Ms Esi Andoh, Executive Secretary, IWEN
Ms Esi Andoh, Executive Secretary, IWEN

A civil society actor has advocated for a gender sensitive society that will provide opportunity for indigenous women to contribute to the decision making processes at all levels and enhance their socio-economic livelihoods.

Maame Esi Andoh, the Executive Secretary of the Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN), a non-governmental organisation, said indigenous women are not active in local governance because the country’s local government structures and systems were gender biased.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), she said a “just and gender sensitive society” would create an equal platform and opportunity that would spur and push women to participate and contribute to policies.

Maame Andoh said majority of the indigenous women are still marginalized, though they play critical roles in building a healthy society, hence the need to build their capacity and confidence by identifying and addressing peculiar challenges that impede their socio-economic growth and development.

“When we build the capacity of indigenous women in local government, it will ignite their political consciousness and push them to contribute meaningfully towards addressing issues affecting their progress to build a better society”, she said.

Maame Andoh said these and other daunting challenges confronting indigenous women necessitated the formation of IWEN so as to address critical issues affecting especially the few indigenous women in leadership position.

IWEN, network made up of indigenous women leaders, vulnerable women and girls aims at bringing forth the voices of indigenous people, especially women and youth in decision-making at all levels.

The network derived from the diverse rural and underserved communities in Ghana.

Maame Andoh said it is important to build stronger and a more effective inter-governmental relations that would create a common avenue to help address the priority needs of women and girls.

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