Monday, June 3, 2013

Contact us!

For information about the work of the Pathways of Women's Empowerment programme please contact Jenny Edwards (Programme Officer):

Tel: +44 (0)1273 915729
Fax: +44 (0)1273 621202

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nana Yanful: Intern at Pathways

Nana Yanful, a law student and a Canadian of Ghanaian descent joined the Pathways, West Africa team from May to July, 2011. Below is an interview about her experience.

1. How did you get to know about Pathways of Women's Empowerment in Ghana?
I learned about Pathways through my online research for a project or organization that was using law, social work, policy, etc., to enact change, specifically in the lives of women in Ghana. I stumbled across the Pathways blog, and I instantly loved the work that was being done in Ghana. I had just received a fellowship from my Law school in Canada to go somewhere in the continent of African to contribute to something I was interested in continuing in my legal career. The Pathways project seemed like the right fit. I emailed Akofa Anyidoho for more information, and the rest is history!

2. What informed your decision to do your internship with Pathways of Women's Empowerment in Ghana?
During my research for projects or groups working towards sustainable change in Ghana, I found it hard to find something that was not run by an organization in England, France, the US or Canada. The Pathways project, although partly funded by funds from abroad, is run by Ghanaian women - and many of the women are academics who are committed to working and engaging in Ghana. That was something rare in my mind, and I looked forward to learning more about this, especially in a country like Ghana, where many young people from abroad go there to do "development" work. I was interested to see how I could contribute as a Ghanaian born in Canada.

3. During your internship what work were you engaged in?
I assisted Akofa Anyidoho with the Pathways Photo Exhibition research, collection of photos, and preliminary curation of the exhibition. I also assisted Professor Manuh and Dr. Darkwah in their research on women's work, civic and political participation and empowerment.

4. What were you hoping to learn from Pathways?
I was hoping to learn more on the legal aspect of these initiatives, for example, the forced eviction issue that was mentioned on the Pathways blog. I had hoped to work more with young women and students on campus on some of the issues we were researching, and doing more one-on-one work with community members.

5. Did your experience meet your expectations?
It was a good experience, however, because I came during the summer months, many were away taking their much needed vacations. So at the beginning the work was slow. As mentioned in #4, I had hoped to do more one-on-one work, but overall it was a nice experience.

6. What is ONE new thing you learnt from working with the Pathways team in Ghana?
Issues of sexism and homophobia (gender-based violence) are everywhere in the world. These are issues we as human beings are dealing with all around the world. I was surprised to hear many progressive views by people at Pathways around issues of homophobia, and that was a positive thing.

7. In ONE word, describe your experience.

Thanks for choosing to intern with us and thanks for the interview, Nana!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blogging & Tweeting Day Against Sexual Harassment & Gender Violence

Today is Blogging & Tweeting Day Against Sexual Harassment & Gender Violence in Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria.

The hope is to call for a change in the rampant harassment that women in these countries face every day.

There will be a meeting by Nazra for Feminist Studies and HarassMap tomorrow, 21st June, 2011 to share thoughts on the blogging and tweeting experience. Location: 44 Talaat Harb St. , Cairo, Egpyt.

Check out the link on Facebook:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coming Soon! The Launch of The Witches of Gambaga

The launch of The Witches of Gambaga is scheduled for Tuesday, 15th February, 2011 at the British Council Hall, Accra, Ghana at 10:00am.

So what is this film about? Curious? Read on!

The Witches of Gambaga is a haunting 55 minute documentary film about a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Made over the course of 5 years, this disturbing expose is the product of a collaboration between members of the 100 strong community of 'witches', local women's movement activists and feminist researchers, united by their interest in ending abusive practices and improving women's lives in Africa. Painful experience and insight combine to generate a uniquely intimate record of the lives of women ostracized from their communities. Told largely by the women themselves, their incredible stories and struggles are rendered comprehensible to a wide range of audiences by the director’s narration. Completed in July 2010, Fadoa Films Ghana and UK, Directed by Yaba Badoe, Co-produced by Yaba Badoe and Amina Mama.

  • Winner, 2010 Black International Film Festival Best Documentary Award.
  • Has been selected to be screened at FESPACO 2011

REVIEWS of The Witches of Gambaga

"An excellent exploration of how women are victimized ...a valuable resource for understanding how to end this problem." Cornelius Moore, California Newsreel

“An admirably unsensational but powerfully affecting reminder of the terrible influence still wrought by superstition on the lives of so many women.” Geoff Andrew, film critic, British Film Institute

“A brave and brilliant production” Hope for the African Village Child Trust

“...will go a long way to promote the rights of women...” African Women’s Development Fund

Click here to see the trailer of the film on You Tube.

Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker and writer. A graduate of King’s College Cambridge, she worked as a civil servant in Ghana before becoming a General Trainee with the BBC. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica and has worked as a producer and director making documentaries for the main terrestrial channels in Britain. Her short stories have been published in Critical Quarterly and in African Love Stories: an anthology edited by Ama Ata Aidoo.In 2009, her first novel, True Murder was published by Jonathan Cape. Her TV credits include: Black and White, a ground-breaking investigation into race and racism in Bristol, using hidden video cameras for BBC1; I Want Your Sex, for Channel 4 and a six-part series, VSO, for ITV. African Love Stories is now available in Swedish from Tranan publishers under the title K√§rlek x 21.

Amina Mama is a Nigerian feminist activist, researcher and scholar, who has lived and worked Nigeria, South Africa, Britain, the Netherlands and the USA. She spent 10 years establishing the University of Cape Town’s African Gender Institute and is founding editor of the African journal of gender studies, Feminist Africa. She authored Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity (Routledge 1995), Women’s Studies and Studies of Women in Africa (CODESRIA, 1996), and co-edited Engendering African Social Sciences (CODESRIA 1997). She is currently developing a transnational activist research initiative on gender and militarism and pursuing her interest in documentary film. ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ is her first film.
She currently lives in Berkeley and works at University of California, Davis as Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is Women's Empowerment?

Through the various projects, the Pathways of Women's Empowerment have been learning about women's empowerment in different contexts and how they translate into women's everyday lives, policy interactions among others.

Below are videos interviews of some the researchers of the West Africa hub talking about what they understand by women's empowerment and what has come up in their research work in relation to women's empowerment.

Takyiwaa Manuh

Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Dzodzi Tsikata

Awo Asiedu

Nana Akua Anyidoho

Akosua Darkwah

What is your own understanding of women's empowerment? What experiences, observations or research has informed your definition of women's empowerment?

Do share your thoughts,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Women suffer from forced eviction

Women suffer from forced eviction
The Ghanaian Times; Tuesday, June 15, 2010; Page 22 (Regional News)
No author indicated

A human right advocate on Women and Housing for Africa has painted a pathetic picture of how women and children suffer force eviction either by individual landlords, groups and government.

“Women spend their time in slums, work, care for children and domestic chore; yet they are more affected by poor conditions and threats of evictions,” Ms Agnes Kabajuni, said at a national training workshop for media practitioners on the effective use of the media to promote housing and land rights of women in Ghana.

It was organized by the Centre on Housing Rights and Eviction (COHRE) in partnership with Women, Media and Change (WOMEC), an NGO.

About 40 participants drawn from the print and electronic media attended the workshop.

Ms Kabajuni expressed concern about how women struggles to own a house or land property since most inheritances were owned by men who were either husbands, uncles or brother and did not have anywhere to go when forcibly evicted.

She said women constituted most of the slum dwellers but were inadequately house globally.

Ms Kabajuni noted that most African women found on the streets in rural areas were widows who had been thrown out of their husbands’ houses by either a landlord because the women could not afford the rent or by relatives of the husband who thought it was illegal for women to own houses.

She envisaged equal ownership, access and control of housing between men and women across the globe for people to live in peace, security and dignity, adding, “Housing is a right for everyone, everywhere.”

Ms Sylvia Noagbesenu, a COHRE officer indicated that all persons who undertake evictions were to be properly identified and evictions should not be undertaken particularly during bad weather or at night.

She said women experience rape, sexual assault before, during, after forced eviction, battering with poor living conditions.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

EC’s package for women

EC’s package for women
Daily Graphic, Thursday, 20th May, 2010: Back Page
Daniel Nkrumah

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced a package to encourage more women to contest in the upcoming district level elections schedule for October 26, this year.

The Women’s Candidates Support Package is set to be introduced, with financia support from the European Union, and it will include training workshops to be attended solely by female candidates.

A Commissioner of the EC, Mrs. Pauline Adobea Dadzawa, disclosed this at a press conference in Accra yesterday.

The press conference, which was on the theme, “The 2010 District Level Election, What is in it for women in Ghana,” was organized by Abantu for Development, Women in Broadcasting and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

She indicated that the package was in recognition of the peculiar challenged women faced. “We at the commission believe that it is not enough to tell women that they are free to avail themselves to be voted for. We also believe that if the odds are weighed heavily against them, accomplishing their goals will be elusive,” she said.

She added that the EC believed that full participation of women in the electoral process was key to the growth of democracy.

“it is our fervent hope that even as we support women in our areas of operation, other methods such as quota representation, may be applied to bridge the gap between numbers of men and women in the political arena,” she added.

She advised women candidates to resist the temptation of being discouraged or confused with provocative remarks and questions and urged them to rather maintain their focus and speak on the issues.

Mrs. Dadzawa stated that the EC would deepen it commitment to encourage women to participate in the forthcoming elections.

She said that this was in line with its policy of gender mainstreaming, a conscious effort would be made, where possible, to give priority to the recruitment of women as temporary poll workers. She said the temporary toll workers to be employed for the district elections included returning officers, presiding officers, coordinating presiding officers and polling assistants.

The Deputy Chairman in charge of Programmed at the National Commission of Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Baron Y. Amoafo, stated that in 2005, with the support of the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF), the NCCE, the EC and the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs undertook intensive leadership training programmed for potential women candidates for the 2006 district level elections.

He added that in order to ensure a sustainable plan for effective women’s participation in governance, the NCCE, through its civic education clubs in senior secondary schools (SHSs), also undertook an intensive tour of selected SHSs throughout the country to whip up enthusiasm among young female students to be interested in taking up leadership positions in the near future.

He indicated that the NCCE had already captured in its plan for the public education on the 2010 district level elections programmes to empower women to participate actively in the elections.

He said it would also hold a capacity-building programme for it staff to cover issues on gender inequality and a number of programmes to enhance women’s participation in the upcoming district level elections.

The Resident Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Daniela Kuzu, noted that the fact that Ghana had signed the UN Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the establishment a Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs was an indication that the country was taking the issues of gender equality seriously.

She, however, stated that the country’s performance in terms of gender equality needed to be improved significantly. “To take the national elections of 2004 and 2008 as an example, it is of concern that in 2004 only 10.8 percent of the seats in parliament were taken by women. In 2008, it was even reduced to 7.89 per cent,” she stated.