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14.02.2006 Regional News

MOWAC meets the press

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - Ghanaians are increasingly becoming gender sensitive and appreciative of the significant contributions women make towards the stability, development and economic growth of the country. Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC), who gave an overview of the achievements of the Ministry on Tuesday, said the current support from Ghanaians served as a potential base for moving rapidly towards women's advancement and the achievement of gender equality and equity.

Taking her turn at the meet the press series in Accra, Hajia Mahama said the tremendous support from women, children and men of Ghana implied that the objectives for which MOWAC was set up were laudable. On achievements of the Ministry, Hajia Mahama said the Sector had completed the dissemination and sensitisation on the Domestic Violence Bill in all the 10 regions including National House of Chiefs, Queen mothers and religious bodies and that, views collated have been summarised and sent to Cabinet for consideration.

The Ministry also in collaboration with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies embarked on programmes and activities like HIV/AIDS and contraception, maternal and child health, agricultural projects and micro-financing all aimed at improving the lot of on women. Under micro credit, Hajia Mahama said 10.443 billion cedis was disbursed among more than 10,000 women beneficiaries all over the country to improve women's socio-economic status.

She said MOWAC in conjunction with other stakeholders prepared and launched the Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Guidelines to respond to issues on risks associated with OVC affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.

An Orphanage Inventory to guide government interventions to address the problems confronting orphans, particularly those resulting from social misplacement and the HIV/AIDS epidemic consisting the compilation of regional and district data on orphanages in Ghana was also being analysed.

On the allegation of child labour in cocoa farms, Hajia Mahama said investigation by the Ministry revealed that some of the children of the local people worked with their parents during non-school hours as part of local level initiative for skill transfer.

She queried: "How many of the professors and us here did not help our parents on the farms on vacations or sold things to support the home? Did that stop us from rising to the top?"

She, therefore, asked the local media that understood local issues better than their foreign counterparts to always ensure that they reported accurately on issues that hinged on the culture of the people.

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