Group to project women in informal sector
WIECO, since April 2012, stated the Focal City Initiative in Accra, Ghana and Lima, Peru, to create sustainable platforms that would enable the informal workers to engage effectively with local and national authorities to influence the attainment of better working conditions and services.
Ms Dorcas Ansah, Coordinator of WIECO Ghana, made the remarks on Tuesday in Accra during a policy dialogue with the informal sector programme on the theme: “Ensuring Optimal Involvement of the Urban Informal Sector in National Economic Development”.
She said a number of factors influenced the decision to concentrate some of WIECO’s work on particular cities in a more coordinated way.
She said WIECO had been influential in the support for and growth of the global networks of informal workers, however, many informal worker organizations at the ground level were weak.
Miss Ansah said there was a growing mismatch between the global activities of few leading people and the ability of local level organizations to operate democratically, engage successfully in advocacy campaigns and participate in policy reforms.
She said it was becoming increasingly clear that the global networks would only be sustainable and could only speak for the informal workers if there were more and stronger local level organizations where members continually built their capacities and developed new leadership for the future.
Ms Ansah said in Ghana, the project was focusing on building the capacity of its members to engage constructively with the local government over working conditions in the markets and other areas of operations.
She said the programme supported the informal workers to explore ways of accessing support from government and from those who profited from their work.
Madam Magdalene Kannae, Head of Gender and Social Development Centre of the Institute of Local Government Studies, said the institute would always collaborate with WIECO and other non-governmental organizations to promote the activities of women in the informal sector.
Dr Akua O. Britwum, Senior Research Fellow, University of Cape Coast and WIECO Group Member, stated that the aim of the policy dialogue was to attract the attention of policy makers to informal workers so as to take them into consideration during planning.