Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Thursday spelt-out women agenda for Moving Ghana Forward.
He said in spite of the modest achievement of the NPP Government over the past eight years, which has transformed the fortunes of women, the next NPP government would institute measures to drastically reduce maternal and infant mortality.
“NPP Government under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will improve the quality and access to antenatal and post natal care, by addressing as a matter of priority, child mortality, morbidity, stunting and malnutrition,” Dr Bawumia stated at the first of a series of Vice Presidential Candidates dialogue in Accra.
The Vice Presidential Dialogue, dubbed: “Women's Dialogue on Elections 2008,” was organised by Women in Law and Development in Africa as a platform for the gender activists to interact with the five main political parties.
The Dialogue involves Vice Presidential Candidates of five political parties instead of the four Presidential Candidates who participated in the Institute of Economics Affairs' Presidential Debate.
Dr Bawumia said the next NPP government would institute social security for women and men in both the formal and informal sector in the rural areas, established new local community counselling units and resources existing ones to provide career guidance and social services to young women.
“We will take steps to ensure that all public sector places of employment provide good quality child-care facilities for nursing working mothers, increase access to safe, effective and affordable methods of family planning counselling and reproductive health care.
“Improve access to retrovirals of all sufferers of HIV/AIDS, especially drugs that prevent mother to child transmission, seek the abolition of all negative cultural practices including widowhood rites and banishments to witches' village,” Dr Bawumia noted.
He said the next NPP government would also provide equal opportunities to disabled women.
Responding to questions on maternal mortality; the NPP Vice Presidential Candidate said the next NPP government would provide emergency obstetric and neo-natal care in all district hospitals, support the scaling up of High Impact Rapid Delivery to reduce maternal and child mortality.
On measures to bridge the north-south developmental gap, Dr Bawumia said under the Northern Development Programme, cotton, cashew, and sheabutter would be developed and promoted on a much larger scale to raise the living standards of people in the north.
Other issues of concern to women were; access to credit facilities and politisation of credits, poor working condition of health staffs, the state of insecurity, employment opportunities for people with physical disabilities, protection of gender rights and the challenges of porters.