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16.02.2006 General News

Minister declares war on child defilers

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children Affairs, on Thursday declared 2006 as action year on defilement and warned that the Sector would deal with culprits. "To those who defile our children and those still planning to defile, Ministry of Women and children Affairs (MOWAC) is serving notice that this is a year of action. We shall ensure that the long arm of the law certainly catches them", she warned.

Speaking at the weekly Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, Hajia Mahama said MOWAC had developed an action plan to address violence against children, as well as a Child Information System to collect and disseminate information on child related issues.

She said the Ministry would also establish a hotline to facilitate reporting of defilement cases and other abuses and would continue to create the needed awareness to protect the rights of the child. Hajia Mahama also announced that a "Women in Local Governance Funds would be established on March 8, the International Women's Day, to source for funding to support women who wished to participate in district assembly elections.

She explained that the Ministry expected about 2,000 Ghanaians to contribute a million cedis each, totalling two billion cedis into the fund.

The Minister said MOWAC would establish a reliable Gender-Disaggregated Data Base for policy formulation and review, to promote research and policy analysis on women and children development issues, adding that community durbars would also be organised to disseminate government development policies for review.

She said a Human Trafficking Management Board and Secretariat would be established to draw up an action plan to sensitise the public on the Human Trafficking Law to ensure that the law was enforced. She said the Sector would liaise with micro Finance schemes to extend credit and micro finance services to reach one million potentially productive women, and conduct technology audit for 50 women owning and managing enterprises, to enhance product quality and increase income level.

"We will also improve women's economic activities in six selected viable areas namely craft work, gari, shea butter, groundnut oil and palm oil processing and canning of fruits and vegetables through the use of appropriate technology", she said.

Under human resource development, Hajia Mahama said the staff of MOWAC and key collaborating sector agencies would be enhanced in areas of gender analysis, gender policy integration, gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting so as to facilitate effective plan and programme implementation at sector and district levels.

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