Transforming Gender Social Norms and Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Rural Communities in Ghana

GSHRDC, with funding from Ford Foundation West Africa, is upscaling its COMBAT intervention to implement the ‘Transforming Gender Social Norms and Ending Violence against Women and Girls’ project in ten new communities in the Okere District and Akwapim North Municipal of the Eastern Region. These ten communities include Onyamebekyere, Nsutam, Okrakwadjo, Apirede, Aseseeso, Awukugua, and Abiriw in the Okere District and Konko, Larteh Kubease, and Larteh Ahenease in the Akwapim North Municipality.

The goal of this project is to see changes in discriminatory social norms, attitudes, and practices that sustain violence against women and girls leading to a reduced incidence of violence against women and girls. The medium-term outcomes of the project are:

  • To enable women and girls to become more aware of their rights and able to exercise their rights.
  • To increase public support towards ending violence against women.
  • To see a change in discriminatory social norms and practices perpetuating violence against women and girls reduced.
  • A reduction in the prevalence and incidence of violence against women and girls and an improved response by state institutions to victims reporting abuse cases.

Project Activities include

  • A baseline study on community knowledge on VAWG, its causes, and its consequences.
  • An inception meeting to introduce the project in all ten communities to key governance institutions at the district level.
  • Selection and training of Community Based Action Teams (COMBATs) on Gender, Violence, Family Laws, Counselling, and Mediation.
  • COMBATs Inauguration
  • Sensitization and awareness-creation activities by COMBATs in their communities.
  •  Holding periodical learning and sharing meetings.
  • Development and distribution of Informational, Educational & Communication (IEC) Materials
  • Quarterly monitoring visits to monitor implementation of project activities.
  • End of project impact evaluations to assess results achieved.
Cell phones against sexual violence: Using Mobile technology to promote safer schools

From January 2016 to December 2017, the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (GSHRDC) in collaboration with VOTO MOBILE (now VIAMO) received a grant from Amplify Change to implement a two-year project titled “Cell phones against sexual violence: Using Mobile technology to promote safer schools”. The project was implemented in forty schools within five districts of Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo Regions namely; Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal, Ada East, Kintampo North, Nkoranza North, and Wenchi Municipal.  

The objective of the project was to use mobile phone technology to prevent sexual violence against girls in school over the two years of project implementation. Key successes of the project have been the establishment of gender clubs in all beneficiary schools following training of some selected students/teachers as peer educators/patrons of the club.

Data gathered from our school projects showed that teenage pregnancy, early sexual activities, drug abuse, and unsafe abortions have now been reduced as a result of activities carried out under the project.

Following the successful implementation of the project in 2016 and 2017,  GSHRDC was again awarded a grant to continue the implementation of the project for two more years (2018-2019) in the same 40 schools.

After another successful completion of the second phase of the project, GSHRDC has been awarded a grant to continue project implementation for two more years (March 2020- March 2022) to include older people who will be trained in the community on Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Family Laws. These people called ‘Community Based Action Team’ (COMBAT) will work to help prevent violence against women and girls in the communities and to augment the work of the pupils in schools.

Project Activities include

  • A baseline study on community knowledge on VAWG, its causes and its consequences 
  • An inception meeting to introduce the project in all ten communities and key governance institutions at the district level.
  • Selection and training of Community Based Action Teams (COMBATs) on Gender, Violence, Family Laws, Counselling and Mediation.
  • COMBATs Inauguration
  • Sensitization and awareness creation activities by COMBATs in their communities.
  •  Periodic learning and sharing meetings 
  • Development and distribution of Informational, Educational & Communication (IEC) Materials
  • Quarterly monitoring visits to monitor implementation of project activities.
  • End of project impact evaluation to assess results achieved.

Community Based Approach  to preventing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

GSHRDC is implementing a project titled “Community Based Approach for preventing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)” in Ghana. The project, funded by NORAD through Masimanyane Women’s Rights International of South Africa is also being implemented in South Africa, Uganda and Mozambique. The overarching objective is to work towards the elimination of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the four countries in Africa. The project aims at building the leadership capacity of young women from marginalised communities and those working in civil society so they are able to engage politically with all aspects of violence against women. Ultimately, the project will facilitate the development of young advocates who call for state accountability.