The Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), a network of about 100 civil society organizations and over 300 individuals, has followed closely remarks made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the recently ended “Women Deliver Conference” in Vancouver, Canada. We have also followed the comments and interpretations this has engendered on various radio and TV stations, in social media, and at different press conferences.
Some of the debates have been highly politicized, and others have contained inaccuracies, and/or reflected a misunderstanding of the major issues of concern related to the status of women and girls in Ghana and globally. Yet others have lifted the conversation to a place that provides Ghanaians with an opportunity to reflect on, and discuss how we can make Ghana a safe and supportive space where all citizens can flourish and give of their best.
It is important to note that women’s activism has a long history in Ghana, and it is rooted in traditions of female mobilisation and cooperation. Ghanaian women have a long and continuing history of political activism and participation in public life and the struggle for a democratic nation. Over the years women’s activism has led to the creation of numerous and diverse groups that have advocated and worked hard across Ghana to improve the lives of women and girls. Groups such as NETRIGHT with membership from across rural and urban Ghana, of different political and religious persuasions, and inclusive of men, have worked together to bring a gender perspective to national processes and advocate for policy change to bring about substantive and demonstrable equality between women and men.