At least 30 staff of Ghana’s parliament have received training and policy orientation on Gender Equality (GE) and Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) awareness to enhance their work within the Legislative arm of Government.

The Gender-based Analysis Plus is used to examine the impact of legislation, policies, programs and budgetary measures on diverse groups of women, men, and gender-diverse people by taking into consideration sex, gender, and other identity factors.

The “plus” in GBA+ incorporates a range of intersecting identity factors which include age, disability, education, language, sexual orientation, culture, geography, ethnicity, indignity, religion, social class, and income.

The Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), a legislative policy TinkTank is leading the capacity-building training for Ghana’s Parliament staff as well as the Gender and Children Committee of Parliament and some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The staff of Parliament with the Trainers

The training is being implemented in partnership with the Parliamentary Centre, of Canada as part of the Inclusive Legislatures for Gender Responsive Policies (ILGRP) project, a Global Affairs Canada-funded project.

Speaking at Institutional Gaps Assessment and Capacity Building training programme for the staff of parliament at Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, a Senior Policy Advisor in charge of National Parliament and ILGRP for ACEPA, Dr. Gifty Adika, said the training is to provide guidance, facilitate knowledge transfer and develop tools in promoting GBA+ through parliament, the legislative house.

According to her the application of GBA plus is a shared responsibility across all institutions, but parliament as a legislative and representative house of the people, the staff have to be sensitized on Gender and its related issues.

She stressed that there is a need for the GBA plus to be incorporated at all stages of the policy cycle, from development to implementation, to evaluation.

Dr. Gifty Adika , addressed the trainees

The training, Dr. Adika said is necessary for the Staff of Parliament, the focal persons to policy legislation and that having fair knowledge of GBA Plus would help to ensure that legislation, government policies, and other initiatives are responsive, inclusive, and reflective of diverse experiences and realities to address inequities and barriers.

Further more, policy development, international agreements, research, evaluation, management, or other areas would apply GBA Plus and ensure that their work considers and reflects the diverse needs of different groups of people.

A Gender and CSOs Policy Advisor with ACEPA, Madam Lilian Bruce took the participants through series of Gender Development issues.

She said the GBA Plus training would help develop officials’ analytical competencies to increase their awareness of the impacts that policies and programs could have on different segments of our population.

She however expressed the hope that after the training, the staff would improve their knowledge of the key Gender Equality concepts, acquire knowledge of the Gender-Based Analysis Plus and its added value to the ILGRP project.

In addition, they would develop a common understanding of the tools to use for the institutional gender gap assessments and as well able to define clear roles and responsibilities.

Some of the gender development issues she identified as major barriers include Gender inequality which is being created when one gender group within a society has more opportunities and rights than the other,

Other barriers to gender equality are gender-based discrimination, gender stereotyping, and unequal distribution of power between women, men, girls and boys, and other genders, as well as exclusion based on multiple factors.

Nevertheless, Madam Bruce said the global intervention to deal with these inequalities in the form of policy frameworks, especially treaties policies, and legal frameworks have to a large extent minimize the gap of gender issues in developing countries like Ghana.

She said the GBA plus is very important because Ghana as a country is still lacking behind when it comes to gender-based development issues, pointing out that, Togo, a neigbouring francophone West African country is doing well in the gender base issues, hence the need for Ghana to double up the effort.

She bemoaned the fact that Ghana is a signatory to some of the treaties that support gender-based policies which include the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of the “Banjul Charter” signed in 2004, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (“Maputo Protocol, 2003 ratified 2007 and Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa- 2020, yet the country is still at the lowest performance on gender issues.

Madam Lilian Bruce takes the participants through gender-based issues

The Project officer of ILGRP and ACEPA, Ms. Agnes Titriku said the overall aim of the program was to enhance the capacity of the staff of the house of the legislatures to formulate and operationalize detailed gender-responsive institutional strategies and plans, implement administrative reforms for efficient gender-sensitive resource utilization and service delivery.

The project, she added would also be organized for Members of Parliament on the Gender Committee and the Female Caucus of Parliament help to understand the need to amend and pass inclusive gender laws, including gender-sensitive budgets to achieve gender equality commitments by the government.

She, therefore, charged the participants to connect with citizens, especially women, and girls, and take into account their views and needs in legislative and oversight processes in promoting the implementation of GBA plus.

Some Civil Society organisations (CSOs) have already received their training on the GBA plus, whereas plans have been prepared to have the same training with the Female MPs Caucus and the Gender Committee of Parliament.

What is GBA Plus?

GBA Plus is an analytical tool used in the context to support the development of responsive and inclusive initiatives, including legislation, policies, programs and services.

It is a process for understanding who is impacted by the issue being addressed and identifying how the initiative could be tailored to meet the diverse needs of the citizens directly impacted; and discovering, anticipating, and mitigating any barriers to accessing or benefitting from the initiative.

The “plus” in GBA Plus explicitly acknowledges that a rigorous GBA Plus assessment goes beyond gender and sex to include consideration of multiple identity factors such as age, disability, economic status, education, gender, sex and sexual orientation, geography, language, racialization and ethnicity and religion and spirituality.

Some of the participants who shared their experience with EXPRESSNEWSGHANA said, until the training, they always think gender issues is only about men and women and did not know they entail a  lot of developmental issues.

Others admitted they do not know about gender-based issues but the training has given them a fair understanding and they would propagate gender-based issues in their offices and would extend the awareness to other places to achieve better results.




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