Parliament calls for women empowerment
Hajia Mary Salifu Boforo, First Deputy Majority Whip, on Thursday called on the Government, the private sector and women groups to connect with women across the nation particularly rural women to fight the numerous challenges facing them.
According to her, if women are networked, they would be empowered through sharing of their experiences and resources to reduce poverty among them drastically.
Hajia Boforo said this on the floor of Parliament when she presented a statement to commemorate international Women’s Day which is under the universal theme: “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”.
In Ghana, the theme chosen by National Gender Machinery for celebration is: “ Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures; Reducing Rural Poverty.”
Hajia Boforo, who is also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Women Caucus, noted that the second conference of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) (West Africa Region) adopted two resolutions, one of which was that all CWP Chapters should mentor young girls in schools to take up leadership positions and develop an interest in politics and the second, to allow for the rendition of CWP anthem at all women conferences and all female schools.
She said despite the commitment by government and the international community, women continue to lag behind their male counterparts, adding that this was the reason why the African Heads of States and governments in Addis Ababa in 2009 declared 2010-2020 as African Women Decade to translate various commitments into action at all levels and sectors.
Hajia Boforo appealed to members to organise women inspirational clinics or fairs in their constituencies alongside the activities of Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs in the month of March to connect with young girls and inspire them for a successful outcome of the 2012 International Women’s Day.
According to her, 50 to 60 per cent of food is produced by women and 90 per cent of activities in food security undertaken by women.
Mrs Cecilia Dapaah, Member for Bantama, urged President Mills to increase the number of women appointed to political positions from 40 to 50 per cent.
Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Member for Asawase, said women were their own enemies and would not want to assist their fellow women to reach higher heights in decision making.
He intimated that when women are strengthened, it is the family which is indirectly strengthened.
Mrs Osei- Opare Akua Frema, Member for Ayawaso West Wuogon, called on the leadership of the house to assign a clerk to the women caucus to assist in its organisation.
She said issues such as child labour, child abuse and child molestation should be critically looked at, saying the Social Welfare Department should be well equipped to champion the eradication of these social evils.
Ms Akusua Sena Dansua, Member for North Dayi, said issues on the empowerment of women have been misconstrued by some men as “the women want to take over positions from them”.
She emphasized that women cannot be the same as men as the physiology of women was different from those of men, adding women only need the support of their male counterparts to get good jobs, education and the best things in life.
Ms Dansua said men should not make the mistake by thinking that if women were fighting to reach higher heights, it was because they are being difficult but just that women want to be given space to explore.