Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Women form housing cooperatives

Women form housing cooperatives
Daily Graphic, Saturday, 8th August, 2009, Page 11, (Gender and Children)
Kofi Yeboah

The Accra Metropolitan Department of Cooperatives has organised a workshop for low-income earning women in Accra on how to access land and undertake building projects.

About 100 participants drawn from Old Fadama and Ayidiki attended the workshop, which was aimed at organising the women into housing cooperatives to mobilise funds internally to acquire land and undertake building projects using the cooperative principles.

It was supported by the Ghana Women Land Access Trust (GAWLAT), an intermediary organisation of UN Habitat.

In an address, the Accra Metropolitan Director of Cooperatives, Mr John Nyarko, urged the women to come together as one group and use the credit union savings concept to improve their businesses and own houses.

The Tema Metropolitan Director of Cooperatives, Mr Godwin Gogovi, told the participants to be mindful of the fact that in every group, conflict was likely to emerge, but the most important thing was for the leaders to address such conflicts in manner that would break up the group.

A retired Chief Technical Officer at the Lands Valuation Board, Mr Arnold Gadogbe, took the participants through the process of acquiring and registering land.

Member of GAWLAT who also shared thoughts with the participants were Mrs Harriet Gyebi-Taylor, Ms Sarah Savage, Ms Joana Ofori, Coordinator and Mrs Kakra Hagan, Consultant.

The Tema Metropolitan Director of Cooperatives will later organise similar workshops at Ashiaman for participants from Ningo and Kpone Katamanso.

Four other workshops, two in Kasoa and two in Ada, have been lined up, after which a leadership training programme will be organized for the leaders of the groups.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

MOWAC to assist women in elections

Ministry to assist women in elections
Daily Graphic, Saturday, 8th August, 2009, Page 11, Gender and Children
Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho

The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is working on a programme to identify at least 20 potential women in each district to prepare them for the 2010 district and 2012 elections.

The women will be given the needed training and support which will enable them to compete effectively with their male counterparts during the elections to help increase the participation of women in decision-making positions in the country.

The sector Minister, Ms Akua Sena Densua, who made this known in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the fourth biennial conference of District Assembly Women in Accra, said there was the need ‘to surmount the challenges that have restrained women from active participation in decision-making for so long.’

The conference, which was organized by ABANTU for Development and ActionAid-Ghana, on the theme, “Expanding space for women’s empowerment,” brought together women from across the country to brainstorm on topics such as ‘Critical gender issues in climate change debate,’ ‘Critical gender issues in income security,’ and ‘Critical gender issues in the oil and gas sector.’

The minister’s speech, read on her behalf by the Gender Officer at the Ministry, Ms Evelyn Agyemfra Asiedu, indicated that the government was also reviewing the affirmative action policy which is aimed at increasing women’s participation in decision-making to 40 per cent to positively increase the number of women in governance.

She said the attainment of most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including goal three, which talks about the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, goal four, which talks about reducing under-five [years old] mortality and goal fiver, which talks about the improvement of maternal health, all required the active collaboration of women for their successful implementation.

The Head of ABANTU for Development, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, said organizing such conferences was necessary, as gender and local governance issues were directly linked to broader national contextual issues.

She said the conference would help create a forum where women could expand the space for self and collective empowerment to enhance participation and effectiveness in their in their own localities, as well as in the overall national governance process.

She said the conference would enable participants to draw strength from one another, as well as forge appropriate strategies to increase women participation in governance.

The Country Direction of ActionAid-Ghana, Ms Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, in an address, said there was an urgent need to address the imbalances in the political power and leadership in the country, saying that political will should be translated into an appropriate legal framework with deliberate special measures to ensure increase of women in all levels of decision-making.

The Member of Parliament for New Juaben, Ms Beatrice B. Boateng, who chaired the opening ceremony, called on the assembly women not to give in their quest for higher political power but to forge ahead even when they are being discouraged by others.

She said the time had come for women to put aside their political affiliations and help one another as women, saying that, “you should see yourselves first as women and should not let politics divide your ranks.”