Rabu, 19 Oktober 2011


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Programmes Manager of ActionAid Ghana, Mr Kwesi Ohemeng-Agyei, has stressed the need for the government, traditional authorities, civil society organisations and all related agencies and individuals to  work to put structures in place at the local and various levels in  support of the course of rural women.

He said there was the need to ensure that the right of women to land and inheritance was guaranteed and also equal access was provided for women farmers and women in the rural communities in decision making processes.

Mr Ohemeng-Agyei stated this at a forum to mark the International Day for Rural Women held in Accra on October 15. The theme for the celebration was; The Role of Women Farmers in the Agricultural Value Chain.

The International Rural Women’s Day is celebrated every year to recognise the role that rural women play in enhancing agricultural and rural development and how to improve food security, to eradicate rural poverty in the country.

He said there was the need to monitor policies related to gender equality, facilitate women’s empowerment and ensure that laws related to the respect of the rights of women were enforced.

He said women in the rural areas generally worked as subsistence farmers to produce food to feed their families and make money for other basic needs, but had little influence over how to spend household income.

“Providing women with better opportunities to grow their own crops for sale, undertake paid work in the agro industry, or take on other paid activities in the rural sector is critical to increasing their bargaining power within the home and also legitimise their control over key material resources,” he said

Mr Agyei further explained that the obstacles faced by rural women undermined their opportunities for success such as access to public and social infustructure, unequal acess to credit and other important resources like land and water.

He therefore advised rural women to make use of opportunities available to them to elevate their status within their families and communities.

The Chairperson for the occasion, Madam Margret Kyei Manu said the role of the woman farmers could not be under-estimated in the agricultural value chain and stressed the need to give them the opportunity to operate in the agricultural value chains for stronger and enormous profit margins.

Rural women comprise more than one quarter of the total world population and out of this number 500 million women live below the poverty line in the rural areas.

Pix: Some women who attended a forum at Amasaman, near Accra to mark the International Day for Rural Women

INSET: Madam Lydia Sasu, Chief Director of Development Action Associaton (DAA) displaying an award she recieved from the Women’s World Summit Forum (WWSF) for her contribution and support to rural women in Ghana.

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