09.03.2005 Regional News

NCWD holds seminar for women in Volta Region

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Ho, March 09, GNA - Ms Lena Alai, Volta Regional Director of National Commission on Women and Development (NCWD) has urged the government to factor its policies of raising the living standards of women into the three pronged policy government priorities of good governance, private sector and human resource development.

Ms Alai said this at the Regional celebration of the International Women's Day in Ho on Tuesday.

She claimed that "as a result of illiteracy, more women than men lose out on human resource development programmes" and therefore find themselves in the informal sector as subsistent farmers and traders.

''Only very few women progress from petty trading to become entrepreneurs. Although men have better opportunities with employment in the formal sector, they again dominate the informal sector in spite of their smaller number.''

Ms Alai attributed this situation to socio-cultural practices such as land ownership and unfriendly conditions for accessing loans from financial institutions that limit the opportunities of women in the informal sector.

She said although national and international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women clearly spelt out equal rights for all, women continued to fall victims to various forms of violence under the guise of customary practices.

Ms Alai said Ghana is practising democracy demand the participation of all its citizens in decision making yet in a parliament of 230 representatives, only 22 are women and out of 22 parliamentarians in the Volta Region, only two were women.

She described the recent appointment of 18 women as ministers and deputy ministers by the President as "a heart warming development" and appealed to the President to appoint more female district chief executives.

Ms Alai appealed to the President to give priority to women in all the human resource development programmes that would be undertaken in the region.

She appealed to Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Volta Regional Minister, to develop existing light industrial areas in the region and set up new ones to facilitate the establishment of small-scale industries to curb the high incidence of rural urban migration. Mr Dzamesi, in a speech read on his behalf, said for the world to derive maximum benefit from contributions of both sexes there must be a level playing field for both sexes.

He therefore, assured women of the preparedness of the government to remove all forms of discrimination against women for the common good of all.

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