The Acting Central Regional Population Officer, Mr Mahama Dramani, who made the call on Tuesday, said women formed about 51 per cent of the population and therefore they were in the position to influence policy decisions and to positively contribute to national growth when empowered politically, socially and economically.
He made the call at a day’s seminar for journalists on “reportage on population issues” in Cape Coast with the aim to eliminate technicalities, myths and conceptions on population issues and also to ensure accurate reporting on them.
Mr Dramani pointed out the influential role the media and journalists play, saying it was necessary for journalists to provide concise information on issues so as to impact positively and stimulate positive change among the populace.
The Population Officer appealed for a gender sensitive budget by government to aid the organization of programmes and projects on women’s issues to help to empower more women rights from the grassroots.
He said population and health were sensitive and technical issues, which needed careful analysis particularly when reporting on them and entreated journalists to contact his office for clarification to enable them to report accurately on such issues.
Mr Dramani also urged journalists to intensify education on population growth, family planning, gender and development, intimating that high population growth could be to the detriment of all and emphasized that if women were not catered for it would translate into a decline in the economy as well as productivity.
In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, the Minister for Central Regional quoted the 2,000 Population and Housing Census (PHC) and said Ghana’s population in that year stood at 18.4 million, but the current population index had shot up by six million and expressed fears that this might impedes development.
Mrs Benyiwa-Doe said economic growth was reduced as a result of high population growth and entreated journalists on the need to intensify education on the adverse effects of uncontrolled population growth.