CARE Rapid Gender Analysis Ghana- Upper East, Ashanti, Western North, Central and Bono COVID-19
Between March 2020 and May 2020 Ghana was ranked second amongst countries in the West and Central Africa region most impacted by the COVID-19. In the number of cumulative cases in the WHO Africa region, Ghana is number three. Three regions have maintained their position as having the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Ghana – Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western Regions. On March 12th 2020, Ghana recorded its first two cases. Because of the spread of the virus, the government has taken proactive deterrent measures to prevent its spread. Some of the measures range from the closure of land, sea and air borders (except for the transport of goods) to partial lockdown, closure of schools, enforcement of social distancing, mandatory wearing of face mask, quarantining of suspected cases, partial closure of markets and ban on all social gatherings. Despite these restrictions, the virus seems to be making rapid spread in the country. Ghana’s total confirmed cases as at Wednesday, April 15, 2020 is as follows: Confirmed cases 268, Recoveries 83, Well/responding to treatment 175, Critically/moderately ill 2, Deaths 8. The novelty of the virus will impact women, men, girls and boys in different aspect across the sixteen regions of Ghana.
The management of the pandemic has led to an increase in the workload of women in households. Men continue to predominantly retain the role of heads of household, in some cases dedicating more time to family discussions. However, women are taking full responsibility for household chores and caring for dependents, such as children, vulnerable elderly, and the sick, as well as children who have dropped out of school due to the temporary closure of schools. This significant increase in work for women has significant effects on their physical and psychological health.
Men also face mental health problems as they are under stress from the loss of paid work and have difficulty managing the confinement measures that prevent them from working.
Women's economic empowerment continues to be conditioned by social norms that limit women's control over economic resources and decision-making over financial resources in the household. The response to the crisis can easily increase the already existing gender gaps in livelihoods given the preventive measures adopted by the authorities, even though some of them have already been lifted.