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08.03.2005 General News

A call to abolish obnoxious culture practices

By GNA

Koforidua, Mar. 8, GNA - The International Women's Day has been observed in the Eastern Region with a call on civil society to help abolish obnoxious traditional practices that militate against the advancement of women.

The Eastern Regional Director of the National Council for Women and Development (NCWD), Ms Jane Kwapong, who made the call on Tuesday, at Koforidua, noted that, the fact that last year's national best farmer and teacher were women, "amply demonstrates that, when such obnoxious traditional impediments are removed on their way, women could reach higher in society."

Ms Kwapong noted that the removal of harmful traditional practices would enable girls and women to grow up, feeling capable of performing much of the roles expected of them as mothers and wives.

She was, therefore, worried of the infiltration of Western culture that were demeaning and degrading womanhood, especially the current way of dressing that had raised a lot of concern and called on parents to step-up the moral training of their girl-child.

Ms Kwapong advocated a dress code that would help minimise the way some young girls and young women indecently expose themselves, and called on mothers to see to it that their children dressed decently before leaving the house.

The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng urged women at all levels to come out of their shells and take advantage of both available and emerging opportunities to realize their full potentials and assert themselves as equal partners of men.

"The achievements of women in various parts of the world is an indication that, given equal opportunities, recognition and respect, women can play a decisive role in national development", he said.

Nana Adjei-Boateng called for more programmes for the empowerment of women to enable them team up with their male counterparts in national development and cautioned women to take cognisance of the deadly HIV/AIDS disease, since women were more vulnerable to it.

He regretted that, despite the government's commitment to gender equality, some women activists considered the initiatives as not being "far-reaching enough" and would have wished for more.

The Eastern Regional Secretary of Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mrs Francisca Borkor-Bortey, who was the guest speaker, noted that the marginalisation, discrimination and other negative tendencies that made women play second fiddle to men must be blamed on the cultural norms of society rather than religion.

She called for intensive education of the girl-child to help her identify her potentials other than the mere understanding that girls were being trained to be become good wives, saying, "we need to train the young girls to take up the challenges of life without husbands". Mrs Borkor-Bortey called on political parties to set aside a quota of high positions including parliamentary seats for women in their political activities in order to enable women play active role in politics, noting that, though government was being gender-sensitive, the quota system was the surest way for more women to be empowered. She was happy with efforts the government was making in order to have gender equality and balance in the country but added, "more efforts should be put in place to equip them."

Earlier, there was a route march through the principal streets of Koforidua by various women networks in the region, under the theme "Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility".

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