Sheila Minkah Premo
Sheila Minkah Premo

She observed that though women were the majority in the agricultural sector, they continued to remain poor with limited resources and little opportunity in increasing their agricultural investment as a result of weak enforcement of statutory laws that protect their rights.

Sheila Minkah Premo
Sheila Minkah Premo

Mrs Minka-Premo was speaking on the topic “Land Rights for women in securing decent and sustainable livelihood” at a ceremony to mark this year’s International Women’s Day on Tuesday at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

It was organised by the Centre for Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) as part of the UCC’s ongoing “Hamattan School on Gender and Land Rights” which focuses on women’s access and control of land.

The global theme for the celebration was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: step it up for Gender Equality”.

The legal practitioner stressed that land policies and legislations needed to be reviewed to strengthen the rights of the poor, women and other marginalised groups to increase their access to land and other resources to lift them out of poverty.

She stated that unless women were supported to increase their access to land and security of tenure over land and other resources, they were less likely to break out of the poverty cycle.

Mrs. Minkah-Premo also lamented over Parliament’s lack of commitment to pass into law the Property Rights of Spouses and the Intestate Succession Bills, which were both introduced in 2008 and wondered if they could ever be passed.

This, she said, was an indictment on Ghana as a State that signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which required all parties to abide by its tenets.

She argued that even though Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution made provision for affirmative action, women were still largely excluded from the policy making space as there were no laws that ensured that women’s issues were properly addressed.

She, therefore, called for specific laws and policies to be enacted in accordance with article 17 of the Constitution to change the current trend.

She also called for specific strategies to be put in place to equip women farmers to increase their agricultural investment.

Professor George Kweku Toku Oduro, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UCC, noted that women continued to play significant development roles in various sectors of the economy.

He said Ghana must make conscious efforts to utilize the knowledge and skills young women had acquired through education in order to maximize the benefits associated with women towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

He bemoaned the current restrictions imposed on recruitment of workers by the International Monitory Fund (IMF) which was having negative effects on quality of education, a key goal in the SDGs.

The situation, he observed, has left many graduates especially in the health and education sectors unemployed, and stressed that Government must ensure that trained and educated women were not left unemployed.

Source: GNA

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