Access to the internet is fast growing across Africa. In the case of Ghana, the high levels of mobile internet penetration is increasingly accelerating internet access and empowering many Ghanaians, including marginalised groups such as women and children. Through the internet, many Ghanaians now have access to information which they previously did not have, and are able to contribute to national discourse and exercise their freedom of expression rights and other rights online.
While the internet presents enormous benefits and opportunities to many Ghanaians, it also comes with a number of challenges, especially for women and children. Even though the internet landscape in Ghana is relatively free, many Ghanaian women are unable to access the internet, speak freely and exercise other rights online due to a number of socio-cultural, political and financial factors. In the case of children, while the internet offers opportunities for research and studies and serves other social interests, it also poses threats and risks many of the children are unaware of.
To help create a favourable online environment for these two groups in particular, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with support from UK-based Global Partners Digital, has developed Policy Briefs to contribute to policy interventions in the country. The two Briefs – Gender Dimensions of Internet Rights in Ghana, and Child Online Protection in Ghana – were developed with the expertise of ABANTU for Development and JInitiative respectively.
The briefs were discussed and endorsed by stakeholders at a forum in Accra, where recommendations for industry, government and civil society were made for implementation.