How do you take a Global Pluralism Monitor report and put it into action? The first step is to understand who the report is for and what societal changes the findings support.
When it came to sharing the findings of the Global Pluralism Monitor reports, the Global Centre for Pluralism (the Centre) created an engagement strategy on the premise that all activities be led by in-country stakeholders. The aim is to provide those working on these issues with added value and support to fulfil their objectives, but to allow them to guide the effort.
When it came to sharing the Monitor report findings for Ghana, the Centre partnered with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), an organization that has been working tirelessly to promote good governance and inclusive development in the country for the past 25 years.
To start, CDD-Ghana identified issues in the report relevant to their work and the current political and social landscape in the country. They proposed activities to create dialogue and provide entry points for actions on pluralism. The Centre’s engagement activities were not only centred on a collaboration with CDD-Ghana but also on connecting with other groups and individuals in the country working on issues related to pluralism.
The main areas of focus for engagement in Ghana coincided with the Monitor’s key findings:
- How ethnic and religious diversity operates in the country;
- The unequal position of women and girls in Ghanaian society; and
- The inequality faced by those living in Northern Ghana.
The first event was a formal launch of the Global Pluralism Monitor in Accra on April 18th, 2023. This event was an opportunity to present the Monitor to critical stakeholders and encourage a robust dialogue on the findings. In addition, the stakeholders in attendance, CSOs (civil society organizations), academia, government representatives, community members, and media were provided the opportunity to comment on the Monitor’s findings and share how their work relates to pluralism. The launch provided a forum to create awareness about the concept of pluralism, to provide education on the Global Pluralism Monitor Framework and to elaborate why it is an important and unique method of analysis. The event also highlighted the report’s findings that identify the challenges to pluralism in Ghana.
The next event addressed gender inequality in Ghana, more specifically on the Affirmative Action Bill introduced in 2011, which has yet to be passed into law. The Affirmative Action Bill is a tangible mechanism to address gender inequality and an initiative that needs critical support and amplification to succeed. The Affirmative Action Roundtable brought together representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, the Affirmative Action Coalition, and other CSOs and NGOs (non-governmental Organizations) working on the issue. Presentations offered updates on the Bill, a commitment from Mrs. Faustina Acheampong, Director of Gender of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to put forward the bill to the Executive, and renewed belief from participants about the importance of this legislation for women and girls in the country. One of the most powerful moments came from an attendee who has been working on the rights of women for many years. She said that the Roundtable had motivated her to re-commit to work on the bill after many years of inaction and resistance from the government and the wider society.
Finally, for the last event, Centre staff travelled to the North of Ghana to Damango in the Savanna region. With each passing kilometre, the drive to the North confirmed the effects of differences between regions and the inequity that stems from there. CDD-Ghana organized a community engagement meeting with faith leaders, community members, local politicians from the District Assembly, and CSO/NGO representatives to discuss the findings of the Monitor related to ethnic minorities and their lack of political inclusion and access to infrastructure and other social amenities in the North. The meeting also gave space for District Assembly members to share the current situation of their municipality in terms of access to health care, educational development and constituents’ needs. All participants affirmed the findings of the Monitor report about the inequities in the North of Ghana. These meetings helped to develop connections between different actors, which will hopefully lead to assistance for those working on local initiatives.
Overall, the events in Ghana supported the Monitor engagement strategy of working with in-country partners and stakeholders and allowing those most affected by the issues identified in the reports to guide how best to use this research. It also respectfully and appropriately positions the Centre as a convener, creating awareness on the global stage and helping to expand the reach of existing initiatives.