Promote gender equality and empower women
On MDG 3 target of ensuring gender parity especially at the Primary and Junior High School (JHS) levels, trends show that Ghana is on track to achieving both targets, although primary level parity has stagnated at 0.96 since 2006/07. Gender parity at JHS which increased marginally from 0.91 in 2006/07 to 0.92 in 2007/08 has also remained at that level in 2008/09 and 2009/10. On the other hand the parity at the Kindergarten has declined slightly from 0.99 in 2006/07 to 0.98 in 2008/10.
Progress towards increasing the number of women in public life suffered a setback. The number of women elected into Parliament during the 2012 general elections was 29 out of 275, representing about 10 per cent. This proportion still puts Ghana under the international average of 13 per cent. Access of women to wage employment in non-agricultural sector has remained quite weak, undermining the country’s quest to promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
What contributed to the progress?
Some policy actions carried out by government to promote gender equality and women empowerment so far include:
• Strengthening capacity of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enhance gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting;
• Building the capacity of 50 women aspirants for the 2010 District Assembly election from each region;
• Compilation of data on potential women in leadership positions at MMDAs to monitor progress of women involvement in decision making at that level, and
• The launch of “Women in Governance Fund” to support the activities of women in the district; and
There are a number of challenges that constrain the attainment of gender equality. The key ones
are as follows:
• Gender Parity Index (GPI) at primary and JHS has stagnated for at least 3 years while at Kindergarten, the index has been declining consistently with potentially adverse implications for GPI over the remaining period up to 2015;
• Low female enrolment at secondary and tertiary level poses a challenge to women participation in decision-making at higher levels and their access to wage employment and higher level occupations;
• Socio-cultural practices, norms and societal attitude that tend to discourage women from engaging in wage employment and some occupations such as commercial driving, welding, and auto-mechanics; and
• Challenges facing the girl-child education such as socio-cultural practices including early marriages, customary fostering, and puberty rites still persist.