28.05.2004 Regional News

Upper West Assembly women form Caucus

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Wa, May 28, GNA - Female members of district assemblies in the Upper West Region have formed a caucus to serve as a pressure group and a platform for them to share experiences and make strategic plans for their own development.

The members will also work towards their progression in their political careers and work together to rope more women into the political arena.

The National Council for Women and Development (NCWD) in collaboration with the regional Team on Civil Society Organisation Participation organised a one-day workshop to sensitise the women on the activities of the caucus.

It was sponsored by IBIS Ghana, an NGO and had 26 of the 45 assemblywomen in the region in attendance.

Mrs Cate Bob-Milliar, Regional Co-ordinator of (NCWD) bemoaned the 82 per cent illiteracy rate among women in the region, which according to her, was adversely affecting their participation in decision making at all levels in government institutions. Mrs Bob-Milliar said, the region could boast of only two women lawyers in the whole of the country and at the district assembly level, there were only 45 assembly women with 29 of them being government appointees.

She noted that, though the provision that, 50 per cent of all government appointees to the assemblies should be women, was yet to become law, it was a laudable action aimed at increasing women's participation in local government.

In an address delivered on his behalf, Mr Sahanun Mogtari, the Upper West Regional Minister said, until society changed its perception about women and put them at the centre of decision-making, there would be problems with policies geared towards development. According to the Regional Minister, the woes of the African society could be partly attributed to discrimination against females. He, however said, until women put up efforts towards handling their problems, their male counterparts would not realise the need to support them to tackle them.

Mr John Yelvielbayire, Programme Manager of Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) in the region, urged women leaders to shake off feelings of inferiority and assert themselves as partners with their male counterparts in development. He told the participants to mobilise their fellow women to support one another and do away with petty jealousies in their own interests. 28 May 04

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