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Monitor & Advocacy Unit

To achieve a coordinated Policy Framework for addressing Violence Against Women and Children in Ghana, The Ark spearheaded the formation of a Policy Advocacy Partnership that has worked since 2006 called the National Advocacy Partnership (NAP) Project. Comprising state and non state actors including FIDA, WILDAF, WISE, DOVVSU, MOWAC, DV Coalition and others, in 2007 NAP lobbied and engaged Government through Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs to adopt a National Policy and Plan for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (Act 732 of 2007), and to ensure that the Policy addresses sexual and gender based violence issues broadly in institutional arrangements. It also lobbied successfully for adoption of an integrated, coordinated approach to addressing VAWC in the policy framework. A Monitoring component to assess the status of implementation of the DV Act was undertaken in 2008 through 2010.

In advocacy, The Ark has achieved significant milestones. These include:

  • Being regularly consulted by the State for our input into formulation of pro-poor policies and strategies by national institutions, for e.g., in the work for a National Social Protection Strategy, the Ghana Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II, development of a Medium Term Economic Framework; issues concerning orphans and vulnerable children (OVC Policy framework), women in difficult circumstances, etc

  • Been part of dialogues, consultations, drafting, and activism on social legislation and policies affecting rights of the women and the vulnerable including the Domestic Violence Act, the Human Trafficking Act, Spousal Property Rights Bill, reform of the Criminal Offences Act on Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual Offences, Children’s Act (Act 560, 1998) Subsidiary Legislation, the National Policy and Plan of Action on implementation of the DV Act and others. Actively contributes to other NGO network partners’ advocacy work, such as Proposals for Regulations on Domestic Assistants by LAWA (Ghana); Affirmative Action by WiLDAF; the Women’s Manifesto of Ghana by Abantu, Human Trafficking policy initiatives by International Organization for Migration, etc.

  • Hosted and supported the National Coalition on Domestic Violence from its inception for three years. Actively participated in all programs and activities towards the passage of the Domestic Violence Act of 2007.

  • Conducting monitoring of implementation of legislation and their impact on poor people, particularly women and children. The Ark has also worked with other organizations such as Institute of Democratic Governance’ (IDEG) Growth and Poverty Forum, and Network on Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT) to comment on pro-poor policy in Ghana

  • Worked within the Citizen’s Forum Initiative, led by IDEG to ensure peaceful elections in Ghana in 2008

  • Trained a critical mass of young women advocates who have taken up different aspects of gender advocacy and development issues in media, civil society and political spaces. Organized 5 Young Women’s Leadership Annual Conferences of the WLHRI Alumnae on critical issues of national importance to gender equality and women’s human rights as a platform for advocacy and networking.

  • Established the Rights Empowerment, Access and Participation (REAP) Project within a Citizen’s-Government Engagement framework, and worked with poor communities in the Eastern Region under REAP, (supported by Rights and Voice Initiative) to successfully demand their rights for social development from duty-bearers.

  • Conducted research and surveys for evidence based advocacy on trends in violence against women in collaboration with Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA) of the University of Ghana, and Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE).

  • Contributed to research and advocacy by CUSO on Children’s Access to Justice and the Juvenile system of Ghana

  • Regularly contributing to electronic and print media discussions on Women’s human rights, child rights and thematic areas of work
 
 
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