For thirteen years, Petra has worked with the Ark Foundation, Ghana, and a women’s rights advocacy-based organization. Beginning as a volunteer in September, 2003, she became a staff member in January, 2004. Petra now has thirteen years of professional experience in program/project management and alumni coordination; policy brief development; website content management; library management; and facilitation and training skills.
Her responsibilities have included designing and implementing trainings in leadership, human rights, gender, and other capacity building programs, particularly for young women. She has been involved in raising funds for the institute’s programs and activities, developed several policy briefs, and facilitated the networking activities of the institute’s alumna.
She has trained and facilitated with various capacity-building programs on topics such as human rights, women’s rights, gender, and domestic violence. She has also participated in a number of national and international human rights trainings, such as the renowned annual International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) in Canada, organized by Equitas.
Petra holds a diploma in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Ghana. She is a member of the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana (IPR) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA). She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in development communication and a certificate course in French. In her free time Petra likes to read, watch movies, and sightsee.
ACTION LEARNING PROJECT (ALP)
Project Title: Young Women Take Action to Bridge the Gender Divide
Petra’s ALP aimed to raise awareness of gender and human rights issues among young women ages 16 to 24 in order to empower them and equip them with information relevant to young women’s rights and help them to develop their fullest potential. Young women in Ghana are often caught under the pressure of conforming to gender-related societal expectations, without much thought given to their own oppression and the broader context of gender inequality and perceptions of women’s status in society.
With the support of the Ark Foundation, Petra developed and delivered a gender empowerment program for young women from the Medie and Pobiman communities within the Ga West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region. The workshop topics were based on an initial survey that revealed that women participating in the project had poor knowledge about their challenges and rights.
Petra’s ALP offered peer learning, training and information sharing opportunities for a group of 25 women. In collaboration with other GWSLP participants who work with organizations supporting women rights, she organized three workshops on gender inequality and stereotypes, managing personal relationships, and building a career. In addition, Petra developed educational material to support the trainings. Some Ark foundation staff also had the opportunity to attend some of the workshops. As a follow-up to the training sessions, Petra organized monthly review meetings with participants as a way to offer a safe space to discuss issues related to the training topics and ensure that participants were applying the knowledge they learned as they interact with their peers, teachers, and families.
Project participants reported that they acquired new knowledge and understanding of human rights, and gender inequalities. Some women stated they were better equipped to challenge the status quo on issues that affect women. Others resolved to end ongoing ‘bad’ relationships. The group formed a virtual network (a WhatsApp group) to share experiences and support each other in their various occupations.