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02.09.2005 General News

Bill on human trafficking would prevent child abuse

GNA

Tamale, Sept 2, GNA- Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) has said that the Human Trafficking Bill which was recently passed by Parliament would help prevent the trafficking of children within and outside the country to do hazardous work. She said it would also curb the incidence whereby young girls migrate from the rural areas to the urban centres to be "Kayayee" with its attendant risk and possibility of been infected with the HIV/AIDS disease. Hajia Alima was addressing the Connexional Biennial Conference of the Methodist Women's Fellowship in Tamale on Friday. The occasion, which also marks 170 years of the church's mission, was on the Theme: "Making disciples of all nations- The role of the women's fellowship.

She said the Ministry was also developing another important document-- the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy framework, which would ensure the holistic approach to the development of children in their formative years. She encouraged parents especially mothers to send their children to school and not to discriminate between girls and boys but ensure that they were all given the same opportunity to develop their potentials.

Hajia Alima announced that the government was setting up a micro-credit and small loans scheme to harmonize all existing sponsored credit programmes and urged women to take advantage of it to access credit facilities to expand their businesses.

She urged the Methodist Women's Fellowship to expand the scope of their capacity building to include employable skills that would help women to earn income to support their families.

The sector Minister also encouraged women to undertake income-generating activities in order to generate more income for women's development needs.

Hajia Alima said her Ministry would collaborate with women groups in churches to educate the youth and the women on their civic responsibilities as a way of "stamping out the pervasive indiscipline that had crept into almost all facet of the Ghanaian society".

She stressed the need for children to be given proper moral training in order to produce discipline and morally upright future leaders. She said were approximately 200,000 orphans in the country as a result of their parents dying from HIV/AIDS and therefore cautioned women to be extra careful in their sexual relations and also educate their children on the dangers of the disease.

Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface Northern Regional Minister said the country couldn't realize any meaningful development without the active participation of women since they constitute 50 per cent of the population.

He said in realization of this the government was putting in place structures to empower women both economically and politically and encourage women to take advantage of these openings to develop themselves.

He made special reference to the Presidents Special Initiatives on cassava, maize, palm oil and salt production to enhance their economic status.

Alhaji Boniface entreated Christian mothers to pray for peace in the country and particularly in the Northern Region, saying that, "if there is no peace in the region then the country as a whole will have no peace."

The Rt. Rev. Joseph Atto Brown Bishop of the Northern Ghana Diocese said Christian mothers had a crucial role to play in the evangelization of the world because of the influence they have in the family and society.

He cited several examples from the Bible where women played a leading role by witnessing to people about the salvation of the world through Jesus Christ. He said if people embraced the gospel and are saved, the world would be spared the numerous conflicts and wars currently happening all over the globe. Sept. 02 05

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