Women’s Economic Advancement for Collective Transformation (WeACT)
Women Economic Advancement
Advocacy addressing the gender-specific barriers for women working in the cocoa value chain in the Western and Western North Regions – Wassa Amenfi West. Aowin and Suaman districts and Sefwi Wiawso Municipality – of Ghana. The action empowers women economically through multiple entry points as strengthening legal literacy volunteerism and gender responsive skills, promoting Gender Model Families, learning exposure visits, provision of grants for livelihoods development, reduction of child labour and unpaid work as well as conversations/dialogue with State Agencies and Traditional Leaders. The action also advocates gender-related attitudes and behavioral shift across the agricultural sector. This action is also being implemented in the Northern and Savanna Regions of Ghana by other partners.
The WEACT advocacy is part of a broader action for women (between the ages of 18 and 60) within the Cocoa and Shea nut value chains in Ghana being implemented by a consortium of non-state actors led by Oxfam and other partners in Northern Ghana and supported by Global Affairs of Canada.
In the cocoa sector, the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)’s calculations in cooperation with the University of Ghana (2018), indicated that a typical cocoa-producing household with six people in Ghana generates a monthly income of about 1,153 GHS ($CAD 260). This is far short of the expected living income of 2,381 GHS per month ($CAD 536). Farmers are likely to lose out on income and women cocoa farmers or women Shea producers will bear the brunt the most due to their limited access to other productive resources (land, mechanized equipment, large animals, and in the area of safe and secure credit).
In the Shea sector, many women Shea traders especially those who do not belong to any collective enterprise such are cooperatives are likely to record reduced sales due to the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even women Shea producers who belong to cooperatives are affected economically by the pandemic. Tungteiya Women’s Association revealed that women had not been able to export their Shea products since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.
The action by Oxfam and partners is designed to contribute to reversing the discriminatory perceptions about women and their role in society prevailing throughout Ghana and leading to numerous rights violations. The action abhors discrimination based on their age and stereotypes around “youth” addresses the surge in the increase in domestic violence cases triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic which usually go unreported.