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15.12.2004 General News

Kindle women's interest in social investment schemes

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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, on Wednesday urged social investment service providers to kindle the interest of the informal sector in social investment schemes through sustained education and awareness creation. She said the lack of patronage of social investment products such as Treasury Bills, Shares, Bonds and Social Security among women in the informal sector was due to ignorance of the benefits they could derive from the products.

Mrs Asmah made call in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Kofi Poku-Adusei, Deputy Minister of the Sector, when he opened a sensitisation workshop on social investment for women in the informal sector in Accra.

Mrs Asmah said a lot of women in the informal sector, due to their educational background, might not understand the operations of social investment schemes and consequently hardly saw the need for investing in any such scheme.

The workshop on the theme: "Securing the Future through Appropriate Social Investment", was organised by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs with financial and technical support from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

It was the first of workshops for the informal sector on social investment and would be replicated in the regional capitals to expose Ghanaian women in the informal sector to the different social investment products available.

Mrs Asmah said if women understood and invested in social investment products, they stood to benefit a lot from them, especially in circumstances where they were less capable of working such as in old age, sickness and accidents.

She said social investment, irrespective of its importance, was rather unpopular with the majority of workers in Ghana especially those in the informal sector most of whom were women.

"The life pattern of these women is mostly characterized by 'hand to mouth' kind of living, with nothing being reserved as savings and for future investment.

"The situation is further aggravated by the fact that, unlike workers within the formal sector, informal sector workers are not under any obligation to regularly contribute towards any Social Security Fund," Mrs Asmah said.

In a presentation titled: "Basic Ingredients for Successful Development of Enterprises," Mrs Abena Otu, Management Consultant, identified Motivation and Determination, Good Business Idea, Resources, Ability and Experience in the business project, and a good Plan of Action as factors for establishing a successful business.

Mrs Marilyn Amponsah-Annan, Director of International Relations at the Children's Department at MOWAC, who chaired the workshop, said women without adequate social protection tended rather to sell their jewelleries and other valuables in times of need, because they left the future to chance rather than preparing for it.

She urged them to take advantage and invest in social investment schemes to cushion them up when in financial difficulties.

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