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04.04.2012 Crime & Punishment

Mineworkers' Wives Association of Anglogold Ashanti inaugurated

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Obuasi, April 4, GNA – Ignorance has deprived most women in Ghana the opportunity to work in male dominated jobs although they (jobs) may offer the most competitive conditions of service, Deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba said.

“Most women and girls remain ignorant and continue to avoid certain male-dominated courses and jobs although they may be offering the most competitive conditions of service,” she said.

“This is why the majority of women continue to occupy junior positions in almost every conceivable paid job. The low salaries arising from occupying junior positions affect the power relations and decision-making roles between such women and their husbands in the home,” she noted.

Hajia Gariba, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Mineworkers Wives Association of Anglogold Ashanti at Obuasi recently, also identified lack of access and control over certain important resources to account for the low status of women in society.

“Women are contributing immensely to the Socio-economic development of this country, yet they remain the poorest segment of the society because most of them lack access and control over important resources such as land and capital”, she said.

“Even when some opportunities are made available by government, women lack adequate information on how to access them. High illiteracy rates, especially amongst rural women also account for the low status of women in our Ghanaian society,” Hajia Gariba said.

She said the inauguration of the Association was an important step towards bridging the existing gender inequality gap between men and women in this community.

The Mine Workers Wives Association aims to promote the status and well-being of miners' wives in the Obuasi community through women's empowerment activities.

Over the years, the Ministry's interventions in addressing these issues include advocacy for the girl-child education and affirmative action policies, economic empowerment of women through provision of micro-credit to women groups.

Hajia Gariba urged the members of the Association to utilize every opportunity to create platforms for discussing their familiar challenges as women. Such discussions, he added, should focus on meeting their practical and strategic needs including the development needs of their children and other children.

She said you must challenge your girls to offer the male-dominated courses such as the science and technical subjects and to strive for the best that life offers.

“In a mining community such as yours, most husbands do little more than give housekeeping money. They leave all the supervising and care-taking of the children to the women and do not even regard such care-giving as work for which such women should be acknowledged.”

“I urge all fathers to show concern and to be more responsible in nurturing their children, especially the girl-child as they may be at risk of diseases such as HIV and AIDS infections, drug use, and may also be vulnerable to human trafficking and prostitution.

Hajia Gariba said the inauguration of the Association was very appropriate and worthwhile and said with a united front, they could channel and press home their legitimate concerns for redress.

The Association executives are Mrs Lois Agyei Antwiwaa, Chairperson; Mrs Martha Obeng, Vice Chairperson; Mrs Doris Appiah Kubi, Secretary; Mrs Augustina Quayson, Organiser; Mrs Catherine Marian Mettle, Assistant Secretary; Mrs. Regina Anokye, Treasurer; Mrs. Mariama Mohammed, Financial Secretary; and Mrs. Joyce Kwarteng, Chaplain.


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