GHANA BASELINE REPORT ON ACTIONAID’S POWER PROJECT LAUNCHED IN ACCRA

Thirty  per cent of all jobs under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme will be dedicated to women and 10 per cent to Persons with Disability (PWDs), the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba, has disclosed.

 

Hon. Djaba said under the Gender Policy of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), the Ministry would prioritize skills training and provide start-up capital to all women on completion of their skills training programmes.

 

The Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, who was delivering the key note address at the international launch of the Ghana Baseline Report on the Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) project in Accra, yesterday, described women as vessels of creation and production and urged them to claim their rightful place as equal partners with men in society.

 

ActionAid Ghana is implementing the five-year ‘POWER’ project, with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aims to empower 6,000 rural women and influence their ability to control their income by practising climate-resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA).

 

The Project is in recognition of the drudgery of Unpaid Care Work (UCW) and promoting economic livelihood opportunities for women and seeks to advocate for a reduction and redistribution of the work burden on women while ensuring their economic sustainability by supporting them to access markets and other productive resources.

 

The Project is being implemented in collaboration with six local partners in 5 regions in Ghana, namely the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions.

 

The local partners are SONGTARA, Botitaba Nahira Taaba Development Union (BONATADU), Widows and Opharns Movement (WCM) and the Social Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA).

 

The others are the Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD) and the Global Action for Women’s Empowerment (GLOWA).

 

Presenting an overview of the POWER project, Ms Nafisa Azumi, Project Co-ordinator, said the campaign against UCW was to advocate for flexible working conditions for all females, especially those in the rural areas.

 

Ms Azimi explained UCW as a situation in which females performed so many “wifely and homely duties” to the detriment of their economic careers.

 

She mentioned cleaning, washing, fetching water, taking care of children, carrying firewood as well as satisfying their partners sexually as examples of UCW.

 

She said there was the need for society to collectively work to influence policies and change attitudes and perceptions and to relieve females of their many burdens, adding that care work should be valued, reduced and re-distributed.

 

Ms Azimi said it became necessary  for  a Baseline study to be undertaken to understand the situation at the start of the project to help inform project approaches and ActionAid’s strategies, provide evidence of advocacy and to collect indicator data for the measurement of project progress.

 

The Baseline Report, she said,  was the outcome of the Study conducted as part of project implementation strategies in the project communities to get a clear and scientific picture of women’s economic circumstances and give significant pointers to how development needs were to be executed to benefit people living in poverty.

 

In her remarks, the Executive Director of ABANTU for Development, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, noted that both paid and unpaid work were critical to national development efforts.

 

Dr Mensah-Kutin said more sensitization was, therefore, required for all Ghanaians to recognize and appreciate the value of UCW.

 

Welcoming participants to the launch, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, Country Director, ActionAid Ghana, stressed the need for debate about inequalities at the global level and between countries to start at the household and family level, where women continued to bear the brunt of UCW, discrimination and other forms of social and economic injustice.  

 

Mr Abdul-Rahman said the study results should discourage society from the negative attitudes towards women and work to improve gender relations, adding that there was the need for informed dialogue on the study with all stakeholders and civil society partners, women rights movements and the media.

 

He said the POWER project was an extension of three-year Women’s Rights to Sustainable Livelihoods (WRSL) Project which was successfully implemented in Ghana, adding that the POWER Project would build on the gains of WRSL by addressing women’s economic empowerment in an integrated approach.

 

The international launch of the Ghana Baseline Report on the POWER project, therefore, represented an important phase of the project as it provided the platform for POWER-implementing countries, to assess and appraise project implementation strategies, work out the challenges and build partnerships necessary for project success.

 

About one hundred participants, including representatives from ActionAid Pakistan, ActionAid Rwanda, ActionAid Bangladesh, Women Smallholder Farmers, Ghana and ABANTU for Development were present at the launch.

 

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)