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10.08.2005 General News

Need to empower women stressed

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, has underscored the need to train women in various activities as a means of empowering them to contribute to national development.

She said empowering women would take those among them that were on the streets begging.

Hajia Alima made the call in a speech read on her behalf by Mrs Elizabeth Obeng-Yeboah, Human Resource Manager at the Department of Women at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, at the Fifth Graduation and 10th Anniversary celebration of the Nungua Zone 'A' Branch of the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association (GNTDA) at Nungua.

In all 46 apprentices of the Association were awarded with certificates of efficiency, after undergoing a three-year practical training in tailoring and dressmaking. Hajia Alima expressed regret that some people looked down on skills acquisition, though it had been recognized as one of the surest ways of solving the growing youth unemployment in the country and the much-needed expansion in the economy.

She said children, the nation's future human resources, were left with the distressful choice of having to migrate to urban centres to live under most deplorable circumstances.

She reminded parents, who had shirked their responsibilities of taking care of their children to reconsider their decision. Hajia Alima urged women to avail themselves of the numerous opportunities created by the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, to bring about their economic and social empowerment.

She congratulated the graduands on their success, saying: "Going through education and training is a challenging undertaking. The world outside is a fast moving and challenging one, and those who make a breakthrough are those who commit themselves to acquire a skill, and to work with dedication, honesty and sincerity of purpose." Mr John Awaitey, Circuit Chairman of the Association, said the time had come for Ghanaians to disabuse their minds that the profession was meant for only school dropouts.

He, therefore, urged parents to register their children with the GNTDA to enable them to acquire employable skills. Mr Erasmus Martey, Zonal Chairman, appealed to the Internal Revenue Service and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to intensify their tax education for members of the association, in order to generate more revenue for national development.

While reiterating the call on Parliament to come out with a law that would limit the importation of second hand clothing into the country, Mr Martey also urged Government to encourage the private sector to open up more textile industries to produce more quality fabrics at affordable prices.

He disclosed that since its inception a decade ago, the Nungua Branch of the Association had trained a total of 527 apprentices, with only 20 per cent of them being boys.

Miss Eva Lokko, Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, who chaired the function, urged the graduands to keep clean environments and honour their tax obligations at all times. Assisted by Mrs Obeng-Yeboah, Miss Lokko cut the Anniversary Cake. 10 Aug. 05

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