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Promoting public policy on women’s rights in Ghana and in Africa

To use various strategies to promote public policy on the human rights of women in Ghana and to network with other like minded organisation to promote the human rights of women in Africa.
 
 
 

KEY ACTIVITIES AND MAJOR ACCOMMPLISMENTS

LAWA – Ghana has used various legal strategies including undertaking legal research on various issues of concern to women and made recommendations for law reform. We have also drafted some laws for the consideration of law makers and made proposals for the enactment of policies to protect women’s human rights. We have also used test case litigation to promote the rights of women. We have undertaken sensitizations on various laws.
With regard to activities we basically do the following:

  • We undertake research to identify areas in which women are discriminated against. LAWA - Ghana then undertake legal research to identify the laws governing that area and try to ascertain its adequacy. Based on our findings we make recommendations for law reform.
  • We undertake legal literacy programme to educate people, particularly illiterate women on their legal rights.
  • We undertake networking with like minded organisations and have joined a number of coalitions on women’s human rights issues.
Some of the major accomplishments of are as follows:
    • Realising that many women in Ghana were victims of domestic violence, LAWA- Ghana undertook research on the issues and drafted legislation on domestic violence in 1999, the first of such draft in the country. We were active in the coalition formed by NGOs to advocate for the enactment of a law by the Government of Ghana on domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Act was passed in 2007.
    • Due to inequity that women suffer at the end of marriages, we researched into and drafted proposals for legislation on the equitable distribution of marital property at divorce. This draft has been submitted to the Attorney Generals Department and has been considered by Government drafters in drafting the Spousal Property Rights Bill 2007 which is required to be enacted under Ghana’s Constitution.
    • We initiated litigation for the removal of the restriction of women’s employment in underground mines and in industrial concerns at night in Ghana’s old labour law, the Labour Decree 1967 (NLCD 157). The Government settled with us in that suit and this was reflected in the new Labour Act that was subsequently enacted in 2003.
    • We undertook legal research and drafted proposals for legislation on Trafficking in Persons and sent it to the appropriate bodies for consideration. When the Government eventually drafted the Human Trafficking Bill, we submitted a Memorandum on it to Parliament and appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Gender and Children to advocate for changes to the Bill. The Human Trafficking Act was passed in 2005.