High economic downturn affects lives of rural poor – Former MP

Mrs Agnes Asangalisa Chigabatia, Former Member of Parliament for Builsa North, on Friday reiterated that encouraging and sensitizing women to realize the importance of participating in leadership is imperative for democracy and good governance.

Mrs Chigabatia noted that women’s involvement in governance and at decision making positions vest in them power and authority to enable them to make macro and micro level decisions on issues that affected them. It also enhances promotion of peace rule of law and human rights issues, she added.

Mrs Chigabatia said this at a conference she organized for women in Sandema dubbed, “Empowering the rural woman”, which attracted over 600 women from various parts of the District, including Sandema, Wiaga, Chuchuliga, Wiaga,Kadema and Siniensi.

She attested that women empowerment was key to poverty reduction, food security and critical means of achieving a stable environment and Ghana’s quest to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

She mentioned slow business, high unemployment, high prices of goods and services and the consequences, high school drop out rates and the inability of parents to send their children to school and care for their families as some of the problems of the District.
She blamed it on the effects of national and global economic difficulties.

She mentioned that poor rainfall patterns and poor farm yields, lack of access to fertilizer and extension services, finance and climate change  mitigated against women’s efforts in food production in the area.

Mrs Chigabatia said through a common agenda with the women, she would ensure that programmes and activities were organized in the district to promote the activities of women.

She thanked Non-Governmental Organizations in the district who in diverse ways had in the past helped to provide capacity building programmes for women.

She urged them to continue to come up with more programmes to train women in politics, lobbying, advocacy skills and speech mastery to equip more women to go into politics and also as part of their day to day life towards nation building.

“It has been established that a woman has a significant role to play in nation building, all efforts have to be made for the woman to evolve and be equipped with the desired expertise required and never to become extinct”, she said.

Addressing the conference, Ms Otiko Djaba, New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Women’s Organizer bemoaned the hardship Ghanaians faced currently.

She said some rural areas still remained without electricity and to make matters worse the price of a bottle of kerosene, which women used to light the home, sold between GH¢2.00 and GH¢3.00, which was beyond the means of most rural women.

Source: GNA

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