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10.07.2008 General News

Women's efforts shape children's lives - Director

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Women have contributed their quota as primary caregivers in the family, shaping especially the lives of children.
Mr Freeman Madzi, Executive Director of Abibiman Sankofa Cultural Movement (ASCUM), said this on Thursday when he addressed a 60-member Zonal Committee meeting of the Movement at Amanase in the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District of the Eastern Region.
The Movement aims at promoting income-generating activities among its over 1,200 members in 28 branches of the district.
Mr Madzi observed that more women in the Movement were bringing more income into their families now than their male counterparts and that women's contribution to social progress had been immense.
The Executive Director said poverty reduction efforts in the area could be hampered and the cycle could pass on from one generation to the next, if women were marginalized and not encouraged in their efforts at income generation.
Mr Emmanuel Annor, Deputy Executive Director and Chairman of the Zonal Committee, who presided, told the Ghana News Agency shortly after the meeting that women had come together to challenge discriminatory attitudes against them and that this had led to a significant decline in negative practices against them.
Mr Annor listed some of the negative practices as forced marriages, female genital mutilation and widowhood rites.
To maximise the impact of gender equality on poverty reduction and sustainable development, he said, women must be involved in the decision-making process in the household, the workplace and in the political spheres.
Mr Annor stated that in spite of the gender inequality attitude in our traditional society, the status of women in the country had improved.
According to him, the awareness about discriminatory practices including physical and sexual violence, and female illiteracy had led to widespread demands for a change.
This, through the promotion of legal and social reforms, like the Domestic Violence Bill and fight against negative cultural practices, women and other advocates of gender equality had taken the vital step towards reshaping the country's social and political landscape.

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