Government committed to empowering women – Minister

Mr Daniel Syme, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister at the weekend said government was promoting women in political decision making as a composite index for enhancing good governance through participatory approach to national development in every facet of society.

He noted that government was unswerving to the socio-economic empowerment of women at all levels because women’s participation in nation building was an essential ingredient in achieving an equitable, peaceful and more prosperous society.

Mr Syme was speaking at a forum organized by Action Aid Ghana (AAG), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), into development to support women small holder farmers in the Upper East Region and to take stock of the organisation’s activities in the region for the year 2013.

Action Aid Ghana, started operations in Sapeliga and Teshie in the Bawku West District in the Upper East Region in 1990, based on the relative levels of development, the lack of involvement of other NGOs in the area, coupled with the high degree of community interest and improved livelihood indicators in the area.

The Deputy Minister said though women wield greater influence in the attainment of the development aspirations of the country, their contribution was often undermined by negative acts perpetuated against them mostly by their male counterparts.

Government, he indicated recognizes equality for women as a human rights issue enshrined in the constitution, which clearly instructs that no woman should face oppression and suffering, adding that, economies that would do well in the future would be those that use all the talents and skills; initiatives, imagination and enterprise from the citizenry including those of women.

Mr James Kusi-Boama, Upper East Local Rights Programme Manager (UELRP) of AAG, commended its community development partners for their tremendous contribution in the organization’s development efforts.

He said the interventions of AAG sought amongst other things, to improve access to basic social services, including education, water and sanitation, as well as improved food security, by facilitating access to agricultural practices and access to productive resources.

He indicated that since its inception, AAG had constructed 100 schools, including three schools for children with disabilities, four child development centres, 16 nurses and teachers quarters and a clinic for its operational communities.

The Programme Manager said the Upper East Region had in addition, benefited from interventions of AAG, including the construction of 28 school blocks, three nursing quarters, a clinic, teacher’s quarters, seven Dams with 22 grain and seed banks, three tube wells, seven toilet facilities and the provision of seven grinding mills, as part of efforts to reduce poverty levels across the region.

He said AAG and its partners in the Upper East Region had facilitated the formation of 18 girls and 15 child rights clubs in the communities, to build their capacity in leadership and decision-making skills and educated them on their rights and responsibilities.

He called on government to pass the Affirmative Action Policy, which would facilitate increased representation of women in leadership and decision-making positions.

Mr Yakubu Mahammed Saani, Deputy Country Director of AAG, said as part of its development drive, his outfit was embarking on the Women Right to Sustainable Livelihood Project, funded under the Funding leadership and Opportunities Project to contribute to women’s livelihoods and food security.

This, according to him, would further contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals one (MDG1), which aims at reducing extreme poverty and hunger.

He said it would directly result in some 3000 women smallholder farmers gaining more resource to secure sustainable access to food and higher income surplus in the country.

Source: GNA

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