Beyond the laws to action on Domestic Violence: Lessons for Ghana from Mexico
Both Ghana and Mexico passed domestic violence legislation in 2007. Yet, a decade later, Ghana has only one functioning shelter owned and run by an NGO and another run by the State. Services in these two shelters are generally ad-hoc and uncoordinated. Mexico, on the other hand, has many more shelters – 72 in all – and a coordinated system of service provision for survivors of domestic abuse. In seeking to explain these differences in implementation, a study conducted by the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA) in Ghana and FUNDAR in Mexico found that a key difference between the two countries lies in the nature of the women’s caucus in parliament. While Mexico has a system where the women in parliament have entered into a pact to vote as a unit on women-friendly policies, Ghana has a women’s caucus that leaves issues of policy concern to women to the Gender and Children’s Committee of Parliament. In this policy brief, CEGENSA makes a number of recommendations directed at enhancing the likelihood that policies aimed at tackling domestic violence will be implemented in the Ghanaian context.
- The Women’s Caucus of Parliament should formalise its activities with the creation of a fully functioning Secretariat.
- The Women’s Caucus of Parliament should work more closely with the Gender and Children’s Committee of Parliament and work to strengthen their cross-party support of issues of concern to Ghanaian women.
- Active civil society support and programming is needed for an increase in the number of women in parliament.
- There should be civil society support for the work of the women’s caucus through its advocacy and capacity building efforts.
- There is need for activism around domestic violence and the provision of shelters with requisite services to support survivors.
Other ELLA knowledge materials relating to Domestic Violence:
GUIDES AND BRIEFS