Happy International Women’s Day!
This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and we would like to highlight some of the incredible women that we work with who fight against the status quo and champion gender equality through their actions.

In our EducATE programme:

Our Access to Education programme, EducATE, champions the education of all students, but this year we are focusing particularly on ensuring that girls are supported to complete their basic education. The pandemic has reversed progress made on girls education – we are determined to put this right.


We also want to pay particular thanks to our incredible 21 school cooks, strong women, often providing the only regular income into large family units. Cooking hundreds of meals every day, over an open fire, in hot, dusty conditions – these women are heroes, and every single day they #ChooseToChallenge. In the quotes below, a few of these special women highlight what having this job, and the independence it brings, means to them.


“It helps me settle hospital bills, feed my family, and take care of my children in school. It is a privilege to partake in my community’s development in my role as a cook with ATE.” Moses Gifty, Gombile JHS



“It helps me help in the family like buying of uniforms, books, and sandals for my kids in school. Through this work I am able to support my husband’s peasant farming too.” Songbata Piutoar, Biro JHS



“I am widowed with 7 children and 6 grandchildren. My husband was a peasant farmer. He took care of the family’s financial needs through his farming. Now the burden is on my shoulders. I am able to take care of my family needs through my work as a cook with ATE.” Naasoma Yelbeen, Biro JHS

In our BizATE Programme:

Covid-19 has highlighted and deepened many social inequalities – but it has also shone a light on people’s resilience and ingenuity. Last year Ghana was identified as the world leader for women-owned businesses – by a mile! 46.4% of privately held businesses in Ghana are owned by women. In July 2020, ATE carried out monitoring of small business owners engaged in our BizATE Training Programme in Lawra, assessing impacts of Covid and planning how we can best support their businesses to recover in the months ahead. We found that female-owned businesses were almost twice as successful in sustaining their small enterprises compared to men! 94% of ATE-supported women-owned businesses were ‘sustained’ rather than ‘impacted’ or ‘failed’, compared to 50% of men’s. Challenging the stereotype as men being the main breadwinner and successful businessman, Rufkatu, Mary, and Agnes (L-R) are perfect examples – strong, independent, and hardworking women, striving to provide for their family and give their children greater opportunities. They are amazing.


In our SNAP Programme:

The women of Lawra are a magnificent example of love and courage in action. This is particularly true of the mothers, grandmothers and aunties who are part of our Special Needs Awareness Programme, many of whom have fought against cultural norms to improve the lives of their children with special needs. Through the strength of the SNAP community, these women challenge traditional attitudes to both gender and disability, and are the bravest people we know. The bond between these women is so powerful – built on shared experience, each workshop they uplift one another, demonstrating that as a carer for a disabled child you are not alone, you are valued, accepted, and strong.


In our ATE team:

In our team meeting at the beginning of this #InternationalWomensMonth, each ATE team member made a pledge to gender equality, pictured below, with the other image demonstrating each of our aims. Today, and every day we will celebrate the incredible women that we work with – and constantly #ChooseToChallenge gender inequality.


Happy International Women’s Day!