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Empower Women for Accelerated Development - Minister

2007-03-02 11:33:05
This article has been read 761 times.

Northern Regional Minister
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, has called for the economic and educational empowerment of women, particularly those in the Northern region, to put them in positions of responsibility.

He said statistics showed that 86 per cent of women in the Northern Region could not read and write as compared to 68 per cent of their male counterparts.

Also, 15.7 per cent of the teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years in the region are mothers.

The minister said this at a seminar held in Tamale as part of the Ghana @ 50 celebration on the theme "Women’s contribution to Ghana’s development."

He said: "There is no tool for development that is more powerful than the educational and economic empowerment of women. A single year of schooling can increase a women’s wage by 10-20 per cent".

Alhaji Mustapha said if the literacy rate among women were improved upon it would raise the status of women, help reduce poverty and accelerate the development of the Northern Region.

A Senior lecturer at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Agnes Atia Apusigah, called for more attention to be paid to gender and gender related issues.

She said: "There is the general perception in Ghana that women issues are receiving undue attention based on the argument that gender is imposed".

She said the socio-economic development of the country had slowed because of the inability to explore and tap all human resources potentials, particularly that of women.

Dr Apusigah said as the marginalized in society, there was the need to adopt "positive discriminating policies" in favour of women such as providing them with credit facilities, land and equipping them with the right technology and attitudes.

The Regional Director of the Department of Women, Mr. Zakari-Saa, said it was unjustified to concentrate power and participation in developmental activities in the hands of 49 per cent of the population who are men while relegating 51 per cent to women.

He said his outfit was putting in place an annual programme starting from this year to present awards to eminent women who had worked very hard in diverse ways in the development of the country.

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