Women’s Rights Organizations in Ghana Call for a Gender Responsive Response to COVID-19

Three Coalitions in Ghana – the Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), the Women
Manifesto Coalition (WMC) and the Domestic Violence Coalition (DVC), support the presidential COVID-19 directives announced so far including ban on mass gatherings such as funerals, religious services, political rallies, closing down schools and universities as well as the closure of Ghana’s borders. We also salute the many Ghanaians that have complied with the directives and urge the citizens to continue complying with the emergency measures and others that might become necessary as the full scale of the pandemic unfolds for the nation. The Coalitions also wish to highly commend women whose caring responsibilities have increased owing to the closing down of schools, day-care facilities and general increase of time spent by members in households.

The COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to cause major havoc in economies with very few social safety nets. Many citizens especially the self-employed are worried about the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods. There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and poor information on measures such as social distancing, handwashing in public places and their importance. The Ghana Health Service and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research have warned that the recorded cases of infected persons are bound to increase. Already a number of reported cases in the country have no external travel history, indicating that community transmission cannot be ruled out. This new development suggests that no acts of defiance of the presidential directives even by state agencies must be tolerated. Failure on the part of public institutions to strictly adhere to presidential directives will encourage others to do same, possibly pushing enthusiastic citizens to take the law into their own hands to enforce compliance – such situations must be avoided at all cost. Click here to read the full Statement & key demands by the Coalitions.

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