CGIAR Gender News

Can you hear me? Covid-19 and building women’s resilience in northern Ghana

Photo of women in Ghana
Women planting onions in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Photo: Hamish John Appleby/IWMI.

COVID-19 has been a huge barrier to women’s empowerment, both in the global north and the global south. In both regions, women have found themselves suddenly away from the workplace and back in the home, responsible for housekeeping and childcare once more. But in some places, COVID-19 results in much more serious repercussions.

In the Upper West Region of Ghana, targeted provision of information is one important way in which women can be empowered and rapidly change their position in a heavily patriarchal society. Covid-19 has, however, become a recent barrier, disrupting information flows on livelihood support programs, threatening rural women’s climate resilience and economic empowerment.

Normally, local gender officers who support women, work hard to break down these patriarchal structures, from a grassroots level. They organize advocacy programs and training workshops to help empower vulnerable groups.

“Our work is such that we get more results from the community level, the grassroots contact”, says  Charity Batuure, Head of Gender Department at the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (UWRCC).

However, this year’s trainings have been erratic due to COVID-19. But fountains of information, as well as fountains of water are equally important.