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02.09.2004 Regional News

Historical, cultural practices hindrance to women's progress

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Ashaiman (G/A), Sept. 2, GNA - Mr Daniel Densu Afropong, Project Coordinator of the Steering Committee of Civitas (Ghana), has said historical and cultural practices and attitudes in the country, especially among men, continued to hinder the progress of their female counterparts.

He said although the constitution sought to remove barriers that impeded the advancement of women, their status had not changed considerably and significantly.

Mr Afropong said this at a capacity-building training workshop for about 80 women in the Ashaiman Constituency.

The five-day non-residential workshop was aimed at training participants in basic human rights principles, leadership and advocacy skills to enhance their participation in local politics and governance within the constituency.

It was organised jointly by Civitas (Ghana) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with sponsorship from the Ghana Office of the World Bank in partnership with Charities Aid Foundation.

Mr Afropong said it was regrettable that, even though, women had demonstrated considerable leadership skills in several public and private services, and despite the widespread movements towards democratisation, women were still under-represented in ministerial and legislative bodies, including the district assemblies.

He said equality in decision-making was essential to the empowerment of women and the proper functioning of the democratic process. The Project Coordinator said economic development without a corresponding civic renewal would have lesser impact on the vulnerable in society, especially, women and children.

Mr Afropong urged women to move away from being passive subjects, who are given directives to becoming responsible citizens. Turning to his organisation, he said Civitas (Ghana) was a member of Civitas, an international organisation that brought together, in a network, organisations and individual activists for the advancement of democracy and human rights through education.

The mission of Civitas, he said, was, therefore, to strengthen civic education for informed and responsible citizenship and the promotion of respect for fundamental human rights.

Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive, reiterated the need to empower women to enable them to participate fully in decision-making.

Mr Narh reminded women in the Municipality to disabuse their minds of being traders only and urged them to strive and aspire to greater heights.

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