Kamis, 10 Mei 2012



THE ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) has presented a cheque for $30,000 to three rural based women’s groups engaged in food processing and agriculture to boost their activities.

The beneficiaries are the Lioro Widows Group from the Upper West Region, the Dunenyo Women’s Association at Tokokoe in Ho, and the Otaipro Women’s Group in the Eastern Region.

The groups are to use the funds to secure farming equipment and implements such as  tractors, chemical spraying machines, machetes, hoes, Wellington boots, shelling machines , rain coats, cassava processing machines, donkey ploughs and accessories to enhance their agricultural activities.

The rationale behind the support is to help eradicate poverty and hunger among  rural women and to overcome development challenges confronting them.

At a presentation ceremony in Accra yesterday, the Director of EGDC, Madam Aminatta Dibba, said challenges that continued to confront women, such as poverty, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS and   forms of violence, among others, had continued to place the majority of women at the bottom of the development ladder.

Those factors, she said, had perpetuated and deepened the already wide gender disparities that existed in the communities.

She said the gender revolution was gradually losing its momentum hence the need to re-ignite the gender flame and gather the fighting spirit that had brought women to where they were.

Madam Dibba said: “If the gender revolution is to succeed, it must start with the rural woman, who is the most burdened, the most exploited, the most violated, the most abused and the least respected”.

She said without the social, economic, political and legal empowerment of the rural woman, the fight for gender equality and equity would be meaningless and unsustainable.

In that regard, Madam Dibba said, the ECOWAS Gender Centre had initiated a programme to support women and girls suffering form obstetric fistula in ECOWAS member states, who were mostly from the rural areas.

The Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Madam Juliana Azumah Mensah, said she recognised that rural women in household economic units were responsible for almost 70 per cent of household production contributing to food security in the country.

Within the agricultural sector, rural women undertake a wide range of activities relating to food production, processing and marketing.

She pledged the government’s commitment to empower rural women in order to alleviate poverty.

Madam Mensah also commended the EGDC for providing financial support to the rural woman to further enhance their production, ensure food security and break the cycle of poverty.

For her part, the Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship Development of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Madam Habiba Sumani,said the empowerment of the rural woman would contribute immensely in bridging the gender disparities and inequalities in various communities.

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