Oxfam in West Africa
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Ghana: Gender model family training

April 29th, 2014 Posted in elcap, English, Ghana

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Lukaya Tiah, the wife of Bawumia, affirmed that now, her husband has been helping with household chores anytime the need arises.

Gender Justice remains a distant dream for the many millions of women who account for two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults, who do sixty percent of the world’s work but earn only ten percent of the world’s income.

The Oxfam Strategic Plan sets the reinforcement of women’s rights at the heart of all its activities. Working for gender equality underpins most of the projects and interventions by OXFAM focusing on upholding women’s rights, and ensuring that a gender perspective is incorporated in policies and national poverty reduction plans.

Following this, the Enhancing Livelihoods through Climate Change Adaptation Learning Project (ELCAP) being implemented in selected communities in Northern Ghana is adopting the Gender Model Family (GMF) approach where families (husband and wife) voluntarily put themselves up for training and are encouraged to share roles and responsibilities equitably in their households and among male and female family members irrespective of their sex.

The gender training, held at Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi district was therefore designed to enhance participants knowledge to adopt gender sensitive approaches with regards to household and community management, promote equitable distribution of household chores and resources to all members of the family regardless of sex and improve on communication and relationship among participants.

The training also offered couples  the opportunity to address unequal gender relationships between men and women that is having negative impact on development in the project’s targeted communities. One major expectation of the training was to create a shift in gender roles, enhance good communication and decision making within families and make such families become role models for others in the communities.

The two day workshop involved 22 couples within the Jerigitinga, Zogiligu, Sumnibomah and Yapala in East Mamprusi, Bianbong and Tinsung in the Garu Tempane Districts of the Upper East region.

Barely four months after the training, when OXFAM and partners visited the communities and couples who benefitted from the training, some women explained the change that they have witnessed in their households.

In Zogiligu, Bawumia Tiah explained that the reason why they were not supporting their wives was because the Mamprusi community abhors seeing men performing household chores but after the training he started helping his wife to bath the children and sometimes sweep the compoud.

“ It was not easy initially as most of my neighbours were laughing at me anytime they see me supporting my wife”. He added that It took the intervention of the project managers to get the chief and elders of the community to explain the need for men to support their wives. “ Now many men are doing it in this community”, Bawumia indicated.

Lillian Kuutiero, Advocacy Officer

Oxfam Ghana 

 

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