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09.03.2006 General News

Most women are not aware of the celebration of IWD

By GNA

Sunyani(B/A), March 09, GNA - A cross section of women interviewed in Sunyani by Ghana News Agency on Wednesday about the celebration of International Women's Day (IWD)said they did not realize its importance in their lives.

"Poverty is killing us and life is so difficult for some of us. I do not see the importance of this International Women's Day in my life and that of my family."

"My humble appeal to the organizers is to help us with some financial support to enable us start some business," Madam Ama Adobea, a manicurist said.

She said she became aware of the programme through the radio but had no interest in its celebration since it had not made any positive impact on her daily life.

Ms. Cecilia Antwiwaa, a hawker, told GNA that she was not aware of the celebration and what mattered to her most was how to get money to feed herself and her family.

"I am not aware of such a day, some women would benefit so much from it while some of us are still suffering in this hot sun," she said. Ms. Josephine Arthur, a student of Sunyani Polytechnic said she was not aware of such a day being set aside for women since women were still being marginalized.

"Some of these celebrations are done only in the cities and towns leaving the rural woman who matter most out, I don't even want to hear about it," she added. Others however, noted that women were making strides in the society in their own small ways.

Mrs. Rita Agyeman Ofori, a registrar at Sunyani High Court said she did not share the view that women were being marginalized because to her "everything depends on what a woman wants to be."

She said she was happy to be a woman because women enjoyed many privileges that men did not have, but appealed to the Government to come out with modalities that would help working mothers to get enough time to

care for their babies as enjoyed by health workers. Madam Juliana Amponsah, Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Department of Women, noted that women were making outstanding contributions to society unlike the past.

"Some women in the region have ventured into areas that were formerly preserved for men," she said, citing grass cutter rearing, solar drying for vegetable crops, and large-scale cocoa farming. Madam Amponsah said some queen mothers in the region had organised women to undertake other useful and economic ventures and mentioned Nana Nyarko Dufie, queen mother of Duayaw Nkwanta whom she said had established 'abstinence from sex' clubs for girls. She noted that Nana Dufie occasionally mobilized and sensitised women on issues that would help them improve on their standards of living.

The regional director announced that women in the region would soon benefit from a local governance fund, which would assist them financially to contest in the forth-coming District Assembly elections. Madam Amponsah said the regional celebration of the Day, which should have taken place at Wenchi had to be postponed because the Department was yet to receive its grant and both the District Chief Executive and Member of Parliament for the area expected to participate were not available.

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