GIZ voices

‘Without gender equality, you lose half of the community.’

Nana King, development worker at GovID and gender focal point at national level in Ghana

Nana King‘I’ve worked for GIZ for four years. Before that I worked as a lawyer in London, initially in the investment sector and then in human rights. That was how I came to Ghana. There’s a family connection too – my father comes from Ghana. What I like about GIZ is that I work with lots of like-minded people, such as Alf Bremer, and being a development worker I can work directly with people to make a tangible difference. As gender focal point, my second priority is gender equality. The perspective of women is important in everything, whether it’s new bridges that might need a screen at ground level, or separate toilets for boys and girls in schools. Then girls can attend class even when they have their period. When it comes to taxes, we have noticed that in many municipalities women pay 60 per cent of taxes on average. Why? Female market traders have to pay a daily fee for their stall. If these fees are added up for the year, they come to far more than the women would pay for fixed premises. Most shops belong to men – they pay less. Alf Bremer studied the fee schedules and got the auditors to take gender equity into account. We also ensure that women’s voices are heard at meetings. The municipalities do have equal opportunities officers, but they often have no training for the job and no clear responsibilities. We help the regions to change this state of affairs. Because: without gender equality, you lose half of the community.’

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