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11.03.2009 Social News

ActionAid/WiLDAF call for renewed commitment to change traditional roles

By gna

ActionAid Ghana and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) on Tuesday called for renewed commitment to change traditional roles assigned to men and women.

The two non-governmental organizations working to promote the concerns of women made the call at Amasaman in the Ga West District at a forum organized to mark International Women's Day under the theme: “The Burden of Care: Men Do Your Share”.

Mr Isaac Oware Aboagye, Deputy Country Director, ActionAid Ghana, said the Day which falls on March 8 every year, was declared by the United Nations to celebrate the achievements of women and to further promote their interests.

He said ActionAid had since its establishment in Ghana in 1990 worked to provide support to the socially disadvantaged and as such women issues remained its priority.

Mr Aboagye said it was for this reason that ActionAid held the forum to discuss ways to support women to earn higher income to help improve living standards.

He said there was the need for collective efforts to change the practice of overburdening women with domestic chores in order for them to have the equal opportunity to advance in society.

Mrs Pateince Adumua-Lartey, Women's Right Policy Advisor, ActionAid Ghana, said traditional roles of men and women remained a norm in Ghana, despite changing economic trends that put equal responsibilities on both sexes.

She said the role assigned to women as home makers remained an obstacle to their career development and impeded their efforts to get leadership positions.

In Ghana for instance, she noted, women occupy only 9 per cent of leadership positions, adding that even in Parliament, there were only 20 women out of the 230 Parliamentarians.

Mrs Adumua-Lartey pointed out that the workload of women was still more than they could bear and called on civil society to collectively help to change this norm.

On women's participation in politics, Hajia Hajara Ali, National Women's Organiser of the People's National Convention, identified some socio-cultural practices, religious beliefs and lack of financial support as impediments on women's effort to seek political office.

She therefore urged women to remain resolute in order to realise their political dreams.

Mrs Patricia Eseel, Programme Officer for WiLDAF, hinted that WiLDAF together with other stakeholders were embarking on a campaign which sought to have as many people as possible to append their signatures to a document which was calling on governments to implement all protocols and conventions on women ratified.

She expressed the hope that this campaign would help to give women the needed attention by governments.