Gender, equality and social inclusion (GESI)

Gender, equality and social inclusion

Many citizens are trapped in an inter-generational cycle of poverty because of their gender, disability, age, ethnicity or simply because of where they liveWe want to help change that and ensure that every citizen has equal access to the opportunities, resources and services they need to reach their full potential. Gender equality and social inclusion are, therefore, at the heart of the STAR Ghana Foundation.

Our perspective on gender equality is focused on ensuring that women and men, boys and girls are empowered to pursue their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and are valued as equal and active participants in the wellbeing of their households, workplaces, communities and societies.

Internation Womens' Day 2018International Women's Day march 2018

Our approach

Our approach includes investments and initiatives targeted towards the removal of barriers to participation, power and governance, and advancing access of individuals and groups to development opportunities. We are contributing to this through grant support and technical assistance for partners to build collective action and movements for advocacy, learning and engagement. STAR Ghana has brought together grant partners working on similar issues to carry out joint policy work and share best practice around themes including economic rights and empowerment; access to health and essential services; human rights promotion and protection; and inclusive governance, accountability and participation.

Youth speak out

Youth Empowerment for Life, a local civil society organisation, created a project that combined community journalism with a Youth Parliament to provide a voice and representation of youth views covering five districts and 25 different communities in the Northern Region.

The project is empowering a generation of young people with the confidence to raise issues and concerns with local authorities. Furthermore, our partner reports an increasing responsiveness of local duty bearers to the issues raised by the young parliamentarians or reported by community journalists leading to positive change in communities. For example, the Youth Parliament and community journalists in Sagnarigu Municipality encouraged the Municipal Environmental Health Unit to run a community campaign about the health risks associated with open defecation, resulting in the communities taking the initiative to construct household latrines.

“Youth Parliament has given me voice to participate and engage stakeholders in developmental issues, such as education, sanitation, health and issues affecting persons with disabilities.”  Mary Issah Nnyeyam a youth representative at the Sagnarigu Youth Parliament.

Land rights for women

By custom, women have reduced opportunities to own land and many women are limited to leasing land through husbands or other male family members. Therefore, they are excluded from investing in land to grow their own enterprises especially in the farming sector in rural areas. We supported three grant partners to engage with the Lands and Forestry Select Committee and to influence the drafting of the national Land Bill ensuring that the clauses around ownership work in favour women and people with disability. We are supporting our cluster of grant partners to engage with traditional leaders around land rights.

A movement for change

STAR Ghana Foundation aims to bring together like-minded organisations to work together to address pressing social challenges. We have fostered the development of a civil society movement for citizens on inclusion, drawing together over 140 organisations and individuals to campaign for disability-friendly access to buildings. Through their joint action they are raising public awareness and demanding that Government keep to its promise to ensure that all new and existing buildings are accessible to people with disabilities.

Mission Ghana on TV

STAR Ghana has supported civil society and citizens to have their voices heard through the media and supported media programming on issues of social exclusion.

Our grant partner TV3 broadcasts a regular prime time report called Mission. Their reporters have travelled across the country listening to the voice of citizens and exposing stories where people have faced barriers to accessing quality education and health services. By spotlighting these issues, TV3 has helped to trigger action by decision makers, which has led to improvements in service delivery in many cases.

To date, there have been 972 Mission stories and 402 Mission Gets Results where reporters have followed their initial reports to showcase positive changes, along with eight Mission awards.

Challenging stereotypes in Ho

Voice Ghana’s 'Stronger Voice' project supported local groups of people with disabilities to persuade traditional authorities to use their considerable influence to promote the rights of the disabled in local development planning.

Our partner has seen a change in attitudes and behaviour towards people with disability as a result of the many positive interactions between traditional authorities, Voice Ghana and local people with disability.

There are several local examples of further positive changes where traditional leaders have spoken out on disability rights issues such as on the need for special education teachers and disability-friendly access to services. Togbe Korsinyi Agyeman IV, Chief of Adidome in the Central Tongu District, has gone beyond speaking out and took action by providing land for the construction of a new kindergarten which will include provision for children with special needs.

Please click on the link below for the full list of STAR Ghana's grant partners working on gender equality and social inclusion.

List of STAR-Ghana Gender Equality & Social Inclusion Partners

With Thanks to our Funders

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