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26.01.2005 General News

Gladys Asmah Causes Stir

By JoyOnline
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The minister designate for Fisheries, Mrs. Gladys Asmah caused a stir when she appeared before the committee by suggesting that she didn't have a copy of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Document,

Mrs. Asmah, who was telling the committee about how she helped reduce poverty at the Women's ministry through micro credit, surprised the members when she admitted that she hadn't been operating with the document.

Even more surprising was the excuse she gave for not applying the document.

Asked averagely how much was given to each woman concerning the micro credit facility, She said about ¢500,000 or ¢1 million went to each women depending on what they do.

Asked again if ¢500,000 was enough to help reduce poverty among women by Mr. Alban Bagbin, Mrs. Asmah replied that many women who are using their monies wisely are making it and that ¢500,000 was enough.

“Mr. Chairman I want a point of clarification here, I heard the honourable minister designate indicate that she has not seen Ghana's GPRS, How can you be reducing poverty of women when you have not seen the basic document that structures how poverty is to be reduced?” Dr Kumbuor asked.

“Mr. Chairman that's a new publication I have not seen and it hasn't gotten to me yet,” Mrs. Asmah said.

Mr. Bagbin immediately came in with a point of order that the document was given to every Member of Parliament (MP).

“ I haven't seen my copy, I haven't seen my copy, she said.

Answering some questions related to her time as Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Mrs. Asmah, said it was a cabinet decision to hold on for some time on the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill to enable every Ghanaian to make an input on the debate, especially on the thorny issues of marital rape.

She said there were serious problems associated with the criminalisation of marital issues and therefore there was the need to tread softly by seeking the opinion of all to get the bill ready.

According to her, there could be a backlash of high divorce rates, among others.

She said some arrangements were being made to train some 2,500 counsellors to handle matters arising from the passage of the Bill.

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