Savelugu (N/R), March 31, GNA – Over 1,254 people in the Savelugu/Nanton District in the Northern Region are benefiting from the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) implemented by the government to reduce poverty in households, especially the rural communities.

The NSPS forms part of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), under which it is expected that about 165,000 beneficiary households nationwide would benefit from in the year 2015.

Prince Askia Mohammed, Savelugu/Nanton District Chief Executive (DCE), said this at a two-day regional forum on gender-based violence organized by World Vision (WV) in Savelugu on Friday.

The forum was under the theme: “Engaging our leaders to eliminate impediments to empowerment of rural women and girls”.

Prince Mohammed said government had also made an additional allocation of GHȼ 18 million in the 2012 budget for the LEAP program.

He said under the gender responsive skills and community development programme, government was also providing scholarships to 500 girls in poor households in 50 beneficiary districts to pursue vocational and technical courses.

He said three people in his district were beneficiaries and were currently studying at the community development school in Suyani in the Brong-Ahafo region.

The DCE said that statistics from the department of social welfare indicated that the district had not recorded any cases of gender- based violence in the past two quarters.

Mr Brian Grower, Country Programme Manager-WV,  said gender equality was not only about women because it affected all the sexes and urged society to be bold to defend the rights of women.

He said women played a major role in promoting the development of the country and should therefore be given the necessary encouragement and opportunity to develop their potentials.

Mr Moses Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, in a speech on his behalf, appealed to traditional and religious leaders to use their influence to talk against discrimination against women.

He commended WV for its various interventions to improve the lot of women and said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would collaborate with them to achieve this vision.

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