Plan International Ghana, a Non-governmental organisation is empowering 12,641 women economically, to make them self-reliant.
The beneficiaries, spread across Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Northern Regions are being provided with technical training in bee keeping, mushroom production and snail rearing, while others have been taken through the soya bean value chain.
They are mostly women between 19 and 55 years, drawn from 303 groups benefiting from the NGO’s Women’s Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) project.
Global Affairs Canada is funding the Wise project in 90 communities in Techiman Municipality in Bono East, Sunyani Municipality, Tano North Municipality in Ahafo and Tolong-Kumbungu of the Northern regions.
The Wise project, according to Mrs Patricia Gyan-Bassaw, the Project Lead aimed at providing viable economic opportunities for the beneficiaries, and further empowered them to be innovative and increase productivity.
Speaking at a durbar to mark the this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), held at Nkrankrom in the Sunyani Municipality, Mrs Gyan-Bassaw said the project would greatly improve on the socio-economic livelihoods of the beneficiaries.
“This is because the WISE project focuses on empowering women to engage in viable economic ventures by improving women agency, increasing productivity, profitability and innovation of women businesses”, she said.
The United Nations (UN) has set aside March 8, every year for the celebration of the IWD to highlight the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women across the globe.
Touching on the theme “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, breaking all bias”, Mrs Gyan-Bassaw said women’s equal access to land and affordable financial services and information ought to be prioritized in order to achieve women’s economic empowerment.
“Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. In fact when a woman thrives, all of society benefits” she said.
Mrs Gyan-Bassaw underlined the need to empower rural women and girls in the areas of decent work and social protection, education and training, financial inclusion, including women in decision making and leadership.
She said eliminating gender and sexual and domestic violence and harmful practices among other interventions would enable women and girls to recover from the current global challenges, including climate change and position themselves on the path to sustainable economic growth.
“Plan International Ghana is therefore promoting women economic empowerment by implementing the WISE project which seeks to contribute to increasing the realization of the right to economic empowerment, wellbeing and inclusive economic growth for targeted women in Ghana”, she added.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister encouraged women to take responsibility in leadership positions, saying women had a pivotal role to play to positively impact society.
“Career and motherhood can go together and we must therefore strive to access productive resources including information and support systems to push and achieve our socio-economic successes”, she said.
She said the globe was moving forward towards gender balance and equality for men and women, saying “having women in leadership positions should become the norm and not exception”.
Mr Eric Ayaaba, Plan International Ghana’s Project Manager explained his outfit sought to improve the socio-economic livelihoods of particularly vulnerable young women and girls through gender transformative programming.
Plan International Ghana programmes provide support for women to learn, lead, and decide, he stated.