Women in agriculture urge government to close gender gap
Women in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions have called on the Government to step up efforts to reduce the gender gap in legislation and policies to better recognise their efforts in national development.
The women made the call at a workshop to provide a platform for women farmers to understand the policies in the agricultural sector and identify what their needs are; as well as strengthen their voice for improved livelihoods.
It was facilitated by Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT), in partnership with Widows and Orphans Movement and FiDA Ghana among other non-governmental organisations, and funded by the African Women Development Fund.
The women seized the opportunity to press home their rights to land and modern technologies to reduce the poor conditions they faced in agriculture.
Madam Rita Teni Aziza, who read a press statement on behalf of the women, said the National Policies on Gender and Development Strategy II (GADS II) and other interventions targeting women in agriculture, were efforts by the Government to address gaps in the sector, but the impact was still abysmal.
“An inclusive Ghana Beyond Aid agenda will remain a mirage, if Ghana continues to exclude the 52 per cent of the talent of women in the country,” she said.
She said government should not leave behind rural women farmers in its flagship programmes such as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘One District, One Factory’, and ‘One village One Dam.”
“We are, therefore, calling on the Government to ensure that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, through the Lands Commission, establishes land banks to facilitate women’s easy access to land and increase female extension agents from the current 13 per cent to 33 per cent,” she added.
Ms Patricia Blankson Akakpo, the Programmes Manager of NETRIGHT, who addressed the media at an open forum, said structural and systemic problems had created barriers that prevented girls and women from enjoying their economic rights.
The patriarchal nature of the Ghanaian society is embedded in traditions, customs and norms with power vested in traditional authority, most of who were men, she said.
Policies dominated by men contribute to undermining women, she said.