Stories Of Change

Women act as ‘agents of peace’ after training reaches 12,000 voters

Women who had previously been too scared to vote, were able to play a full part in Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections, thanks to the support of a STAR-Ghana project.

Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA) received funding from STAR-Ghana for its Accelerating Actions Towards Increasing Citizen Especially Women’s Participation in 2016 Elections and Beyond project.

GLOWA founder Nana Enyonan Kugbadzor

GLOWA worked in 22 communities in two districts of Ho-West and Hohoe, in the Volta region, reaching 12,519 women, men, young people, people with disabilities and the elderly. 

‘GLOWA preached peace. This encouraged us to vote peacefully. There was no tension or conflict during elections,’ said community member Felicia Astidam.

‘[Most of] us women were able to vote, which hasn’t happened before,’ Enyonam Danyo added. ‘The education we got made us change our minds. As a first-time voter, I didn’t even know that the ballot paper must be stamped. GLOWA made me aware of this.’ 

GLOWA had aimed to increase the participation of women and other vulnerable groups in the 2016 general elections by 20%, while reducing spoilt or rejected ballots by 50%. Reports showed women’s participation increased from 46% in 2012 to 65% in 2016. Rejected ballots in project implementation districts dropped by 72%.

GLOWA is a gender and social inclusion organisation working in remote areas and among slum communities in the Volta, eastern and central regions. 

It worked in partnership with the Accelerated Rural Development Organisation (ARDO), Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC) and Volta Star Radio (VSR) on its STAR-Ghana project.

ARDO brought expertise in youth activities and helped to mobilise young people for peaceful action. VSR broadcasts in English, Ewe and Akan languages to more than a million listeners, and shared information on electoral and voting process.

‘I learnt a lot around voting in my community,’ GLOWA training participant Mawufor Aklaso said. Participation had been much higher, she added, with women acting as ‘agents of peace’ encouraging their husbands to vote peacefully.

GLOWA Bakpe Village womens group

Indiakor Christiana added:

‘We were told that on the day of voting, we [should] allow pregnant women, aged, people with disabilities in line to vote.’

GLOWA also worked in communities to ensure alcohol was not sold on election day to prevent voters becoming too rowdy. 

Election 2016 grants

STAR-Ghana’s first call for grant proposals supported initiatives promoting peaceful, credible, issues-based and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections for Ghana in 2016. Out of the 219 organisations that responded to the call, 35 were awarded grants totalling $US2,216,167.

More about the election 2016 grants.

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