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16.05.2004 General News

Women's rights advocates asked to reach the countryside

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Ho, May 16, GNA - Women's Rights Advocates have been urged to speak directly to women in the countryside where the socio-cultural, political, economic and legal inhibitions have the most telling effects on the dignity of women.

This is because the series of urban based seminars and workshops on the subject of women's rights tended to limit the scope of participation to a certain class of women who by their social status, education and access to information have become assertive.

Mr Kenwuud Nuworsu, Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said this at a consultative meeting at Ho at the weekend on the final draft of the women's manifesto, spearheaded by Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), Ghana with support from Abantu Development and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA. The demands in the draft manifesto focused on women's economic empowerment, women and land, women and social policy and development, women in politics and decision-making and women in law.

On the contrary, the leadership of WILDAF Ghana said the main target of such seminars were political decision makers who have a constitutional obligation and obligations under international conventions to create the necessary legal and political framework for correcting the socio-cultural, economic and political inhibitions facing women.

According to them, the involvement of representatives of various women's groups was to seek their views and through them to the various constituencies of women, including those in the countryside with vital information.

Moreover, the resources available for such advocacy work needed to be applied in the most cost effective and result oriented manner instead of spreading them with negligible impact.

Mrs Elizabeth Akpalu, President of WILDAF Ghana, said women have had cause to be impatient with the political leadership for shelving several initiatives and recommendations by women's rights advocates, which if implemented would have seen a marked and faster improvement in their social, legal and cultural status.

Mr Johnson Ganyo, Superintendent of Police in charge of the Kpetoe Police District, observed that the endorsement by women of society's stereotypes based on religion and cultural beliefs would require extra efforts to shake-off.