Cover Page Final
Abuse of Girls Final Report


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The Gender Assessment for Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) (2013):


Associates for Change was contracted to conduct a Gender Assessment for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice. The Gender Assessment was part of a process of ensuring that the Commission strives towards achieving gender equality and the promotion of women’s empowerment in Ghana. The main aim of the assessment was to enhance CHRAJ gender mainstreaming and women’s rights promotion through education and capacity building of its entire staff; and to help them respond effectively to gender equality concerns. The rationale for the assessment was to use the outcomes to develop appropriate strategies for building institutional skills and capacities that will strengthen CHRAJ’s commitment to gender equality goals leading to changes in organisational culture, rules and behaviours, as well as facilitate gender sensitive planning that will inform gender-responsive implementation, gender sensitive budgeting, and increase participation of women in decision-making processes. The research team assessed the extent to which all internal policies, procedures, systems and practices address gender equality and women rights. The assessment addressed the extent to which the CHRAJ’s information management systems (e.g. gender related budgeting/expenditure, programme level information, etc.) are gender disaggregated. They also examined the general level of understanding and knowledge on gender equality and women’s rights among CHRAJ staff to ascertain the existing gender expertise, competence and the required capacity building/development; and finally to develop a Gender Equality Strategy that will assist CHRAJ towards addressing these gaps and fulfil its commitment to gender equality and women’s rights including achievement of MDGs.


UNICEF Urban MICS Policy Brief, February, 2012:


The Urban Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) was conducted to provide valuable information on the state of women and children in five densely populated urban communities in Accra. The study was motivated by the need to adequately capture the peculiar characteristics of residents in Accra, particularly those living in high density urban areas, in order to inform development planning and stimulate more tailored social and economic development interventions. The five densely populated areas selected in Accra (Nima, Accra New Town, James Town, Bubuashie and La) have unique and diverse characteristics. For instance, the La and James Town communities are indigenous Ga communities located along the coast of Accra where the predominant occupation is fishing. Nima and Accra New Town are migrant communities with settlers from neighbouring countries including Nigeria, Benin and Burkina Faso; they also have migrants from Ghana’s northern regions. Bubuashie community is located in the western part of Accra with relatively developed roads and mixed ethnic groupings. Qualitative studies and the annual cholera epidemic in Accra further indicate that problems of poverty and health may be concentrated in high density pockets of the metropolitan. Studies demonstrate that children living in urban poverty face risks which are as bad, if not worse than children living in rural areas in terms of height-for-weight and under-five mortality (UNICEF, 2012). This Policy brief provides analysis from the MICS Urban data (2011) and other data sources to reveal the situation of children and women living in Ghana’s urban localities.


Assessing the Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis on Vulnerable Households in Ghana: A Sequel, WFP (2010):


This study was conducted using primary and secondary research to ascertain the Ghana Government’s response to the global economic crisis. The study included an analysis of various national budget statements over the last few years and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in Government and the donor community to assess the current social safety net programming being designed and delivered along with the effectiveness of targeted programming which has been implemented as a result of the global financial crisis.


Evaluation of WFP Country Programme (Ghana) 2006-2010


AfC’s principal consultant conducted the Ghana Country programme evaluation in 2010 for the external evaluation deparment of the WFP. The evaluation was an external assessment of WFP Ghana’s performance in order to inform WFP headquarters and other programme partners of adjustments needed and to inform future programme design aimed to help the Government of Ghana (GOG) expand and replicate successful models of food security. The evaluation assessed the WFP’s performance in relation to providing capacity building support to the GOG and its agencies in relation to the delivery of food-based programming for raising demand for and supply of basic education with gender parity, and health and nutrition services for children under 5 years and pregnant and lactating mothers at risk of malnutrition. The evaluation used a mixed method and results based management approach (RBM) to assess the CP’s relevance and appropriateness to the needs of the Government and people, its effectiveness (degree of achievement of objectives), the efficiency of implementation, the degree of sustainability and programme impact.


Situational Analysis of Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector of Ghana for the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)(2004):


AfC provided a situational analysis of child labour in the cocoa sector of Ghana as part of the International Cocoa Initiatives (ICI) process for developing an overall intervention strategy and suitable programmatic option for effective implementation of intervention programmes in Ghana. The research took a qualitative approach using mainly focus group discussions with a cross section of community and district stakeholders including chiefs and elders, children (both in and out of school), farmers, teachers and district assembly representatives in cocoa growing areas of Ghana. At the district level, interviews were held with heads of departments, district planning and coordination officers, youth development officers, and agricultural and education officers. Government, non-government and private sector institutions personnel were interviewed at the national level. The research team also held in-depth discussions with NGOs based at the regional and district levels who were working in cocoa producing areas with a focus on child rights issues.


A Study into Existing Social Protection Policies and Mechanisms for Children in Ghana (2006)(ICI):


AfC carried out an in-depth analysis of social protection policies and mechanisms across Ghana in order to explore and investigate existing which policies and mechanisms respond to child victims of abuse, the worst forms of child labor (WFCL) and cases of forces labor (FL). The mandates and competencies of the various ministries dealing with social protection at national and decentralized levels as well as cases of forced labor were investigated together with the actions plans these agencies use to address social protection within Ghana (e.g. constitution, laws, policies and programmes). The study also identified the various institutions and organizations including international agencies and civil society that either support government social protection plans and/or are responding to extreme cases of WFCL and FL. The research also included investigations of district/regional level structures and procedures for handling cases of child abuse and the worst forms of child labour particularly in the cocoa growing areas of the country.


A Situational Analysis of Child Rights and Protection Instruments by Dr. Leslie Casely-Hayford, with Vivian Sarpomaa Fiscian. Education Sector Review Team. Produced for the Ministry of Education, 2002.


This paper examines Ghana 's child rights and protection policies through analysis of the existing protection instruments and measures promoting the welfare of children. The report begins with an assessment of the incidence and forms of child rights violations, examines how cases of violation should be handled given existing policies and legal instruments, and highlights priority areas and policy gaps related to the protection of children. The paper suggests a series of mechanisms for the prevention of abuse and promotion of child rights, and ends with key recommendations for improving the policy environment and strengthening the enforcement of child rights and protection in Ghana . In a country where approximately 54% of the population are below the age of 18 the gross violation of children's rights continues to exist, ongoing discourse and implementation of protection policies for children remains paramount.

An Investigative Study of the Abuse of Girls in Ghanaian Basic Schools . By Vivian Sarpomaa Fiscian, and Fiona Leach with Leslie Casely-Hayford. Submitted to the UK Department for International development (DFID), March 2003.

This report examines the forms of harassment and abuse in and around Ghanaian schools, which are mostly perpetrated by older schoolboys, male teachers, and men outside the school system. It also attempts to bridge the gap between research and action in addressing human rights issues confronting schools girls at the basic level of education. Through detailed accounts of the interviews conducted with schoolgirls, schoolboys, teachers (including head-teachers, guidance and counselling teachers) and parents, the report highlights obstacles hindering the abuse of girls from becoming a common feature of community discourse. The report also explores other factors, which directly have adverse effects on the situation of girls by increasing their vulnerability. The report provides an outline of an intervention strategy employed and follow-up information on the effects it had within the communities studied.


An Investigative Study of the Abuse of Girls in African Schools. By Fiona Leach, Vivian Sarpomaa Fiscian, Esme Kadzamira, Eve Lemani and Pamela Machakanja. A DFID Educational Paper, United Kingdom, August 2003.


This report addresses the issue of abuse and gender violence in Ghanaian schools. Inspired by earlier research carried out on the abuse of girls in junior secondary schools in Zimbabwe , and drawing upon a similar study from Malawi , it attempts to bridge the gap between research and action in addressing this serious human rights issue facing many African countries. The report releases findings from in-depth ethnographic-style research conducted with participatory methods, and aims to raise awareness of the widespread abuse that occurs for girls at school, explores effective ways of tackling it, and discusses the impact of abuse on the participation of girls in the formal education system. Although conducted across very different parts of the continent, the Ghana and Malawi studies have remarkably similar findings to the Zimbabwe research while elucidating the impact of teacher abuse on the quality of the learning environment; the extent to which abusive behaviour feeds on poverty and ignorance; the ambivalent attitude of some parents, teachers, and girls themselves to gender violence in the school; as well as the dimensions of male students' problems in the classroom.


For a link to this and other DFID publications visit

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