The Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC), a Tamale gender-based advocacy organization, has organized a two-day awareness raising workshop in Tamale on sexual harassment and women?s rights.
Some departmental heads and agencies as well as business owners from the Tamale Metropolis took part in the workshop, which aimed at ensuring that women were treated decently at work places, especially in the Northern Region.
ActionAid-Ghana and the Norwegian Development Corporation supported NORSAAC to organize the programme under the Young Urban Women Project. NORSAAC is working with some more than 2,000 young women to break the chain of poverty to enhance their economic participation and sexual rights.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Executive Director of NORSAAC, said the Innovative Sexuality Education Project, being undertaken by his outfit, was to promote human rights and governance on reproductive health and adolescence issues.
He said the project was one of the several embarked by NORSAAC as part of its efforts to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by the year 2015.
Mr Awal said the project would continue to meet the growing concerns of the sexuality needs of more than 2,000 young women in NORSAAC?s operational districts in the Northern Region and expressed the hope that the workshop would help address the bottlenecks relating to the rights of women at work places.
Ms Kawusada Abubakari, Project Coordinator of the Young Urban Women Project, said NORSAAC was also training the young urban women to be vocal so that their voices would be heard in international forums.
She said that some women at work places, especially those with babies, were often discriminated against while in some institutions, nursing mothers were not allowed to send their babies to work, which served as a disincentive for female workers to bear children.
Some of the young urban women participants attributed forced marriages in the Upper East Region to the attraction of using four or more cows as dowry and called for a review in the dowry system to ensure that females were allowed to go to school.
One young female participant explained that she was a victim of forced marriage until NORSAAC intervened to get her out of the marriage because her parents needed four cows and had to force her into early marriage.
She said some families who were poor in the Upper East Region were always quick to give their daughters out for marriages sometimes at the tender age of 12, irrespective of whether the person was in school or not.