Integrating Gender into Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs): The example of Ghana
Publication Date: Mar 2003
Existing Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) do not use a rights-based approach that focuses on the empowerment of women, and the Ghana PRSP is no different. This study explores three aspects of the PRSP process in Ghana: participation in the PRSP; the national gender policy framework; and gender issues in the PRSP. While representatives of independent women's non-profit organisations (NGOs) were involved in consultations and discussions, there was little in the early PRSP drafts that reflected these inputs and the relationship between women's NGOs and government organisations remains tense. Yet the September 2001 draft of Ghana's first full PRSP is a major improvement on the previous drafts in terms of coverage of gender equality issues. However, gender is not mainstreamed throughout the Paper - it focuses on women's practical needs and treats them as 'beneficiaries' instead of as actors. This report makes recommendations for bilateral donors involved in the PRSP process on how to mainstream gender better based on this experience. This includes undertaking a comprehensive analysis of gender issues in Ghana and ensuring that these findings inform future phases of the policy cycle - implementation, monitoring and reformulation.