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Second International Women’s Fair opens in Accra

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Dr Rose Emma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, Deputy Director- General of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), on Friday said women’s participation in the labour front had contributed to household incomes, education, and health of their children.

However, she said, there were marked disparities in women’s access to economic resources to enable them to achieve their economic and social goals, compared to men.

Dr Entsua-Mensah, made the observation when addressing the opening session of the Second International Women’s Fair in Accra.

The three-day fair on the theme: “The Working Woman’s Contribution to Development”, is being attended by over 100 women.

It is aimed at bridging the gap between men and women in terms of socio-economic development and providing a platform for women to showcase their achievement.

Dr Entsua-Mensah said women generally lacked access to credit, land and education, which made their progress in economic development difficult.

She noted that globally, unpaid work, which account for about 11 trillion dollars, was perhaps the biggest contribution women made to the economy, and in Canada unpaid work was estimated at about 319 billion dollars in the money economy or 41 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

“Participating in paid labour activities, women are very much constrained by their role as the primary providers of food for their household. On family farms, while women can influence decisions, men who are head of the household has final decision-making power and often controls household capital and labour,” she said.

Dr Entsua-Mensah said providing women farmers and workers with the right incentives, such as access to credit, to increase productivity and skills could foster higher growth rates in Ghana’s agriculture sector.

“There is no doubt that working women contribute tremendously to the development of Ghana. Unfortunately most of these women do not have access to education to improve their skills, access to credit, land, training, scientific technologies and extension services, and are hardly in managerial positions,” she said.

Dr Entsua-Mensah called for the inclusion of women in the developmental process because they were the unseen heroines.

In a speech read for her, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, said the theme for the event was relevant considering the key roles women continued to play worldwide in their national development agenda.

She said working women’s contribution to families, communities, societies and the nation were invaluable.

“I am sure no one here doubts that. Women are versatile. We are wives and mothers as well as professionals competing with men in men dominated environment. But we are only holding to our own and making tremendous strides,” she said.

Mrs Azumah-Mensah said there was increased awareness among Government and development partners that women’s empowerment was critical to economic growth, poverty reduction and the country’s prosperity.

Source: GNA

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