Government urged to institute policies to enable women access lands

Bimbila (N/R) The Rural Women farmers of the Nanumba North Municipality has called on Government to institute policies to ensure women had easy access to land for farming purposes.

This, they said, would help solve the long standing land tenure system issues with regards to the difficulties rural women faced in acquiring lands.

“Our culture and traditions have always stressed on how women cannot own land, which is a productive resource to us for food production and ensuring food security for households throughout the year,” they said.

The call was contained in a petition presented on Monday by Mrs Yussif Awulatu, the Chairperson for the Rural Women Farmers of the Nanumba North Municipality through Mr Abdulai Yaquob, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Municipality to government in Bimbila.

The petition was part of the activities to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, under the theme: ‘End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work’: Act to Reduce Women Unpaid Work Care to promote Women Economic Justice and End Violence Against Women and Girls.

A peaceful routine march was also undertaken through the principal streets of Bimbila as part of the 16 days of Activism celebration to commemorate the International Day.

It was organized by ActionAid Ghana in collaboration with Songtaba, a Non-Governmental organization aimed at securing the rights of women and girls.

The event brought together 31 women groups from 17 communities within the Municipality.

In the petition, Mrs Awulatu said violence against women and girls as well as unpaid work care had led to disproportionate responsibilities resulting in women being denied an income, food security, human capital, and political voice.

It said across the world, women and girls faced gender-based discriminations through early or forced marriages, sexual violence and discrimination in the availability of essential infrastructure such as adequate and safely accessible sanitary facilities.

“Within our society, men were typically valued more than women, creating an imbalance of power between genders,” she said.

“The imbalance reinforces that men are higher in intelligence, ability status, and worth”.

Mrs Awulatu said women and girls shoulders a greater responsibility for unpaid care work, which were very time consuming and challenging in rural communities where there were poor infrastructure, limited investment in health and child care centre and lack of access to portable water.

Mrs Safura Abdullah, ActionAid’s Project Officer for Promoting Opportunities for Women Empowerment and Rights, said ActionAid was supporting the rural women and girls as part of its Power Project, by empowering them economically as well as building the rural women’s capacities to be able to challenge the negative social norms that might infringe on their rights in the society.

The rural women farmers, however, called on government to adapt, strengthen and enforce laws and policies on gender-based violence as well as establish shelters to meet the needs of women and girls the Municipality.

They suggested that the MCE and his office should invest in data collection efforts to understand the nature and state of violence against women and girls and to track progress.

The women also appealed to government for the establishment of child care centres as well as mainstreaming the centres into the educational system to help provide free time for women to engage in other productive activities.

They also urged the government to take-up payment of allowance to care givers of three (3) Child Care Centres established by ActionAid Ghana and also called for the provision of more portable sources of water in the communities to help reduce the time women and girls spend walking long distances to fetch water.

Mr Abdulai Yaquob, the District Chief Executive of the Municipality, commended ActionAid Ghana and Songtaba for their continues effort in providing support for both women and girls in the Municipality and assured them that their petition would be discussed at the Assembly meetings and ensure that government would address the concerns raised and appropriate steps would also be taken to alleviate them.

Source: Ghana News Agency