Today is International Women’s Day. Celebrated each year on 8 March, it is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also the opportunity to call for an acceleration in reaching gender equality. Ensuring such equality is of profound importance to ARAP’s mandate in Ghana.
According to the Ghana Integrity Initiative, women’s relative lack of political and economic power furthermore limits their ability to demand accountability or express their specific experiences and concerns about corruption. In Africa, women are among the poorest and marginalised in society, therefore the most affected by corruption due to the negative impact on their participation and empowerment.
It is important to note that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees the human rights of all citizens, including women and children, vulnerable and other disadvantaged groups of individuals. Other national laws and legislations also protect the rights of women specifically. Ghanaian women have been active in politics and have contributed to the social, economic and political life of Ghana since independence.
Nevertheless, women remain highly marginalised in all areas of the country with only a fraction participating in governance and policy making. This means that women’s issues and gender equality are still a significant challenge to Ghana’s development, and pragmatic steps ought to be taken to enhance the mainstreaming of gender at the national and local levels.
ARAP’s overall vision is for women and men to benefit equally from governance so inequality is not perpetuated. For ARAP, this means consciously and consistently building a culture among women and men to promote accountability, rule of law and anti-corruption. To help achieve this, ARAP supports the development and implementation of gender policies within its partner institutions. This helps to ensure that issues affecting women and disparities in gender can inform how national level institutions address various issues in their mandate. Anti-corruption considerations are at the forefront of such policy development, to ensure that the effects of corruption on women are reduced, and the role women play in the fight against corruption can be strengthened.
Promoting such gender mainstreaming is critical to achieve the ARAP and stakeholder partner objective of effective and equitable anti-corruption, rule of law and accountability outcomes, and enhance good governance in Ghana. To read more about ARAP’s research and focus on gender mainstreaming, our detailed background paper is on our publications page.