20.07.2005 Regional News

Give priority attention to women to enhance devt- Minister

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Tamale, July 20, GNA,- Mr Mohammed Amin Adam Deputy Northern Regional Minister has urged District Assemblies and NGOs to give priority consideration to women in the disbursement of funds to enable them to enhance the socio-economic development of their communities.

He said in view of the contribution women make in the growth of the country's economy through their trading activities and in agriculture as well as the upbringing of their families, there was the need to empower them economically. Mr Adam was speaking at the launch of the Northern Region Coalition on Gender, which was on the theme: "Ensuring Gender equity: A key to Sustainable Development", in Tamale on Wednesday.

The launching ceremony was organised by the coalition and sponsored by ActionAid International Ghana.

The Gender Coalition is made up of NGOs, CBOs and civil society organizations that are united with the common purpose to pursue gender issues in the Northern Region.

Mr Adam called on the coalition to design policies and development programmes that would ensure the empowerment of women to enable them to gain prominence in society and participate actively in nation building. He said it was to ensure the empowerment of women that the government had give such prominence to the education of the girl-child so that, " This country will have a future generation of women who are intellectually equipped to fight for their rights and resist attempts to be marginalized and dehumanized in society".

Mr Iddrisu Zakaria, Chairman of the Northern Region Coalition said the coalition was currently made up of 42 NGOs and CBOs, which have interest in the rights of women and vulnerable groups in the society. The coalition is also aimed at avoiding the duplication of activities by the various organizations in the region.

He enumerated some of the challenges women faced to include; low participation in governance, poor access to resources, high maternal mortality rates and harmful and discriminatory social practices against women and urged society to help address these issues.

Miss Olivia H. Yahaya, Programme Manager of ActionAid International Ghana urged women not to allow themselves to be marginalized but rather fight for leadership positions to enable them to articulate their views on pressing issues that affect their development.

She appealed to men not to consider the assertive posture being put up by women as a threat to their status but rather as an opportunity for all of them to contribute their quota to the development of the country. Mr Issah Nasgire, Regional Director of the National Commission for civic Education called for the integration of gender issues into the management training and mobilization of the community to undertake their own development projects.

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