Rights of Women and Youth
Ghana in general and our target communities especially the Brong-Ahafo is patriarchal in nature, and thus women are still marginalized in areas such as employment, quality education, leadership and decision-making. Emanating from some cultural beliefs and practices are issues such as low self-esteem among women and girls; violence against women and girls; exclusion from decision-making processes; and female-genital mutilation that negatively affect women and girls and deprive them from enjoying their right to a life of dignity in the region.
The reality is that men still dominate in leadership positions and decision-making and women representation in leadership in all spheres of life is woefully inadequate. Violence and discrimination against women is also a lingering problem in the region. Overall, cultural beliefs and discrimination against women contribute to deny girls and women opportunities to alleviate poverty.
On economic empowerment, women’s access and control of productive resources that would enable them escape poverty has been an issue over the years due to some traditional beliefs and practices. Land as a productive asset in Ghana has been generally owned by men. Some women may hold it in trust for their younger sons. The growing pressures on land as a result of the increase in population have worsened the plight of women in accessing productive land for farming.
It has also been found out that women in the region have difficulty in accessing credit facilities to start or expand their businesses or hire a piece of land that will assist them to increase their income. Therefore there are many women eager to boost their income generating capacities in order to escape poverty yet to be assisted.
On issues of violence against women and girls it has become an accepted norm that men who divorce their wives deny them their share of the properties acquired during the marriage and also refuse to take care of their children. Due to lack of information and illiteracy most women who are divorced are denied their right to enjoy some of the properties acquired during their marriages. Many of these women suffer in silence and watch helplessly while their children’s education gets truncated.
SODIA would work with women, girls and the youth in promoting their rights to agriculture, food and environment to have access to and control over land and other productive resources. Also we would promote the advancement of the political influence of women, girls and youth against and reduce violence against women and girls.