GCIC hosts policy roundtable to advance women’s participation in green economy

Francis Agbere – Oxfam

The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC), in collaboration with IMANI Africa, on the 24th of November, 2023, convened a policy roundtable to present a report on the topic ‘Increasing Women’s Participation in Ghana’s Green Economy: Capturing the Challenges Women Encounter in the Green Business Sector’, which looked at fostering greater inclusion and participation of women in Ghana’s burgeoning green economy.

The report delves into capturing the individualised stories of the challenges women encounter in participating in climate-smart enterprises, aligning with the GCIC’s commitment to advance its mandate through robust policy advocacy.

A 2019 study by the Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) revealed that Ghana has the highest percentage of businesses owned by women globally, standing at an impressive 46.4 percent. However, as reported by IMANI Africa, only 27 percent of women are studying STEM and therefore, struggle to work in technical and high-paying roles in the green economy.

Nonetheless, increased female education, enhanced gender mainstreaming in climate finance, and women’s access to clean energy solutions could address the barriers to women’s participation in the green economy. Leveraging on these insights and through its policy unit, Policy Alternatives for a Green Economy (PAGE–Ghana), the GCIC endeavours to shape government decision-making processes for supportive policies toward a climate-resilient society equally for female and male businessowners. GCIC’s PAGE–Ghana achieves its goals through the implementation of green policy research, government advocacy on climate policy issues, policy dialogues, international peer exchange & knowledge brokerage.

The rise of women’s engagement in Ghana’s green economy is pivotal for addressing the prevailing social disparities and fostering a more equitable and inclusive society. Recognising this, it is imperative that policies are intentionally crafted to tackle the unique challenges confronted by female-led enterprises within the green economy.

Moreover, amplifying awareness regarding the enormous opportunities and profound influence of women’s involvement in the green economy could strengthen policy-makers’ dedication to create conducive environments with opportunities and incentives tailored to women.

The report explored critical aspects of women’s participation in Ghana’s green business sector by uncovering and analysing diverse barriers hindering effective women’s participation in the country’s green business sector.

The document further delved into intricate cross-sectoral challenges faced by women in their climate-smart business activities, seeking to provide insights into comprehensive solutions cutting across various industries. The document additionally identified potential entry points within the existing framework to meet the specific needs of women-led green businesses, exploring strategic interventions, financial mechanisms and support structures.

Dennis Asare, Senior Research Associate – IMANI Ghana

Dennis Asare, Research Consultant at Imani Africa, presented four key challenges to women in the green economy as being the social and traditional perceptions of gender roles, limited access to finance, the lack of support for green businesses and the low awareness and lack of information about the opportunities in the green business sector. The event was attended by a cross-section of state actors, such as The Ministry of Finance, Energy Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and Ministry of Energy.

It is important to note that the GCIC has developed tailored programmes for female businessowners as part of its Incubator, including the Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Program (WETP), to address some of these challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. GCIC, with the support of its funders, Global Affairs Canada, is dedicated to fostering gender balance among climate-smart SMEs, ensuring active, fair and equitable participation in the business landscape.

The comprehensive policy paper will be accessible on the GCIC website shortly.

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