The Executive Director of the Development Action Association (DAA), a women empowerment organisation, Mrs Lydia Sasu, has urged women to work hard to reduce poverty in the country.
Speaking at the launch of activities in Accra to mark the 20th anniversary of the association on the theme : “Empowering rural women for 20 years,” Mrs Sasu said training women to operate their own businesses was one of the ways that could help eradicate poverty among them.
In this way, she said, women would no longer be a burden on society and the country as a whole.
“To reduce poverty, the DAA is there to empower women to be self-reliant and to participate fully in their own development by providing the necessary requirements to start their own businesses,” she said.
The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Francis Ato Cudjoe, said that government was implementing policies to address gender disparities in leadership and entrepreneurship as well as the specific needs of millions of rural women working in the informal economy.
He said policies that were vital to safeguarding rural women and economic empowerment including enhancing access to economic resources and opportunities, productive resources, jobs, health services, social protection and education, are being implemented across the country in collaboration with all stakeholders including men and women and non-governmental organisations.
“In the fisheries sector, through the women empowerment programme, the ministry, together with DAA and other partners, has trained and empowered women through improved fish processing and handling facilities, provision of artisanal fish containers, and 500 free Ahoto ovens,” he said.
He said the government would also provide access to formal market, value chains, technologies and practices.
"The Development Action Association has provided a training centre for women and has assisted the oyster’s pickers to embark on their work during the close season."
Mr Ato explained that social norms, laws and practices limited women’s access to essential assets including natural resources as well as social assets such as participating in rural organisation and other decision-making bodies.
“For rural women, migration by men means they have to take care of their family by working extra hard in farms, beaches and markets to provide food and livelihood for their dependents” he noted.
“In such things, mostly the rate of poverty is very high and in Ghana, coastal communities are the most vulnerable and poor” he stated.
“It is, therefore, not surprising that there are a lot of vices and crimes such as human and child trafficking due to the fact that these traffickers use the vulnerabilities of these women and girls to harm them” he noted.
He commended the DAA for being instrumental in empowering rural women in the agricultural sector, including women in fisheries, to actively participate in development and being self-reliant.