Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gov’t must show commitment to Women’s participation in Politics

Gov’t must show commitment to Women’s participation in Politics
Daily Graphic, Wednesday, 17 March, 2010; Page 16

The management of the Hunger Project-Ghana has called on the government to show commitment to women’s participation in politics by enforcing the 40 per cent representation of women in the district metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

It said the government should allocate special funds for the training, grooming and campaign activities of women parliamentary candidates.

The call was made in a communiqué issued at the end of a national rural forum for selected men and women programme Animators and Epicenter Representatives on the theme: ‘Equal Opportunities : Progress for all’.

A statement issued and signed by Dr. Nana Agyeman-Mensah, Country Director of the Project, said the forum was held at the Odumase –Wawase Epicenter in the Kwahu West Municipality, to mark this year’s International Women‘s Day, which fell on Monday, March 8.

The Communiqué also called on the government to enforce existing laws that had been instituted to protect women and children such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Intestate Succession Law, The Children’s Act other relevant laws through the training of gender sensitive officers at the MMDAs to spearhead the implementation and monitoring of gender based policies.

It called for the establishment of the special scholarship schemes to benefit brilliant needy girls who will otherwise drop out of school after junior high school.

The Communiqué appealed for sponsorship for girls to enroll in nursing and teacher training colleges to increase the number of women professionals who would also serve as role models for girls in the rural areas.

It stressed the need for the use of participatory sensitization approaches that would bring out the negative effects of gender inequality on the spread of HIV and AIDS.

The statement also called for the reconsideration of the of the health policy on ‘non –delivery of babies ‘ by Traditional Birth Attendants, who were still regardless of the policy, offering valuable child delivery services to poor women in remote rural areas, until such time that there were enough rural health facilities and professionals in those areas. The Communiqué called for the improvement in farm gate access roads in food producing areas to address the transportation and distribution challenges of the nation’s food farmers, 80 per cent of whom were women.

It said efforts should be made to provide special subsidized packages for women farmers to encourage them to, and to recognize those who excel in the field of agriculture at special state events, to inspire other women farmers.

The Communiqué called for increased financial and technical support to women’s groups as well as focused steps to introduce into rural areas, simple technologies for processing vegetables and staple food crops to halt post harvest losses, while creating vital job opportunities.

It called for more support to NGOs which utilized sustainable development strategies that created local leadership opportunities for women as well as build local capacity for self reliant development, through the creation of community based animators in critical areas such as sexual and reproductive health, legal literacy, credit management, functional literacy, agricultural extension, HIV and AIDS education, counseling and referral services which benefited women.

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