The Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the Department of Women, Ms Malonin Asibi, has urged women, especially those in the rural areas, to be more responsive to the challenges of the environment in order to help improve on their health status and that of their families.
She said most activities and livelihoods of women were dependent on the environment, and there was, therefore, the need for women to always ensure a clean and a healthy environment to help address environmental concerns that led to the spread of diseases like malaria and diarrhoea.
Ms Asibi made the statement when she addressed some market women and traders at the Techiman Central Market and the main lorry park after a five-hour clean-up exercise in the Techiman Municipality as part of activities marking the regional celebrations of this year’s International Women’s Day.
The exercise was organised by the Regional Directorate of the Department of Women in collaboration with Zoomlion Company Limited, a waste management company, and the Techiman Municipal Assembly.
She advised women to observe good personal hygiene, in addition to keeping their environment clean and also join hands with their male counterparts so that together “we would build a healthy and a prosperous nation”.
Speaking on the theme for the celebration: “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity, Progress for All”, Mrs Mercy Larbi, a legal practitioner at the Brong Ahafo office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), stated that a lot of interventions were also put in place after the Beijing Conference, to promote the welfare of women and also to eliminate all forms of negative cultural practices that militated against the rights of women.
She said through the efforts of civil society groups and other governmental agencies, the rights of women and children had been entrenched in national legislation and many women were being encouraged to go into public life.
She noted that since women were agents of change, there was the need for them to lead the crusade for environmental cleanliness and desist from littering, as well as indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Mrs Larbi commended all stakeholders who helped to ensure the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill into law in 2007, to give more meaning to the right and protection of all, especially the vulnerable in society.
In another development, the Assistant Programme Officer of the Department of Women in the Volta Region, Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe-Boni, has stated that the low representation of women in parliament and other levels of decision-making did not give them the needed platform to articulate their views on issues affecting them, reports Tim Dzamboe.
Mrs Kpe-Boni said it was unfortunate that out of 230 parliamentarians in the country only 19 were women and that out of the 18 District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the Volta Region, none was a woman.
She said the tide could only change, if young women would identify their own areas of competence and develop them and also develop leadership potential and actively participate in leadership activities while in school.
Speaking at the launch of the Women’s Week celebration of the Ho Polytechnic, on the theme, “Equipping Today’s Woman to Become an Asset for National Development” she said the 2000 World’s Population Monitoring Report indicated that that sex was the price expected to be paid by millions of women across the world, for many life opportunities.
It mentioned that the opportunities range from gaining admission to overcrowded classrooms, to passing examinations and securing employment.
She also said women should learn to assert themselves as young females and take advantage of opportunities available to them to develop their academic potential, as well as having a role model to look up to.
Mrs Kpe-Boni advised women, especially female students, not to compromise their integrity for short-term favours and advised them to set achievable goals at each stage of their lives and strive to excel in their jobs.
She said when these problems were addressed, then one could talk about women’s empowerment and equipping women with skills for national development, stressing that “empowerment is not something that could be taken for granted but a person needs to aspire to attain the level of empowerment he or she desires”.
Quoting from a 2003 report on population programmes by the UN Economic and Social Council, she talked about the importance of girls’ education and said that was the first step to equipping women for national development.
Launching the week, the Headmistress of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Mawuko Girls Senior High School, Madam Janet Kwasi, asked the students to be focussed and assertive and explore opportunities in motivational talks and others relating to the use of the Internet to enhance their public status.
In a welcoming address, the women’s commissioner, Miss Mavis Yawa Dusu, urged female students to participate actively in all programmes slated for the week. They are Health Talk, Crowning of African Queen, Cooking and eating competition for gentlemen only, Music and Dance, clean-up exercises, Love in the air — Ladies and Gents Nite and a thanksgiving service.