By Bashiratu Kamal
Gender & Labour Specialist. Accra, Ghana.
Cases of COVID-19 were recorded in 2019 and spread rapidly to all parts of the world, with Ghana recording its first case in March 2020. In Ghana, the pandemic has had ravaging effects on our economic, social, and political lives with numbers spiraling to 89,682 cases, 725 deaths, and 85,761 recoveries as of March 2021.
To contain the pandemic, the Government of Ghana put in several responsive measures, including school closures, a ban on social gathering, partial lockdowns, and passage of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012). The measures and interventions are not gender responsive and fail to extend adequate protection to women, who have lost jobs having to choose between unpaid care work or building a career. According to a World Bank report, about 25% of the total workforce had their wages reduced with several others being laid off. The effect of this was more telling for women who are the most affected. Similarly, the cuts in foreign aid by governments like the United Kingdom resulted in the halting of several support services provided by some civil society organizations (CSOs).