As part of the activities to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD), the Ecowas Gender Development Centre (EGDC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) has donated a seed capital of 30,000 dollar to three rural-based women’s groups engaged in processing of agricultural and handicraft products.
Madam Dorothy Onny, Director, Gender Unit and Focal Person for the EGDC, who announced this yesterday in Accra, named the beneficiary groups as the Lioro Widows Group, Dunenyo Women’s Association, and the Otaipro Women’s Group in the Upper West, Volta and Eastern Region respectively.
She noted that the role of rural women in the agricultural sector with regard to food security and the reduction of hunger and poverty in every country would not be overlooked.
Madam Aminatta Diba, Director EGDC, explained that the IWD epitomised not only collective achievements as women, but also daily struggles for survival and for space to be recognised as partners and true citizens of the world.
She said it was appropriate to celebrate the gains made so far in the fight for gender equality and women’s empowerment, adding that it was also worth celebrating international commitments and mechanisms that had over the years been instituted to promote quality and equity in all spheres of life.
The day, she further explained, was set aside to remind everyone of the need to eradicate poverty and hunger.
Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs, for her part, said the Government of Ghana regarded the development of the agricultural and rural sectors as key to economic growth and sustainable development.
She said rural women in every household’s economic unit were responsible for almost 70 percent of household production and therefore responsible for food security in Ghana.
“Therefore, within the agricultural sector, rural women undertake a wide range of activities relating to food production, processing and marketing”, she said.
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah said the government was convinced that poverty alleviation would not be possible unless rural women were supported and empowered and added that the empowerment of rural women would help in achieving internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah advised the three beneficiary women’s groups to utilise the funds effectively and efficiently, adding that her Ministry would closely monitor and evaluate the use of the funds.