Mission :The D.o.G exists to Promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in the implementation of Policies, Programs and Projects through Advocacy, Research and Education in Partnership with Stakeholders.
Vision : An Empowered Department Leading Gender Equity for Sustainable National Development.
Brief Detail of Activities, Aim and Objectives within the time frame of 2022
The Department in partnership with NORSAAC (an NGO) held a one day training for young women on how to Recognize, Respond and Present SGBV at home and schools. This was facilitated by the Ag. Regional Director of the Department of Gender. The training held on the 10th of February 2022 at Mariam Centre, Tamale. In attendance were 45 young women and girls representing Ambariya Senior High School, Young Female Parliamentarians and Young Urban Women Movement. The purpose of the training was to equip these young girls and women on how to identify, respond (report/ referral to appropriate institutions) and held prevent SGBV.
The Department again collaborated with SWIDA GH (an NGO) to organize a training for young women leaders from tertiary institutions on SGBV, Forms of SGBV, Causes and Prevention. This was facilitated by the Ag. Regional Director of Gender. The training was held on the 23rd of February 2022 at the Northern Regional Library Conference Room, Tamale. In attendance were 60 young women leaders drawn from some SHSs, Tamale Technical University, UDS, Colleagues of Education and Political Parties women wings. This was held to build the capacities of these young to support the campaign on ending SGBV as well identify and support colleagues who fall victim of SGBV.
In commemorating this year’s IWD, the Department with support from Plan Ghana held a radio programme at Zaa Radio in Tamale on the 7th of March 2022. Discussions centred on the theme for the celebration this year (Breaking the Bias to achieve gender equality). Others issues discussed were women access to productive resources, technology in agriculture, unpaid care work, participation in decision making and leadership. This was done in the local language (Dagbani)
On the 8th of March 2022, The Department representing the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, collaborated with the Gender Digitization and Formulation Consult to launch the Gender Digital Policy Framework in Tamale in the Northern Region. In attendance were young women entrepreneurs in Tamale and from Accra, Female students Leaders from Tamale Technical University and University for Development Studies. The Gender Policy Framework seeks to increase female participation in the digital economy and has set a bold target to enroll 1 million Social Media Interns, most of which are women.
The Department in Collaboration with Youth Challenge International (YCI-an NGO) held a one day training on Gender Mainstreaming, Relevant Gender Policies as well as Status of gender equality in Ghana for newly recruited volunteers of Youth Challenge International. The training was aimed to build the capacities of these volunteers to implement a project dubbed “HER START PROJECT” this project seeks to support about 10,000 young women to become Social Entrepreneurs and generate positive social, environmental and economic impact in their communities and a better future for us all. This was held on the 31st of March 2022 at the conference room of YCI, Tamale. Four (4) Volunteers made up of two Canadians and two Ghanaians (1 male and 3 Females) participated in the training.
The Department in partnership with NORSAAC, Youth Advocate Ghana, Ghana SRHR Alliance and Songtaba (NGOs implementing a project titled POWER TO YOUTH) commemorated this year’s Mensural Hygiene Day in Tamale on the 28th of May, 2022. To mark the event, a route march was held by participants drawn from various SHSs and Out of School. The purpose of the event was to create awareness of the day, How to maintain good mensural hygiene as well as present a petition to the Northern Regional Minister. This was successfully done with a petition made up of issues affecting young girls including high cost of sanitary pads and the need to take away taxes on sanitary pads, presented to the NRCC. The Regional Director of Gender had a talk with participants on how to keep good mensural hygiene. In all over 150 young girls and boys participated in the event with female constituting about 80% of the participants.
The Department also had a radio programme on identifying and preventing SGBV as well as Responsible Parenting, this was held at Gbangu FM in Tamale on the 4th of June, 2022.
The Department in Collaboration with Youth Challenge International (YCI-an NGO) held another one day training on Gender Mainstreaming, Relevant Gender Policies as well as Status of gender equality in Ghana for another set of newly recruited volunteers of Youth Challenge International. The training was aimed to build the capacities of these volunteers to implement a project dubbed “HER START PROJECT” this project seeks to support about 10,000 young women to become Social Entrepreneurs and generate positive social, environmental and economic impact in their communities and a better future for us all. This was held on the 26th of May, 2022 at the Conference Room of YCI, Tamale. Four (4) Volunteers (all female) made up of two Canadians and two Ghanaians participated in the training.
The Department had a radio programme/ Discussion on Harmful Cultural Practices affecting women and girls, this was held at Bishara Radio in Tamale on the 26th July 2022.
The Department in partnership with Markaz AL Bishara (an NGO) organized a Training on Gender and Harmful Cultural Practices that affect women and girls for some communities in the Northern Region. Participants were drawn from 8 communities made up of 20 Females and 23 Males. This was held on the 17th August 2022 at Markaz AL Bishara Conference Hall, Tamale. The Regional Director of Gender took the participants through some gender concepts such Gender, Sex, Gender Stereotype, Gender Equality, and Gender Discrimination among others. Participants were also tasked to identify some cultural practices in their communities that are harmful to women and girls and whether these practices can be stopped. She also took participants through some cultural practices in the region perceived to be harmful to women and girls and the need for them to be stopped if possible. At the end of the programme, participants shared their excitement about the programme and asked for more of such educative trainings at the community level.
The Department in Collaboration with CHRAJ and Department of Children followed up with the Attorney General’s Department on a defilement case referred to the department by the Orange Support Center involving a banker and a 14 years old girl, this happen during the first Quarter in the Sawla District in the Savanna Region. The case was transferred to Tamale. The Department together with the partners ensured that justice was given to the victim. The case was closed last month and the perpetrator sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.
The Department in partnership with Songtaba (an NGO) held a sensitization with out of school girls to mark International Day of the Girl Child in Tamale on the 11th of October 202. The event was held Magnolia Play Park with the participation of 150 out of school girls and young women who are learning various vocational skills. The Regional Director of Gender spoke on the theme for the celebration” Our time is now-our right’s- Creating spaces for out of school girl’ in her submission, she touched on issues of girls rights, SGBV, Child Marriage among others. She concluded by edging the girls to be each other’s keeper and report cases of SGBV and Child Marriages happening in their communities and training Centre’s. Participants were also taken through some games by Songtaba as part of activities for the celebration. This activity was fully sponsored by Songtaba.
The Department again collaborated with the Ladies Wing of the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) in Tamale to commiserate 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. The event was held with students of SDA Junior High School in Tamale on the 25th of September 2022 at the school premises. The Regional Director spoke on the essence of the celebration as well as the theme for this year’s celebration. The students (Both Male and Female) were also sensitized specifically on issues of SGBV, Child Marriage, and SRHRs among others. The Ladies Wing of HSWU made a donation of Liquid Soap, Sanitizers, and Tissue Papers to the school at the end of the programme. The Head Teacher and other staff present were thankful for the event and asked for regular visit to the school to engage students on these issues.
The Department also supported the Domestic Violence Secretariat to identify outstanding individuals in our regions working in the area of SGBV Child Marriage among for special awards a part of this year’s 16 Days Celebration. The Department Nominated Madam Lamnatu Adam, the Executive Director for Songtaba to represent Northern Region for the award. PARED (an NGO) and Hajia Dr. Kansawurche (a queen mother were also nominated for North East and Savanna Regions respectively for the awards. This was held in Accra on the 6th of December 2022.
The Department with financial support from GIZ held a two day training for GIZ partner MMDAs and RCCs on Lobbying and Advocacy skills for effective integration and Accountability of Gender in Development Planning, Budgeting, implementation and Monitoring. The Two Day training was held on the 29th to 30th November 2022 at Pioneer Lodge and Conference Centre in Tamale. Participants for the training included GDOs, Planning Officers, Budget Officers and Internal Audit Officers drawn from 13 District of Northern, Savannah and North East Region including some staffs of the 3 RCCs. A total of 80 officers participated in the training made up of 52 males and 28 females. Participants were taken through the following topic: Gender Concept/Terminologies, Roles and Responsibilities of GDOs, Lobbying, Advocacy Skills as well Monitoring of Gender interventions. The two day training was highly educative and participatory with participant’s committing to ensuring effective gender mainstreaming at the district level plans and in project interventions. This activity was fully sponsored by GIZ.
ACHIEVEMENTS FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND QUARTER OF 2023
The Department for the first and second quarters carried out the following activities that are aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of women and other marginalized groups.
The Department Coordinated with the Domestic Violence Secretariat of MoGCSP to build the capacity of community leaders on Strengthening Community Systems for Protection from Sexual and Gender – Based Violence, HIV and Tuberculosis. The training sought to engage with the community leaders in creating awareness and providing support mechanism for PSEAH/GBV and HIV/TB. The training was held in Tamale at Radach Lodge and Conference Centre on the 30th and 31st March 2023.
The Department in partnership with SONGTABA (an NGO) identified and trained 10 young persons (6 Male and 4 Female) at the district level, selected from five districts to serve as Smart Youth Journalists. They were taken through some laws and protocols that protect adolescent girls and young women from SGBV, Child Marriage and harmful practices such as FGM. The training was aimed at building their capacities to be able to identify and report on issues of SGBV among others at the community level to the appropriate institutions. The facilitation was done by the Regional Director. This was held in Tamale at Naat Hotel on 27th April 2023.
The Department again in collaboration with Norsaac undertook training on gender transformation and gender mainstreaming for community leaders and opinion leaders within the Tamale Metropolis. The training sought to equip community leaders and opinion leaders on some gender transformative approaches they can adopt to address issues of gender inequalities at the community level. The training was facilitated by the Regional Director and a total of 12 community leaders made up of 8 men and 4 women participated in the training session. This was held on 2nd May 2023 in Tamale at Mariam Centre.
On May 5th 2023, the Department again partnered with an NGO, Savanna Signatures to hold discussions on Violence against Men. The Regional Director led a live radio discussion, which was also streamed live on Savanna Signatures Social Media handle on Facebook. It was meant to educate listeners on violence against men and that; violence is not limited to only women. Men also suffer violence in the hands of their spouses as well and the society. Because of the patriarchal system and perceived ego of men, they usually go unreported. Men were encouraged to report cases of abuse/violence that they suffer.
The Department in collaboration with University for Development Studies Womens’ Commission (WOCOM) and SHE+, as part of SRC Week celebration on 21st June 2023, sensitized the student body of UDS mainly female on sexual harassment. How to deal with sexual harassment and SGBV on campus and outside campus, especially in the wake of reported rape cases at private students’ residence/hostels outside campus. The Department took participants through a session on what constitute sexual harassment and how to deal/resist them. Reporting mechanisms using the UDS internal mechanisms and external helplines including the BOAME app. In all over 200 young ladies and 40 males participated in the event. This was held at the UDS Andani Auditorium in Tamale.
The Department in collaboration with the Domestic Violence Secretariat and financial support UNFPA organized two days training workshop of Market Executives and Communities Representative as paralegals in the area of Domestic/Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Child Marriage and other Abuses. The purpose of this engagement was to equip market executives as paralegals to serve as advocates and first point of call on emerging issues of Sexual and Gender Based Violence and all forms of abuses that happen within the Market Premises can be reported. This was held at the Modern City Hotel – Tamale on the 20th June and 21st June 2023 for the training and 22nd June for the Durbar at Aboabo Market.
The Department with funding support from MEDA GROW2 Project organized the first and second quarter Regional Gender Support Network for partners and members of the network to presents their key achievements and activities on gender related issues and a possible coordination and mainstreaming of Gender related activities. The Gender Support Network is also to help key stakeholders in coordinating activities in gender mainstreaming and to consolidate the impacts of their activities on Gender equality and Social Inclusion outcomes and the support in the revival and strengthening of the Gender Support Network. This was held at the National Youth Authority and Institute of Local Government Studies Conference Hall, Tamale on Tuesday, 28th March 2023 and Thursday, 20th July 2023 respectively.
The Department with funding support from USAID RING II Project embarked on supportive supervision visits to RING II beneficiary Districts and Municipals to supervise activities implemented by the District Gender Desk Officers (GDOs) under the RING II project. The department also sought to evaluate the level of activities implementation to provide technical support in order to ensure project purpose as far as nutrition and gender components concerned are realized. The districts visited were Yendi, Mion, Gushegu, Karaga, Nanton and Sagnerigu. These activities was undertaken in the last week of July 2023.
Despite the challenges that the Department is facing, both Quarters were fruitful following the successes from the collaboration that went on with partners in the region. However, a lot more could be achieved if more resources are committed to the activities of the Department on a timely and regular basis.
The Department is faced with challenges such as
- Inadequate funds to carry out activities in the annual work plan.
- Lack of fuel resources to carry out Monitoring & Evaluation of activities
- Difficulty in reaching some districts to discharge mandate due to the vast nature of the region.
- Inadequate capacity on counseling
- The issue of child marriage, Teenage Pregnancy, Parental irresponsibility, Gender Based Violence continues to be challenging issue in our gender work
In order to achieve the mandate of the department, we recommend the following
- Staffing situation for the Secretariat should be improved upon. Thus the employment of additional assistant programme officers, a driver, secretary, messenger/cleaner to reduce the burden on the few staff.
- DGDOs at the district level are on secondment and not permanently on the Gender schedule. This makes it difficult for institutional memory retention and continuity.
- Enough funding should be made available for activities at the regional level.
- Regional staff be taken through counseling training to enhance our skills in counseling services to clients.
- The need for more and frequent sensitizations on the effects of child marriage, SGBV etc with all stakeholders to address the issue which is affecting a lot of young girls in it, given the needed resources.
First Quarter Regional Gender Support Network Meeting at National Youth Authority Tamale
Second Quarter Regional Gender Support Network Meeting at Institute of Local Government Tamale
Capacity Building on the Strengthening Community Systems for Protection from SGBV and HIV/TB at Radach Lodge and Conference Tamale
Identified and Trained 10 young persons (6 Male and 4 Female) at the district level selected from five districts to serve as Smart Youth Journalists at Naat Hotel Tamale
Supportive Supervision Visit to Sagnerigu Municipal Assembly Gender Desk Officer to supervise their implemented RING activities and provide technical Support to them.
Supportive Supervision Visit to Gushegu Municipal Assembly to supervise DGDO’s implemented RING activities and provide technical Support to them.
Supportive Supervision Visit to Yendi Municipal Assembly to supervise DGDO’s implemented RING activities and provide technical Support to them.