To mark International Women's day 2022, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Economic Policy Competence Centre (FES EPCC) and the Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO) organized a three-day conference. The conference was themed; Towards Gender Equality and Climate "Justainability" in Ghana: Perspectives, Policies and Practices, and took place on 8th -10th March 2022 in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region of Ghana. The event allowed stakeholders from academia, Trade Unions, political parties, Civil Societies and Non-governmental organizations to discuss how climate change has deepened existing socio-economic inequalities against women in the Northern part of Ghana. In particular, the discussions centred on inclusive, coordinated and responsive policies to bridge the gender divide and make women more resilient to economic and environmental shocks.
The discussions revealed that, in the Northern part of Ghana, one of the many threats climate change poses is reversing years of progress in bridging the gender gap. Men and women in the region experience the effects of climate change differently. Due to non-inclusive growth, cultural biases, and patriarchal systems. Nonetheless, women's voices are often muted in the formulation of climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
Additionally, women in the Northern part of Ghana are pushed off agricultural activities, which is their primary source of income, due to climatic conditions such as prolonged drought, heat stress and flooding. As an adaptation measure, some of these women migrate to the southern part of Ghana or outside Ghana to sustain their livelihood but are exposed to harsh economic conditions, which reduces their active participation in national development.
The discussions also highlighted the need for adaptation and mitigation measures to be designed with women and not for women. Also, a provision such as irrigation dams provided by the government to support farming activities needed re-engineering. This recommendation results from observation participants made on a field trip to observe the effect of climate variabilities on the Goog dam in the Bawku West district. During the field trip, participants observed that the Goog dam had completely dried up for the first time in sixteen years; since its establishment and affecting the yields of over 400 farmers the dam was to serve.
Summary points for policy recommendation: