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28.07.2004 Regional News

Workshop on Women awareness programme held at Sunyani

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Sunyani, July 28, GNA- Mrs Joana Opare, National Programme Manager of UN System Gender Programme on Tuesday stated that human developments and attempts at poverty reduction would fail if women were not recognised as part of decision makers.

Mrs Opare was addressing a sensitization and awareness programme organized by Women Action and Solidarity Aid (WASA), an NGO for women on Wednesday in Sunyani.

It was meant to enhance women's participation in decision-making at the parliamentary level in the 2004 election in Sunyani. Sixty participants from Berekum, Dormaa Ahenkro, Jaman and Sunyani all in the Brong-Ahafo Region attended the programme under the theme "Equality and development".

We need to question the legitimacy of existing government structures and processes when the interest and voices of over half the population are not reflected in decision making, she said.

Mrs. Opare noted that women have unique potentials that have been left unexploited and stressed that women in key positions have played very important roles and could perform creditably if given the chance. She mentioned harmful cultural practices, negative attitude to women leaders, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance as some of the obstacles facing women in decision making.

She called on all to encourage women at the grass root to participate in leadership training that focus on political change and urged the participants to carry message of empowering them to be strong political leaders.

Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister advised women to demonstrate their God-given abilities towards the country's development. He urged those who were active in politics not to be too emotional on issues and rather serve the country well.

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