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FIDA-Ghana Trains Community Aid Groups in U/E


2007-05-01 08:59:49
This article has been read 858 times.

FIDA-GHANA, a non-governmental organization, has organized a four-day intensive training workshop on improving women’s access to justice for Community Aid Groups selected from three Districts in the Upper East Region.

The participants were taken through topics like Women’s Rights, Child Rights, Marriage and Divorce Laws in Ghana, Basic Legal Terminologies, Basic Counseling Techniques, Legal Ethics and the Paralegal, and Mediation.

A durbar to crown it all was held at Soe in the Bolgatanga Municipality to certify the qualified Community Aids Groups and also inaugurate the Association of Community Aids Groups in the Region.

The Upper East Project Coordinator of FIDA-Ghana, Mr. David Atinga, in his welcome address, described as laudable and timely, his organization’s initiative to improve women’s access to justice in Northern Ghana.

After a brief history of FIDA-Ghana, Mr. Atinga explained that the organization’s programmes include sensitization workshops and durbars on women and children’s rights, paralegal training, formations of Sister Watch Groups, Community Aid Groups as well as formation of Model Courts among others.

He stated that his outfit through these programmes and structures would fight to eliminate unhealthy practices and constraints such as domestic violence against women, widowhood rights performance and inheritance, denial of widows from participating in their late husbands’ estates and above all the general inability of women to access justice at the family, clan, community and even national levels.

He expressed the hope that the programmes would be supported to effect change in the beneficiary communities and emphasized that “it should not be seen as a group of women fighting against men”

The Upper East Regional Director of Department of Women, Madam Paulina Abayage noted that though the formulators of the cultural practices did not have any intention to put women in a subordinate condition, subsequent generations had made them look like that, hence the need for their abolishment.

She said the impact of negative cultural practices has been noticeable among women because women were the majority in the society.

Underscoring the importance of education, Madam Abayage condemned the attitude of some men who withdrew their elderly daughters from school to take care of the younger ones in case of divorce, indicating that such practice would affect the welfare and future of the children.

In a speech delivered on his behalf, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Isaac Nsoh Amoah said government alone could not provide the total needs of the people and therefore lauded the support of NGOs such as FIDA-Ghana and other benevolent organisations to the benefit of the communities.

He learnt that FIDA-Ghana’s programmes and activities which sought to assist women to tackle critical issues that affect their socio-economic lives were directed at reducing poverty in the communities.

For this, Mr. Amoah noted that FIDA-Ghana has demonstrated its commitment to support the government’s call in the partnership for the overall development of the nation and in its drive to achieve middle-income status by the year 2015.

The MCE was hopeful that “when the identified negative cultural practices are completely eliminated, then we will have a better society to live in, devoid of discrimination and rancour.”

He reminded the participants that they had been trained to be role models in all respects and to guide the conduct of their communities and urged them to live up to the task.

source: Chronicle

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