Gender and Youth Development
History and Background
Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and youth in development is a global Peace Corps initiative. In Ghana, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have been addressing issues concerning women and youth since 1961.
Between 1997 and 1999, Peace Corps Ghana strengthened these efforts with the establishment of a Gender and Youth Development (GYD) program. This program was designed to encourage and support PCVs to engage women and youth in their development activities.
Today GYD is a comprehensive effort among Peace Corps volunteers, staff, and our partners to:
The GYD Committee is made up of PCV representatives throughout Ghana. They are charged with identifying the obstacles to women and youth empowerment and to be a catalyst to help PCVs overcome these obstacles.
Members of this committee accomplish a variety of functions:
- Act as a link to outside (human and material) resources and information.
- Provide and disseminate GYD information.
- Produce and distribute a GYD newsletter.
- Collaborate with PCVs to design site specific projects, workshops and conferences.
- Collaborate with training staff to develop GYD related activities during PST and ISTs.
- Work with APCDs on incorporating GYD into project plans and sector activities.
The GYD Advisor is a Peace Corps staff member who works with the committee and provides guidance and support to committee members and all PCVs. The GYD Advisor helps identify local and national partners to further Peace Corpsí GYD efforts and ensures integration of GYD across all program sectors.
GYD Program Implementation
The geographical distribution of PCVs enables Peace Corps to conduct GYD activities in all 10 regions of Ghana. Although PCVs fall into four general program areas, they are all encouraged to integrate GYD in their development activities. Some recent PCV accomplishments in GYD include:
- Family planning information sessions with women's microfinance groups.
- Market analysis for Shea Nut women's group.
- Girls discussion groups and literacy classes educators in interactive learning techniques.
- Men as Partners: encouraging male student leaders to help facilitate gender equality awareness activities.
- Women's groups focusing on alternative livelihood projects and tree nurseries.
- Scholarship packages for needy but brilliant children at junior and senior high schools.
- Discussions on gender roles with students in the classroom.
- Moringa products and nutrition education for mothers at nutrition/rehabilitation centers for malnourished children H/WS.
- Working with the kayayo (girl migrant porter workers) in business and health issues.
- Malaria Awareness focused on prevention for pregnant women.
- Health/wellness awareness for pregnant women, immunizations.
Send an email to GYD@gh.peacecorps.gov for more information.
Whether volunteers are working in the country or in a city; whether they're working on beekeeping or in a school, it's truly a profound experience to become part of another culture." Joe Dodson Current Volunteer in Ghana