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CHRI outdoors project to promote women’s rights and economic empowerment

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the African Centre for Human Right and Sustainable Development (AfCHuRSD) have set in motion a project that seeks to promote equal rights and economic empowerment of women in Ghana.

The Project,which is scheduled to end in 2021,intends to increases awareness, knowledge and understanding of women’s rights among communities and influencers such as local authorities and the media.

It also looks to advocate for the participation of women in leadership at the national and sub- regional levels, while pushing for women’s economic empowerment through capacity building training in administration and business management.

At the unveiling ceremony  in Accra on Thursday, Madam Bernice Naah, Chief  Executive  Officer of  AfCHuRSD,  pointed  out that  their preliminary  focal  group discussions with some  women in areas where the project is to be rolled out revealed that  awareness of the right of women in the rural communities is still low, thus most women continue  to be suppressed.

According to Madam Naah, their interaction also discovered a low level of awareness of  the role of the  agencies set up to protect and prevent the discrimination against women such as the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice, Legal  Aid  and  Domestic  Violence  and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU).

She noted that women continue to battle under representation from that decentralized levels to the  national  levels in political party leadership, local government leadership among other prominent positions in society.

She added, “Women are still disadvantaged in terms of sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment.”

She was optimistic that at the end of the project, women and girls rights would be protected and respected, while Journalists, community leaders, the Police would advocate for, and  provide protection for victims of  human right violations against women.

Rev. Dr. Comfort Asare, Director, Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana, noted that gender equality is very critical in Ghana’s development agenda and thus the wellbeing of all is paramount to the country’s sustainable development.

She emphasized the importance of  getting men  on board  to  push such a laudable initiative forward  because gender equality should not only be championed by women, adding that, “men must take part; we cannot continue without the men.”

She commended the CHRI and AfCHuRSD for the project and pledged the Ministry’s support for the initiative.

Launching the Project, Dr Juliette Tuakli, Chief Executive Officer of Family and Child  Associates, who chaired the event  indicated that Ghana has signed onto many progressive International Conventions that protect the  right of women, however the awareness of  these conventions have remained low among the populace.

Dr Tuakli re-echoed the need for men to play important roles for the agenda of women empowerment to succeed.

She said most women in higher positions are mostly mentored by men, hence there is the need to bring the men on board to push such a course.

On her part, Ms Mina Mensah, Head of Africa Office, CHRI, the project is being implemented to complement the work of other rights- based organizations relative to women empowerment.

Ms Mensah said, “We are doing the work that has already been done by other women based organization.  We are also adding our voice to the ongoing initiatives.  We need the help of everybody to ensure that women take their rightful place in society.”

Statistics from the  2012  Population  and  Housing Census  puts  Ghana’s female population at 51  percent,  yet, women  are underrepresented in Ghana’s Parliament.


 By Mohammed Suleman


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