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Contact for Ghana

Abena Yirenkyiwa Afari | Christian Council of Ghana | AAfari@christian-aid.org

 

August 2016: Promoting Gender Justice, ‘Women in Governance, Beyond Equity and Equality’

Christian Aid in partnership with the Christian Council of Ghana launched a project in August 2016 to promote gender justice in the church across three regions in the country. Ghana as a nation is often promoted as an exemplary country when it comes to implementing consolidated democracy, but its rate of women’s participation in both political and religious governance is still very low. The two-year project, entitled ‘Women in Governance, Beyond Equity and Equality’ seeks to address the issue of low representation of women at the decision-making levels of the church. Even though women outnumber men in church activities, very few of them are found at the Church Councils, Synods, Leaders’ Meetings and other decision-making bodies.

A baseline assessment reiterated numerous challenges encountered by women who wish to contest for positions in the church. According to the report, women seeking leadership positions in the church encounter:

In the light of all these, the project seeks to specifically:

  1. develop and enhance the capacity of women and girls to play active leadership roles in the church and community
  2. promote the creation of a favorable environment for women’s representation in church governance, and also
  3. promote gender sensitive biblical teachings.

Key activities include trainings of church leadership on gender and women’s representation and will adapt modules from a Gender Justice manual developed by the Christian Council of Ghana and UNFPA, ‘It rains in the church too’.

At the launch of the project, the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rt Rev Opuni-Frimpong, noted that “Out of the 31 churches under the CCG umbrella, women constitute about 51% of the total population but they do not occupy key decision-making positions in the various churches”.

Reaffirming the need for such discussions in the church, the Methodist Bishop for the Greater Accra Region observed that, “It is a good thing that we want to take this to the church because the church itself needs a paradigm shift”.

With the launch of the project, a clarion call was made for all churches in the country to introduce an affirmative action policy to help ensure women are involved in decision making. Stakeholders also stressed the need to link the project to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) which focuses on Gender equality, so as to help realize full and effective participation of women in leadership at all levels.

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