Deconstructing Stereotypes for a Future of Possibilities
WUSC is supporting women in Ghana to claim their place in professions they want to join, even though the road to get there isn’t easy. How do we do that? By deconstructing stereotypes and changing attitudes about “women’s work,” increasing training and apprenticeship programs, and engaging workplaces and industries to provide equal opportunities for women.
Supporting women’s economic empowerment has never been more important. We cannot build a more prosperous and equitable world if we are leaving half the population behind.
In Ghana, there are many challenges for young women wanting to enter what are perceived as “male” trades. As a result, many young women do not receive a lot of support from their friends and family when they seek to enter those professions, even though they are rewarding and well-earning. Families may want to support their dreams, but they know it’s going to be a difficult journey, and may find it hard to encourage them to take such a big risk.
A key pillar of the work WUSC does with our partners in Ghana is to engage the public with information that breaks down stereotypes about “women’s work.” We support outreach and awareness programs held at the community, industry, and national levels about the roles women can play in male dominated fields.
Sexual and gender-based harassment in training institutions and in the workplace are some of the biggest barriers women face. Systemic change is needed to really make a difference. So, we started by working through local women’s groups to create policies and procedures at local institutions to address sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
The results are encouraging. WUSC is helping change attitudes about women joining traditionally male-dominated professions through increased training and apprenticeship programs targeted for women, and engaging workplaces and industries to provide safe, welcoming, and equal opportunities for women.
When women learn a trade – whether it’s as electricians, auto mechanics, welders, or designers – they gain not just skills, but a whole new world of opportunity. They become valuable contributors to their families and communities.
This isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good business, too. Companies not only receive qualified candidates, but have the added benefits of a diverse workforce.
But first we must level the playing field. As long as we’re living in a society where women face systemic barriers to success—driven by generations of structural inequality—we’ll need programs and pathways that give everyone a future of possibilities.
We must create environments where women feel empowered to take a leap into exciting, rewarding and well-earning professions. The women in Ghana who are taking those leaps now are not only changing their futures for the better, but also for the young girls who look up to them.
WUSC works to create a better world for all young people. To learn more, start here or subscribe to get highlights straight to your inbox. Interested in volunteering internationally? View our current opportunities. Looking for a new career opportunity? Check out our current job openings. Or show your support for our cause by making a donation.