Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

UNCT-GH-UNICEF-Welding-student-NyaniQuarmyne-2015(Photo: UNICEF Ghana 2015 / Nyani Quarmyne)

Why it matters in Ghana

The number of men and women in the world is roughly equal. However, gender inequality persists everywhere – in business, education, politics etc. This stagnates social progress. Equal opportunities for men and women accelerate achievement across other development outcomes.

In Ghana, there is low representation of women in decision making, evidenced by only 12.7% representation in the national Parliament. Practices such as early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, or witch camps still exist. The incidence of violence against women and girls, and inadequate access to productive resources, such as land and credit, persist.

In Ghana, there are still complex issues concerning male dominance and patriarchy that need to be addressed in order to step up efforts towards achieving sustainable development.

How we can help

  • Parents can help by giving equal access to education to their children, girls and boys alike.
  • Do not give away your girl child into marriage; allow her to complete her education.
  • If you are a teacher, report any form of girl child abuse.
  • If you are a girl, you can stay in school, help empower your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to access sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Everyone should stand up against rape, and all forms of violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
  • If you are an employer, ensure equity for women and men in the work place.
  • Promote equal work and equal pay for men and women.
  • If you are a woman, show concern in decision-making processes and participate in decision-making.
  • Support women in their political careers.
  • Stop female genital mutilation.
  • Grant women access to and control of land.
  • If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that can form an unintended and often invisible barrier to equal opportunity.
  • If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships.
  • As government, fund education campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutilation, and change harmful laws that limit the rights of women and girls and prevent them from achieving their full potential.

Global Targets of Goal 5

5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation 

5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation 

5.4: Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life 

5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences 

5.a: Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws 

5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women 

5.c: Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

Related News

  • SDG Advocate Queen Mathilde of Belgium commends Ghana on SDG leadership

    Feb 14, 2018

    SDG Advocate Queen Mathilde of Belgium commends Ghana on SDG leadership

    Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium is one of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ SDG Advocates – a group of 17 personalities from various backgrounds that is co-chaired by Ghana’s President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. This group was established to promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieve the ambitious and transformative global development Agenda 2030. Last week, from 7 to 9 February 2018, Queen Mathilde visited Ghana to learn about good practices of SDG implementation.

  • Youth Envoy encouraged by resilient young women and calls for strong interventions to protect and provide them with services and information

    Feb 9, 2018

    Youth Envoy encouraged by resilient young women and calls for strong interventions to protect and provide them with services and information

    The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, continued her maiden multi-nation visit in Africa with a one-day stop in Accra, Ghana. The visit was an important opportunity for her to leverage support for vulnerable young girls and women.

  • Feb 6, 2018

    Stakeholders meeting on young migrant girls ‘kayayei’ and awareness raising through distribution of solar lamps

    IOM is committed to gender mainstreaming of all IOM’s migration management activities. IOM, in collaboration with the UN Gender Team (UNGT), contributes to the national commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment to work towards achieving SDG 5 in Ghana. On 20 December 2017, IOM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, hosted a stakeholders’ meeting to pool knowledge and expertise from Governmental and non-government representatives working with the Kayayei, including UN Agencies, Ministries, NGOs as well as representatives of Kayayei associations.

  • Feb 5, 2018

    UNFPA urges all to work for accountability for increased investment in the youth for economic emancipation

    The UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake will pay a working visit to Ghana on the 7 of February 2018 as part of her five country African tour. Her message is simple Put Young People First. She will be advocating for Africa to implement the AU Roadmap for Harnessing the Demographic Dividend as it is one of the key strategies to advance economic and social development.

  • UN Ghana sensitises women traders on children's rights on Human Rights Day

    Dec 19, 2017

    UN Ghana sensitises women traders on children's rights on Human Rights Day

    Some 100 women traders of the Kaneshie Market in Accra were the targets of this year’s event to mark Human Rights Day 2017 organised by the UN Communications Group (UNCG) under the leadership of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Accra. The traders were sensitised on child trafficking, child labour and child abuse, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general, at a forum held on the premises of the market complex, one of the busiest in the capital city.

  • UN calls for concerted efforts to End Violence against Women and Girls

    Dec 7, 2017

    UN calls for concerted efforts to End Violence against Women and Girls

    As the world observes 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2017, the United Nations in Ghana calls on governments, non-governmental organisations, religious and traditional leaders, communities and individuals to take individual and collective action against human rights abuse of women and girls. A world free from gender-based violence and from discrimination is paramount to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • UNFPA Regional Director commends Ghana, and pledges support for the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa

    Nov 28, 2017

    UNFPA Regional Director commends Ghana, and pledges support for the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa

    The Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for West and Central Africa has commended the President of Ghana for launching the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA). The launch ceremony took place on 14 November 2017, at the Accra International Conference Center in Accra, Ghana.

  • Nov 10, 2017

    IOM Ghana Holds Counter-Trafficking Workshops for Communities in Volta Region

    IOM Ghana held a closing workshop (2/11) for its project: "Increasing Child Protection and Combatting Child Trafficking in 8 Districts of the Volta Region through Community Child Rights Education." Under this two-year project, supported by UNICEF, a toolkit on child protection and counter trafficking titled Free to Be Me was developed in 2013. The toolkit was distributed in 43 selected communities within eight districts of the Volta Region, with an additional six communities reached through the project’s pilot phase which began in November 2012.

  • Oct 31, 2017

    GIFTS for adolescent girls in Ghana

    In an attempt to reduce extremely alarming high rate of anaemia among adolescent girls in Ghana, the Girls Iron Folate Tablet Supplementation (GIFTS) initiative was launched by The First Lady, Her Excellency Rebecca Akuffo Addo, on the International Day of the Girl Child. The initiative was launched on 11 October 2017 by the Ministries of Health and Education in partnership with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other development partners in Swedru, the capital of the Brong Ahafo region.

  • Empowering girls through theatre in Ghana

    Oct 12, 2017

    Empowering girls through theatre in Ghana

    On International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), the UN Gender Team joined forces with Rayuwa Foundation and Act for Change to exchange with some 80 girls from the Ghana-Lebanon Islamic School about challenges a girl could face in her life, and – through participatory theatre – envision alternative scenarios. The girls shared their experiences of violence and discrimination, and came up with bold ideas for what should be done to create a safe environment for them to be able to achieve their potential.