At the core of CENSUDI’s work is the conviction that sustainable developmental strategies need to strike at the root causes of poverty. We believe that poverty in northern Ghana is largely an outcome of unfair discriminatory and outmoded practices that trap people into mental and physical poverty. Removing and/or transforming these systemic and mental blocks usually increases access, participation, choice, respect and ownership for many people; with these resources and freedom, individuals and communities gradually succeed in pulling themselves out of poverty. CENSUDI calls this “unlocking excellence” and argues that this is a necessary and critical strategy to fight poverty in northern Ghana. Since 1994, the Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CENSUDI) has worked with communities and organisations to help them understand the relationship between gender and poverty and to aid in the implementation of projects that will address the root causes of these challenges.
What is Gender?
Gender refers to the socially and culturally assigned roles and responsibilities given to various human beings. The nature and kind of roles are influenced by place and time. For example, administrative secretaries, mostly men in colonial Ghana, are now mostly women in modern times. Women dominate markets in southern Nigeria but males run markets in northern Nigeria because some Islamic marriage rites confine women to the home and demand they be fully covered in public places.