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 are engaged in 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 at the Techiman Municipality in Bono East, Sunyani Municipality, Tano North Municipality in Ahafo and Tolong-Kumbungu in the Northern Region.
The WISE Project, according to Mrs Patricia Gyan-Bassaw, the Project Lead, aimed at providing viable economic opportunities for the beneficiaries and empowered them to be innovative to increase productivity.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a durbar to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, held at Nkrakrom 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, and 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 women to highlight their cultural, political and socio-economic achievements across the globe.
Touching on the theme: “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” and “Breaking the Bias,” Mrs Gyan-Bassaw said women’s equal access to land and affordable financial services and information ought to be prioritised to achieve their economic empowerment.
“Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Infact when a woman thrives, all of society benefits,” she said.
Mrs Gyan-Bassaw underlined the need to empower rural women and girls in decent work, social protection, education, training, financial inclusion, decision-making and leadership.
She said eliminating gender, 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 them on the path to sustainable economic growth.
Plan International Ghana was, therefore, promoting women economic empowerment by implementing the WISE Project, which would also ensure their wellbeing and inclusive economic growth, she said.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, encouraged women to take responsibility in leadership positions and play their pivotal roles 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.
The globe was moving forward towards gender balance and equality for men and women, she said, adding that: “Having women in leadership positions should become the norm and not an exception”.
Mr Eric Ayaaba, the Plan International Ghana’s Project Manager, explained that the NGO sought to improve the socio-economic livelihoods of vulnerable young women and girls through gender transformative programming.
“Plan International Ghana provides support for women to learn, lead and decide,” he said.