Mr Nicholas Osei Owusu, the Executive Director of the Perfector of Sentiment Foundation (POS), a civil society organization, says the economic empowerment of women is critical to promoting equal rights, curbing gender inequality and gender-based violence in society.
He said it was important for policy makers and development planners to build the capacities of women and to equip them with skills needed to improve on their income status and livelihoods.
Mr Owusu was addressing a three-day workshop funded by the German Development Agency (GIZ) on the theme: “Gender Equity, Women Economic Empowerment and Access to Justice; Grassroot engagement towards facilitating SME Growth,” at Assin Fosu.
The workshop brought together more than 60 participants, including Queen mothers, Teachers, Women Leaders, Community Based Organizations within the Assin South, North and Central Assemblies, Ghana Police Service, and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Mr Owusu said the training was to identify obstacles that impede women’s development and to introduce policies to enhance women’s access to justice and Economic Empowerment.
He said the goal was to design measures through capacity building and the use of community-based paralegals to strengthen and ensure that the justice chain was gender-responsive and effective.
Mr Owusu said there was a need for women to be educated on financial management to enable them to participate in economic activities and to also seek protection from socio-cultural intimidation and impediments.
“When women are financially impoverished, they become more vulnerable and find it difficult to access their rights as compared to those who are financially independent in their communities,” he said.
The Executive Director, therefore, appealed to the authorities to economically empower women to help reduce poverty and improve their economic lives.
Mr Nicholas Kofi Baako, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Assin Central, said economic empowerment was about women being able to earn income and to manage their finances.
This, he noted, would enable them to build financial security, increase influence over their household budget and stand up for their rights to fight against discrimination, violence and harmful traditional practices.
He charged women to acquire the necessary skills and techniques to improve their wellbeing and to make them competitive in the labour market.
The MCE said women must be provided job opportunities, leadership roles, access to financiers, credits, technologies and markets to contribute effectively to sustained economic growth and development in the communities and the country.