PMI VectorLink Promotes Safety and Inclusion of Women in the Workplace.
Warihana Amadu, a native of Gushegu in the Northern Region of Ghana, is a site manager and among many women who have been able to secure leadership positions on the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) VectorLink Project. Her first experience on the program was in 2017 when she was hired as a washer. She applied for the job because, as a woman, she believed it was the only job she was qualified for. “Coming from a matrimonial home, women were mostly relegated to the background,” Warihana said. As a result, many women forgo certain opportunities due to the perception that they are reserved for men.
Committed to bridging the gender gap, PMI VectorLink actively promotes gender equality and female empowerment by increasing the role of women at all levels of its operations. To encourage women’s participation, PMI VectorLink Ghana has put in place a number of initiatives that advance female staff into supervisory roles. Ensuring women have the training and opportunities they need to succeed helps to build their confidence in executing higher-demand positions that carry more responsibility. PMI VectorLink Ghana went even further to create a female-friendly work environment by taking into consideration the unique needs of women to inform project policy and guidelines at all levels. From providing female staff with sanitary pads to working with colleagues in Kenya to design and implement a harassment-free policy that is now used in each of the countries we work, VectorLink Ghana has made sure that women feel safe and included at the workplace.
“Deep within me, I was confident I would be able to carry these roles out successfully.” – Warihana Amadu, IRS Site Manager
These initiatives have paid off tremendously, especially during the 2019 spray campaign when VectorLink Ghana saw a significant increase in the number of women hired. The number of women hired into supervisory roles increased from 36 in 2018 to 54 in 2019, while the total number of women hired to support IRS activities increased by 23.4 % from 380 in 2018 to 469 in 2019.
Increasing women’s involvement in IRS not only increases their economic empowerment but positions them as role models for other women and young girls in their communities. Motivated to move up in responsibility on the project, Warihana applied for the position of a site manager for the 2019 spray campaign. “I observed and learned the roles and responsibilities of a site manager in the course of previous campaigns,” she said.
Warihana was successfully recruited and assigned to an operational site in Gushegu District, where she successfully managed IRS spray operations, covering 2,995 homes and protecting 35,315 people.