Empowering women and transforming gender relations in the Volta delta, Ghana
The University of Ghana, in partnership with CDKN, launched this Knowledge Basis Project in July 2019. The project focuses on raising awareness around the need to increase women’s access to land through changes in inheritance rights as well as to create opportunities for adaptive livelihoods within the Sogakope and Keta communities in Ghana. It also aims to support the implementation of the Ghana National Climate Change Policy Master Plan 2015-20 and the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2012-20 and related policies such as the Coastal Development Authority Act (2017) and the Gender Policy (2015).
This project builds on findings from the Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Mitigation & Adaptation (DECCMA) study on the Volta delta region in Ghana. The findings of the study indicated that the constant coastal erosion of beaches and salinization of groundwater and lagoons have adversely affected fishing and the agricultural livelihoods of coastal communities. The lack of opportunities to earn a living locally has led to the migration of able-bodied males, leaving behind the highest proportion of female-headed households in Ghana. Women are left with the responsibility of taking care of their families while experiencing land access challenges from land tenure barriers due to a patrilineal inheritance system. The DECCMA study revealed that most women have economic challenges exacerbated by climate change and as a means of trying to overcome this, women subscribe to microfinance/loan credit schemes, which the research shows to be a successful adaptation strategy, but in reality, many women are not able to access microfinance due to the lack of collateral and knowledge of the financing options.
The project objective is to promote gender-responsive means of adaptive livelihoods which are informed by the findings of the DECCMA research. The project’s overall vision is to “empower women and transform gender relations in the Volta delta, Ghana”, through the integration of gender-responsive climate actions into existing gender norms around land ownership.
Medium-term and short-term outcomes:
- Delivering sensitization knowledge products on land rights issues that are graphic-rich and available in local languages and shared during sensitization meetings on land rights issues for men and women
- Conduct training on climate adaptive livelihoods (including training on accessing microfinance) for women
- Organise monthly informal follow up meetings with women’s groups in the project
- Share the sensitization knowledge product on land rights issues with the Customary Land Secretariat and Traditional Councils during consultative meetings and workshops
- Formulate and implement initiatives towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of vulnerable groups
- Share the sensitization knowledge product on land rights issues with District Assembly and Municipal Assembly members
Timeframe: 1 July 2019 – 30 September 2020
Partners: Pro-Link Ghana and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
Photo: Women fish processors in West Africa. Courtesty of Minkoh, FAO:SFLP Project, WorldFish