Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), a Non-Governmental Organization, has started implementing a gender sensitive project in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region to promote gender parity and access to equal rights and opportunities.

The one-year project dubbed “Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls (EROP)” is funded by the Dutch Embassy in Ghana and implemented in five selected communities in the district; Poligu, Kumbosgo, Dulugu, Gambibgo and Yarigabisi.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after a three-day capacity building training for selected women and men from the beneficiary communities, Madam Matilda Yineboma Ayamga, the National Programmes Coordinator, PPAG, said their aim was to bridge the gender-gap between men and women.

Madam Ayamga said the project would also eliminate sexual and gender based violence and domestic violence against women and girls in homes and communities to promote sustainable development.

“The project aims at building the capacity of women and girls on how to peacefully stand for their rights to avoid abuse and contribute to their families and communities’ development”, she added.

She said the three-day training was to empower the participants on basic knowledge and skills on human rights and responsibilities especially regarding sexual and reproductive health rights, effective communication skills and how to mainstream gender related issues into the development of their various homes and communities.

“The project wants to bridge the gap that exists in the communities as far as gender is concerned, so these women who are being backed by some men are trained to offer some step down discussion to other men and women about the gender disparities and help reduce the sexual and gender-based violence in the communities,” she said.

Madam Ayamga also said as part of the project, beneficiary women would be given livelihood empowerment in skills training such as beads making, soap making, weaving and sewing among others.

This, she added, would empower them economically to contribute to the upkeep of their families and help reduce conflicts in families.

She said the NGO was working with key stakeholders such as the District Assembly, traditional and opinion leaders and the Ghana Health Service among others to ensure a successful implementation of the project.

Ms Beatrice Adingoom, a participant from the Dulugu community, lauded the efforts of the PPAG and its partners and noted that the training had widened her knowledge on some basic human rights and responsibilities which would play a key role in reducing domestic conflicts.

Madam Mary Atiah, another beneficiary from the Yarigabisi community, said the knowledge acquired during the training would be shared among her colleagues to ensure that gender issues were addressed for accelerated development.

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