28.09.2004 Regional News

Women's manifesto launched in Sekondi

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Sekondi (W/R), September 28, GNA- Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Tuesday said the fight for gender equality should not be seen as a struggle to outwit men for social honour.

She was launching Women's Manifesto for Ghana, a political document prepared by The Women's Coalition that sets out issues of concern to women and how to address them in Sekondi.

Madam Horner-Sam said it should rather be seen as a struggle to remove the impediments to social progress and development of women in the country.

She said socio-cultural practices that discriminated against women were still being encouraged in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Madam Horner-Sam was happy that the Manifesto touches on some pertinent issues that had contributed to women being marginalized in the country.

She said women's economic empowerment is a crucial issue to address if gender equality and equity were to be achieved, adding the most lucrative professions had been considered the preserve of men and women were pushed to less rewarding ones.

Madam Horner-Sam said for the manifesto to be relevant activists must lobby policy makers to include women's concern in social policy formulation and social development.

She said, "the percentage of women in public decision making positions is woefully inadequate and there is the need for more women to enter politics and hold responsible positions in government".

" We must call for affirmative action so that a percentage of positions in Government would be allocated to women".

Mrs Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, Deputy chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, expressed the hope that the government, especially the Ministry for Women and Children Affairs would support the manifesto.

She said roles preserved for women in political parties were women's organizers and at best, treasurers.

She said women should be appointed into party positions to that they could make meaningful impact.

"All women should try to read the constitution and if our partners really love us, then they should try to give us support and empower us to bring out the best in us instead of treating us as second class citizens".

Mrs Akumanyi said, "During this election year all women should listen carefully to the campaign speeches and ensure that they vote for people who have women's interest at heart".

"We should all try to play our role as serious and responsible women in order to gain our rightful place in national development", she added. Other speakers at the function were, Yaa Agyeman Boadi of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), Nana Amuah Sekyi of Regional Office of the Commission On Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Mr Kwaku Baa Owusu, Western Regional Director of NCCE. Mrs Olivia Opoku Adomah, Western Regional Economic Planning Officer, presided.

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