Monday, June 30, 2008

People at the Textual Analysis Workshop

Textual Analysis Workshop- 9th June, 2008

Nana Dansowaa Kena-Amoah, Research Assistant-CEGENSA

Anne-Marie Burgeios, Intern- CEGENSA
and the ICT Directorate

Dzodzi Tsikata, Akosua Darkwa and Nana Akua Anyidoho
WE RPC-Ghana researchers
(Left to Right)

Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Team leader
-Changing Representation of Women in Popular Culture Project

Edward Gborgbor, Research Assistant-CEGENSA and Awo Asiedu, Co-team leader
of Changing Representation of Women in Popular Culture Project
(Left to Right)

Akosua Darkwah and Nana Akua Anyidoho

Akosua Anyidoho, Lingusitics Professor and Coordinator of NYU in Ghana

Textual Analysis tutoring session

Photo Credits: Akofa A. Anyidoho

Gender Networks established for MDAs

Gender Networks established for MDAs
The Ghanaian Times, Monday, June 30, 2008. Page 21
Dorothy Ankomah

The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affair (MOWAC) has instituted an Inter Ministerial Gender Network within ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to help improve coordination in mainstreaming gender into all sector policies, programmes and activities.

The sector minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, announced this on Thursday at a one National Information and Sensitisation Seminar on the ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC). The seminar was in pursuance of establishing, developing, facilitating and coordinating among others to ensure that matters related to disparities are incorporated within the framework of the objectives of the ECOWAS treaty.

Addressing the gathering, Hajia Mahama said the government in its 2008 budget and economic policy statement asked the ministry and two others to facilitate the processes of achieving gender responsiveness across all sectors. The others are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) and the Nation Development Planning Commission (NDPC). That, she explained, is to enhance governments’ efforts addressing critical issues relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Hajia Mahama said under the micro-credit programme of the ministry, funds are allocated to vulnerable and organised women’s groups on the fringes of subsistence economy. She noted that apart from gender mainstreaming, women’s groups are also mobilised and offered skill training in micro-finance, group dynamics, entrepreneurial skills and bamboo handicrafts.

Hajia Mahama applealed to the Director of ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC) to include gender budgeting in its training programme to facilitate the effective achievement of its national goals.

The Action Director of ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC), Aminata Dibba, in a speech, said the most fundamental development challenges facing the ECOWAS region have to do with widespread gender disparities and inequalities which she noted underpin the absence of adequate opportunities for women to participate effective in the country. She said though numerous efforts were made over the years the attainment of gender equity and equality as well as the empowerment of women continues to be a challenge to the development process of the ECOWAS region.

Ms Dibba said it is in recognition of the significance of gender equity and equality to sustainable development of that region that ECOWAS Heads of states and governments decided in January 2003 to set up the ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre. She said she its establishment, the ECOWAS Gender Centre has initiated a number of programmes aimed at bringing together stakeholders to identify measure for achieving gender equality within the context of the integration process in the ECOWAS region.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trokosi still persists-Study

A case of a disempowering practice in Ghana where innocent girls and women are made to pay for the ‘sins’ of a family member.

Trokosi still persists-Study
The Ghanaian Times, Thursday, June 26, 2008. Page 21 (Business News)
Francis Tuffour, Ada Foah

Despite the passage of the Criminal Amendment Code/Act in 1998 which criminalises trokosi, servitude practice, it still persists under cover in some communities, a study has shown.

The national study on trokosi practice in Ghana was discussed at a dissemination workshop at Ada Foah, in the Dangme East district of the Greater Accra region on Tuesday.

The trokosi system is a traditional cult slavery practice where young virgin girls are confined to fetish shrines as reparation to deities for wrongs purported to have been committed by a member of a girl’s family. The offences of the ‘incarceration’ range from trivial issues like stealing of a tuber of cassava to grievous matters such as robbery or murder. The truth is claimed to be ascertained at the shrines.

The study was conducted by Sosthens K. Kufogbe, Senior Lecturer, at the Geography Dept of the University of Ghana, Legon, with the support of Australia Aid.

In a presentation at the workshop, Mr. Kufogbe described as sad the continuous existence of the practice in spite of the law that makes it an offence, adding that “people should not pretend that nothing is going on or think the practice has stopped because the law frowns on it.” He said the practice persists due to lack of enforcement of the law by responsible government institutions.

Mr. Kufogbe noted that the research conducted in seven communities in the Volta and Greater Accra regions revealed that 278 of trokosi victims mainly women, are still languishing or are going through such ordeal in various shrines. In North Tongu, in the Volta region, he said 57 trokosi are serving in six shrines, 15 are serving in four shrines in South Tongu district, 21 are in two shrines at Akatsi and 20, are in three shrines in Keta. Others are in Ketu with six shrines 150 trokosis, 10 in two shrines in the Dangme West district, while eight are serving two shrines in the Dangme East district of the Greater Accra region.

He said apart from those who are incarcerated at the shrines, other victims who live outside the shrines, visit to undergo ritual practices. They go at night and at dawn, for fear of being stigmatised or arrested.

Mr. Kufogbe said the study also disclosed that other people visit the shrine for other purposes including seeking protection, political power or pregnancy. He said a dehumanising aspect of the practice is the perpetual reparation which means that, whenever a victim dies, she has to be replaced with another young virgin or woman. The aspect ensures the continuity of the practice and provides perpetual source of young virgins to the shrines, which makes it difficult for them to pursue their education.

According to the report some of the fetish priests have accepted to stop the practice in compliance with the law, but some people still send their relatives to the shrine to undergo trokosi.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Women enjoy being beaten by their male partners?

Women enjoy beatings by husbands
The Ghanaian Times, Friday, June 20, 2008. Front Page
Sandra D. Nyamkye

The Ghana Multiple Cluster Surveys (MICS) 2006, was on Tuesday launched in Accra, with a startling revelation that women generally accept beatings by their husbands.

The survey indicated that 47 percent of women believer that men beating their wives are justified.

The MICS is a nationally representative multi-purpose household survey developed to gather information on some indicators of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The survey provided up-to-date information for assessing the situation of women and children in the country.

Speaking at the launch, Prof. Nicholas N. Nuamah, Deputy Government Statistician, was surprised that some women were not bothered by the maltreatment meted out to them by their husbands and even go to their aid when arrested. “It is very shocking that a higher percentage of women than men justify wife beating, with the highest proportion of women in rural areas than the urban areas,” he said.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said that women in the Northern regions, especially the Upper West region are the highest victims of wife beating while the Greater Accra region was the lowest. He stated that with the help of MICS, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has been able to conduct survey that will help the country in attaining its MDGs.

Dr, Yasmin Hague, United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Resident Representative, who threw more light on MICS said the MICS was originally developed by UNICEF to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of goals that emerged from the 1990 World Summit for Children. She said that the first round of MICS was conducted around 1995 in more than 60 countries.

The second round, she added, was conducted in 200 with increasing wealth of data which, she said, aided the monitoring of the situation of women and children in the country. “MICS presented an excellent opportunity to both monitor and provide baselines for UNICEF’s interventions in the country,” she added.

The MICS 2006 highlighted some positive results as it was revealed that more than three quarters of children between the ages of one and two received appropriate immunisation from health centres. Dr Hague said more than three quarters of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water and more than 90 percent of pregnant women have received medical care from health centres.

Major (rtd) Courage Quarshigah, Minister of Health, commended GSS and UNICEF for the hard work done. He appealed to them to help find a solution to the treatment of malaria, adding the cost of malaria burden in 2006 alone summed up to 762 million dollars.

Financial assistance for Women advocated

Financial assistance for Women advocated
The Ghanaian Times, Friday, June 20, 2008. Page 27 (Business News)
Augustine Cobba-Biney

The surest way for Africa’s economic development is to offer more financial assistance to women, says Theopista Sekitto, Wholesale Manager of the DFCU Bank in Uganda.

She pointed out that women are better financial managers and more accountable, transparent, trustworthy and thus must become the focus for the development of the African financial sector. Mrs. Sekitto was addressing an international partnership forum on the topic, “Making finance work for African women,” in Accra on Wednesday.

Over 200 leaders of African and international financial institutions, government officials, central banker, researchers and experts attended the forum to discuss priorities for development of the African financial sector.

Mrs. Sekitto noted that women entrepreneurs are a dynamic and powerful economic force in society today. “There are increasing numbers of women entrepreneurs who are committed to the success of business,” she said.

Mrs. Sekitto stated that women are better advocates than men and had better repayment culture. “Women are better payers, more committed, focused in terms of meeting their obligation. They buy less on price than service and will pay more for convenience of service,” she said.

In Uganda for instance, she said 39 percent of all registered businesses are owned by women. Mrs. Sekitto stressed the need to recognise the potential of women and offer them the needed assistance to increase productivity and enhance progress. “If we are to build a just society where everyone had the opportunity to fulfill their potential, women have to be supported fully,” she said.