Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana: Background Document
Women’s economic empowerment and gender equality are interdependent goals. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has made gender equality a priority in promoting sustained, inclusive growth and decent work for all.
Canada is committed to inclusive growth that empowers women to be full and equal participants in the economy. We recognize that women’s contributions to the world economy are substantial, yet women’s work has not corresponded to the same economic gains experienced by men. We believe that tackling gendered disparities in the economic sector must address the broad-ranging social barriers to gender equality, as well as the practical constraints to women’s full participation in transformative growth and development.
Although Ghana has made significant progress in poverty reduction and economic growth in recent years, women have not benefited equally. In alignment with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana call for preliminary proposals will address this challenge by focusing on gender equality and the economic empowerment of women to support growth that works for everyone. The call will encourage the full participation of women as economic actors by reducing gender-specific barriers and increasing women’s access to economic opportunities and control over productive resources. The call will specifically seek proposals that use innovative approaches to increase women's economic empowerment and rights.
This call for preliminary proposals will fund innovative projects that contribute to the following expected results:
- Improved enabling environment and reduced gender-specific barriers for women’s participation in economic growth;
- Enhanced access to decent work for women; and
- Increased productivity, profitability and innovation of women-owned businesses.
Bearing in mind the requirement to address root causes of gender inequalities and to incorporate innovation, the types of activities supported by this call could include (but are not limited to):
- enacting and supporting the implementation of policies, regulatory and legal reforms that remove gender-based structural barriers, promote better application and adherence to legal rights and protections, challenge discriminatory norms and gender bias, address sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, strengthen women’s leadership and decision making, and increase women’s access to economic opportunities;
- targeted skills training for women, based on identified labour market needs;
- provision of training, apprenticeship, internship, employment and/or entrepreneurship opportunities for women in non-traditional sectors, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
- changing business culture and practices, especially those related to gender-based discrimination and/or sexual harassment;
- training women in business acumen, negotiation skills, confidence-building and leadership;
- business coaching and mentoring for women;
- support for gender-responsive business registration processes;
- women’s access to business-development services, including incubation hubs;
- support for women’s locally-driven innovative solutions;
- promotion of equitable trade opportunities for women-led businesses and services;
- engaging men and boys, including employers and coworkers, in support of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and,
- advocacy and public engagement on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Proposed projects may also include a gender-based research component to document specific issues related to women’s economic empowerment in Ghana and to generate evidence that could be used for advocacy and policy development. Please note that provision of loans or credit is not an eligible activity under this call.
Project beneficiaries may include (but are not limited to):
- poor, vulnerable and marginalized women, including those with disabilities;
- women working in the formal or informal sector;
- women who are unemployed, underemployed, or working in circumstances that do not align with the definition of “decent work” provided in the call page;
- women who have recently graduated and are seeking their first employment opportunity;
- women who are engaged or could be engaged in high-growth or non-traditional sectors;
- women who own businesses or work in agricultural production and/or transformation; and,
- women owners of small and micro-business, as well as social entrepreneurs.
To the extent possible, all preliminary proposals should use feminist principles in the design of project monitoring, evaluation and learning with an aim to capture and document transformative changes in power dynamics to be achieved through the project.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their preliminary proposal clearly demonstrates the rationale for the proposed initiative, including:
- the specific challenge that the proposed project would address;
- the relevance of this challenge within the proposed geographic scope and/or target population;
- the methodology that will be used to address the identified challenge;
- the ways in which the proposed project will address the root causes of gender inequality; and,
- the ways in which the proposed project is innovative.
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