Exploratory Study of the Current Status of the Rights and Welfare of Ghanaian Women: Taking Stock and Mapping Gaps for New Actions

Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo, Sylvia Esther Gyan

Abstract

This paper assesses the progress Ghanaian women have made in terms of rights and welfare in the last three decades or more when democratic politics was introduced in the country. It examines the legislative and policy environment that exist to combat all forms of discrimination against women and assesses women‟s rights and welfare on a number of indicators: women‟s rights to life, marriage, participation and representation in politics, access to justice, right to education, reproductive health, and sustainable development. The study revealed that there is a robust legislative and policy environment for pursuing women‟s issue in Ghana. There are constitutional and legal provisions and state institutions as well as a number of NGOs acting as duty bearers to combat all forms of discrimination against women. However, the evidence from these indicators, suggests that there is a gap between the legal and policy environment on the one hand and the rights and welfare of women on the other hand. Women in Ghana are still threatened by early and forced marriages, deficit in political participation, limited access to health services, and harmful traditional norms and cultural practices. We conclude that duty bearers such as the policymakers and other stakeholders need to scale-up their activities and programmes that advance the rights and social well-being of Ghanaian women. (Afr J Reprod Health 2016 (Special Edition); 20[3]: 136-148).

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References

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