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17.05.2005 General News

Former First Lady calls for revival of affirmative action

By GNA

Accra, May 17, GNA - The Former First Lady and President of the 31st December Women's Movement, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings on Tuesday called for the revival of affirmative action by women.

"Women should speak out, defend the interest of the family, society and nation. We cannot sit back and allow the men alone to continue; our contributions put them on the alert," Nana Konadu told Members of the Movement at a public forum to celebrate its 23rd Anniversary. The Greater Accra Regional branch of the Movement organized the celebration on the theme, "Revamping the 31st DWM Through Effective Re-Organization."

Nana Konadu said "we fought for political, economic, social and general empowerment, which was given a blessing by the United Nations at the Beijing Conference.

"The spirit and fire that was kindred 23 years ago by women through the 31st December Women's Movement must be refuelled, the fight must continue, we have not achieved our aims and the gains are being eroded. We must wake up."

The Former First Lady noted that the achievement of equality and the fight against all forms of discrimination against women must be intensified "changing the mentality of society is not easy". Nana Konadu charged women to do a lot of sensitisation and education to change the trend.

She said the change of Government in the 2000 Elections had eroded a number of measures taken to promote equal opportunities and rights of women in Ghana.

Nana Oye Lithur, African Region Coordinator of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, who spoke on: "Ghanaian Women Finding Their Voice: Speaking Out Against Poverty," challenged women to stand up and be counted.

She said the majority of Ghanaian women were losing their voices and a few were speaking out against the ills of society, and asked: "Where are the women? Have we lost our voices?" We need to speak out if we fail society would suffer."

Nana Oye urged the Government to define its priorities and focus more on health, education and the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic instead of making high expenditure on the Military. "Ghana is not at war. We need more humanitarian resources than military armament," Nana Oye stated.

The Movement is a non-governmental organization formed 23 years ago aimed at mobilizing women for political, social, economic and cultural empowerment.

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