Thursday, July 5, 2007

Our final project idea

Stesha and I have begun to work on our final project, and with only a week and a half left, it's going to be a bit of a crunch to get everything done. Right now, our idea is to compile and synthesize a lot of the major human rights and health problems that we've encountered in our research into one basic handout that could be distributed at a low-level in clinics and women's support groups. The idea is to present--in an easy-to-read format--the specific legal rights, privileges and access to support services that a woman is guaranteed by the Ghanaian constitution. Although the legislature is making great strides in increasing constitutional protection of women's rights, the majority of women are unaware of these protections. Along with rights, the handout will also present basic women's health information. The level of health misconceptions among women (and Ghanaians in general) has sometimes been astounding, not to mention very dangerous, and we hope this will work to address that with the women we reach. Examples of what will be covered include the most up-to-date domestic abuse legislation or health precautions for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. Finally, at the end of the document, we want to include a comprehensive resource list for women, where they can follow up in any of the topics covered in the booklet.

Again and again, professionals have said that one of the biggest problems is that many women, and men, just aren't aware of modern health practices or the most recent legal codes, and since many don't speak English and support documents are normally printed in English, they don't have a way to be directly reached. What we want to do, in turn, is have our handout translated into Twi, the most widespread local language, and then have it printed and distributed throughout the capital. We're starting follow-up interviews next week. So far NGOs and professionals have been enthusiastic about the idea, and we intend to seek their aid in distributing the document effectively.

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