The workshops and their potential impact
The workshop started with the concept of gender and how this concept is embedded in the universal rights that are upheld in Ghana. During the first day, the participants commented that Agro-TVET is still not very accessible and attractive for girls because of cultural framing (agricultural occupations are often reserved for males). Female staff members shared personal stories in which they explained that they could not choose the profession they liked, and were instead pushed towards more occupations that are traditionally fulfilled by women. Furthermore, Agro-TVET is often not female friendly. In the classic Ghanaian perception, Agro-TVET is still about small holder farms and farming, physical labour, dirty clothes and hard living conditions. This perception is therefore highly reflected by teaching material.
In the projects NICHE 270 and OKP 3458, CINOP is contributing to a shift from small holder farming to more Agri-Business and entrepreneurship. By changing the curricula to include Agri-Business and by starting profitable incubators at the colleges and farm institutes, ideally, the agricultural economy will be boosted in combination with an enhanced Ghanaian food security (due to an increased food production). But equally important; the change in curricula could facilitate a change in TVET perception, and make it more equal for both genders to participate.
This objective was addressed in the second day of the workshops, in which participants were tasked to develop objectives and activities to change the gender perception of Agro-TVET, and to thus make Agro-TVET more attractive for girls. All participants further acknowledged that the National Bodies play a crucial role in this change, due to the impact of their policies on colleges.