04.05.2005 Regional News

Gender Network to institute awards on gender

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Wa, May 4, GNA - Mr. George Hikah Benson, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, on Wednesday inaugurated a seven-member leadership of the Upper West Gender Network with a call on them to institute a "Best Gender Sensitive District Award" as part of measures to address gender issues.

The institution of the awards, he held, would arouse the consciousness of district assemblies to fully embellish gender issues in their planning and developmental agenda.

The Network, which is made up of members from both governmental and non-governmental organisations, would among other things initiate action plans and capacity building programmes to help women to bring themselves at par with their men counterparts.

Mr. Benson said it was sad that after several awareness creation programmes were carried out on negative practices against women, very little was achieved and pledged the support of the government to change the current trend of affairs.

He said the government had made adequate budgetary allocation through district assemblies and the HIPC funds to care of gender issues. Mr. Benson urged district assemblies to enact by-laws that would facilitate the efficiency of the Network to operate independently in the region.

Mr. Emmanuel Nwinsore, President of the Network, said members would fight against high illiteracy among women, high poverty, violence against women, rural-urban migration of the youth and streetism among women and children.

He said although women were more than men in the region, they were not well educated enough to take up responsible positions and that the Network would fight to correct the imbalance.

Mr. Kweku Koranteng, Programme Manager of Action Aid International, Ghana, said in the next five years, his outfit would stage a dramatic turn for leadership roles and advocacy programmes in the region. He said it was unfortunate that most of the negative practices were geared towards women and promised to collaborate with other organisations to bring about the development of women.

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