245

 

 

Parliamentary Elections in 2008 and 2012

Year of Election Total Seats Seats contested by women Seats won by women Percentage
2004 230 100 25 10.9
2008 230 103 19 8.2
2012 275 102 30 10.9

 

 

 

During the 2006 District Assembly elections, of the 1,772 women who contested 478 representing 10.1% won as against 4,256 men. In 20101,376 women contested the elections of which 412 representing 6.75% got elected as against 5,691 men. I do hope the picture improves drastically in 2014.

It is worth noting that so far Ghana has not had a woman president, we have few female heads of companies and hardly a female school prefect in co-educational institutions.

It becomes evident in the course of gender advocacy work that even though, gender is about culture, time and location, it is the bearers or custodians of power who set the rules and boundaries, and these are usually men. Sometimes some social or better still gender roles are not entirely bad, but one risks being exploited, depending on which part of the power divide one finds oneself. Being a woman may not only mean you have lesser control over resources, it could also mean lesser control over your own body and life.

It could mean lesser access to opportunities which could improve your socio-economic status. For instance, if a woman feels pressured to have more children than she is able to comfortably cope with, it could mean she would have to let go some educational or income earning opportunity to be able to perform her expected role of a mother. The latter could sometimes be a full time job. If women are expected to spend more time seeing to children’s welfare after school, then it becomes difficult to even attend community meetings and therefore be a part of the public decision making opportunities available since these are usually held in the evenings. This limits such women’s involvement in the management of community resources.

Appreciating the Various Dimensions of Gender
The challenge with appreciating gender issues in the Gender Centre as compared to my previous work places, has been my direct encounter with victims of gender abuse. Hearing stories of battered women for all kinds of flimsy excuses and seeing women being as it were, subtly pushed from the public decision making spaces in our dear country has been disturbing. Also disturbing has been interactions with school girls who are taken advantage of by their teachers, fellow school mates etc and yet having no one to confide in including their mothers because they are deemed to be of age and therefore should be able to fend for themselves.

My previous experiences had been limited to the extent to which women had been involved in the design, implementation and management of project cycles. Once women are adequately involved in the project cycle and they are able to confirm their satisfaction in doing so, I assume all is well. Another pain has been the ejection of HIV positive women from their homes and worse still their rejection by family members. It pains a lot to see how politicians and other public leaders pay lip service to issues of concern to women. It even becomes annoying, when it becomes propaganda; an agenda to win votes from the very women who, in the end, are exploited.

Coping Strategies

Playing my part in designing and implementing projects aimed at reducing women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, reducing incidents of Violence against Women and increasing the participation of women in public politics/decision making spaces at both the national and district level have been extremely rewarding. This has given me a deep sense of fulfillment, knowing that in one way or the other, I have contributed my quota even if insignificant,in improving the living standards of fellow women. Writing stories of my experiences has been a way of evaluating my performance and sharing knowledge with others.

So no matter how negative information on discrimination against women is, I always tell myself I have played a role in addressing something similar in a particular community or district in Ghana. I have also paid my due at the national level silently by contributing to national debates; even if it meant just typing a communiqué. The best, maybe, is to share my experiences with others, to encourage them to keep the story going so that women after my generation would know that, in truth, they can also contribute to make this world a better place for all, especially women, no matter how little that contribution may be.

4.0 THE UNIQUE STATUS OF THE GENDER CENTRE AS AN ORGANISATION

The Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre is a good employer by all standards. It also stands out as a development partner.Its staff demonstrate commitment to its cause, and its stakeholders continue to look up to it.

Approach to Policy Advocacy

As a Women’s Rights Organisation, the core of the Centre’s work is identifying and addressing issues of concern to women. To do so, it engages with policy makers at the national, regional, district and community levels in Ghana. At the community level, it first establishes direct contacts with the beneficiaries of its projects,then identifies the issues to be addressed. These are discussed thoroughly,and proposals put forward. The Centre then builds the capacity of the project beneficiaries, to approach policy makers with the concerns. At the district or national level, the Centre leads the process of approaching the policy makers by visiting Chief Executives of the District and Municipal Assemblies where the projects are to be implemented. Relations are in essence established then the project can take off without hitches.

Community durbars as well as Focus Group Discussions are also used in the Centre’s advocacy work. Through that, policy makers and end users are brought together to hold meaningful discussions.

At the national level, the Centre works with Coalitions and Networks, to advance policy issues. It collaborates with such groups as NETRIGHT, the Women Manifesto Coalition and the Domestic Violence Coalition, among others. Ghana’s story of the passing of the Domestic Violence Law, cannot be complete without acknowledging the role played by the Gender Centre. Its ground breaking study on the prevalence of domestic violence in Ghana and its impact on families and society as a whole, brought to the fore the need to further discuss the issue, make it a public discourse and have it addressed.

Today, Ghana boasts of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service having graduated from the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU). This is a testimony that the issue of gender based violence has been deeply explored and appreciated. Now men who have been victims of gender based violence can equally visit the DOVVSU and lodge complaints; a phenomenon which was hitherto unheard of. Minors, particularly girls who believe their rights are being infringed by even their parents, have in some instances, mustered courage and sought redress. The Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre must be highly commended for its excellent role in all of this.

Leadership Style

There is a lot of literature on leadership, I won’t attempt to define it here. An organization is definitely set up to live up to its vision and mission, and achieves this, through people. Developing, nurturing and maintaining this relationship and environment beyond one roof is no mean task. Mrs. Dorcas Coker Appiah’s style and approach to bringing young people together to work towards addressing issues of concern to women in Ghana is amazing. There is nothing like living one’s dreams.

My encounter with the Gender Centre made me realize how possible it is to live one’s dream, by doing one’s job. Aunty Dorcas is a renowned women’s rights advocate, and the organization she leads, is widely recognized. Her ability to carry staff along while maintaining contacts with project beneficiaries is commendable. Staff feel fulfilled, and this is evidenced in the very low staff turnover among other results. We all call her Auntie Dorcas and she is much a mother to staff as an Employer.

Project Implementation Strategies

Networking and maintaining partnerships is one of the Centre’s strategies. The Gender Centre maintains strong links with its partners, communities, as well as other civil society organizations. Invitations for meetings, workshops and seminars are honoured in so far as they are geared towards discussing and addressing an issue critical to women. Its expertise is always sought after at such gatherings, and it never disappoints. In relating with its implementing partners, their capacities are built, to enable them implement sustainable projects.

Such partners as Amasachina Self Help, Wa, Prolink, Kadjebi, Rural Watch,Koforidua and Window of Hope Foundation, Kumasi have all benefited from the capacity building workshops by the Gender Centre. These NGOs are independent organizations operating in the Upper West, Volta, Eastern and Ashanti Regions of Ghana. I noticed they hold the Gender Centre in high esteem and look forward to collaborating with it in the design and implementation of projects.

The Centre enjoys the same recognition in the communities it has implemented projects and they always look forward to welcoming Gender Centre in their communities. I so much recall my first community visits when we were greeted with ‘oooh how we have missed you’, ‘ we were always looking forward to seeing you again’, my husband has changed for the better and I was looking forward to sharing the story with you’. All these sentiments attest to the very warm relationship developed during the implementation of projects in these communities.

It is widely held that an organisation’s most valued asset is its human resources. Yet very few invest in it. In the face of the fluid job market, it is not very easy to spend money sponsoring staff to attend capacity building workshops yet the Centre creates this opportunity for its staff. The benefits of these workshops to both employer and employees have been enormous.

The Gender Centre has a Documentation Centre with various literature on gender, development, policy and research reports. These are available to interested persons who visit the Centre, either as a place of interest or research point. It equally stocks its own publications including books, manuals, brochures, pamphlets and posters.

5.0 CONCLUSION

Challenges

Just as roses come with thorns, so does calling oneself a gender advocate. I encountered interesting challenges during my stay at the Gender Centre. Informing extended family members about my new place of work was not positively received. It was as if I had joined a club of frustrated women who vent their frustrations on men. I guess I have simply been left to please myself now.

After all, I insist I enjoy what I do. It feels good to realize you have been a part of improving a woman’s standard of living just by helping her realize how violence is curtailing her socioeconomic development. But it hurts when you have to leave a sick child at home to embark on a week-long journey to do that. All the same, when I look back, I realize the challenges have been important milestones for learning.

New learning has never come easy to most people and I am one of them. Keeping level head on encountering incidents of violence against women and girls has not been easy. Watching policy makers pay lip service to issues I term, critical has not been easy either. These have often left me wondering whether it is worth going on or I should just jump off the boat.

Saying “Thank You” To Gender Centre

As a result of my time with the Gender Centre, I can no longer be silent over abuse, discrimination or stigmatization. I have a voice and I speak out to secure justice for women and girls. That is my mission in life. I will always speak up against anything which reduces the dignity or self worth of a woman. Just attempt it and you would have Lena to contend with. My Facebook page has been a key milieu, and I thank social media for creating the space for me to express my opinions on issues which affect women.

I feel every person needs to be treated with respect. I also know that the indignities women experience can be changed because they are all socially constructed. I have become more sensitive to detecting the subtle things that undermine the well being of women. I have developed my ‘gender lens’ and I act on a daily basis to contribute to social justice for women. We do matter as women and we should be treated as equal citizens of our societies. This is what gender centre has taught me.

Gender relations is about how society has ascribed unequal social roles and responsibilities to women and men and how over time, these create inequalities and disadvantages for women and men in all spheres of life. It is location and era-specific and therefore changes with place, time and culture. Women have over the years been largely placed in a disadvantaged position and this has been inherited by successive generations.

We of the current generation are better positioned with available tools including literature and media to do our bit to improve the lot of women. As a nation, it will be very difficult to achieve full development and advancement if more than 50% of us that is women, are prevented from contributing our quota to the national agenda. We can’t cut off more than half of the population from the nation building effort and pretend this is how God meant it to me. Let us all join hands to fully involve both men and women in the building of the nation and the young girls will have a better future than we are seeing today.

JOYCE LENA DANQUAH
1 SEPTEMBER 2014

Article published on www.modernghana.com

http://www.modernghana.com/news/569300/1/my-encounter-with-the-gender-centre-an-inspiration.html

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