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17.08.2005 Regional News

Women are their own enemies - Chigabatia


Accra, Aug. 17, GNA - Mrs Agnes Chigabatia, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bulsa North, on Wednesday noted that women were their own enemies and advised them to stop undermining one another.

Women in high positions, be they political or not, tended to frustrate the effort of other women, who they saw as potential treats to their positions, instead of encouraging them and advised her colleagues to support one another and get involved in the fight to achieve women empowerment.

Mrs Chigabatia was speaking at a two-day workshop organized by Women Development Agency, a non-governmental organization that seeks to empower women through education.

The workshop aims at enhancing women's participation in the democratic process by arming them with relevant skills to achieve their objectives.

Participants were taken through topics like: "How to Run for Elected Office'" and "Effective Lobbying Skills". Mrs Chigabatia said women in high positions should help in educating their colleagues in the rural areas about the need for women empowerment.

She expressed regret that some women in the Northern Regions still felt that a woman's place was in the kitchen and making babies. Mrs Chigabatia identified cultural barriers as one major issue affecting women's development in Ghana and urged educated men, who understood issues about women's empowerment, to help in eradicating the negative aspects of culture.

Ms Juliana Azumah-Mensah, MP for Ho East, reiterated the need for women to support one another instead of discouraging one another. Financial constraints and low educational background were some obstacles that affected women's development, she said, adding that women should be supported to go into trade to enable them to earn money. Ms Azumah-Mensah explained that earning respect did not mean that women should shout at their subordinates but they should perform their duties as expected of them.

Mrs Matilda Nantogmah, founder of the NGO, said gender inequality and discrimination against women were major challenges in the country's development. She said women should be involved in the process of strengthening democracy by giving public information and education on the importance of women in politics. Mrs Nantogmah expressed the hope that the number of women in Parliament would increase during the 2008 Elections. 17 Aug. 05