Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana has organized a two-day national launch and orientation forum for its latest initiative, “Economic Justice for Rural Women in West Africa,” in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

The event organized on August 21st and 22nd, 2023, was hosted to create awareness and discuss the key strategies and modalities for the implementation of the project.

The “Economic Justice for Rural Women in West Africa” project was first initiated by the WiLDAF West Africa Regional Office in collaboration with Care International with funding support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) on March 20, 2023, in Togo.

The project, scheduled for a period of two years, spanning 2023 to 2025, is being financed by the African Women’s Development Fund.

Its overall objective is to contribute to improved economic justice for women farmers and members of Village savings and Loans Schemes (VSLAs) groups in West Africa, including Benin and Ghana.

Speaking at the launch held at the first event date, National Programmes Coordinator of WILDAF Ghana, Melody Darkey, underscored the importance of addressing the economic struggles faced by rural women in the region, emphasizing their often-overlooked role in agriculture, unpaid care work, and small-scale trading.

She detailed the project’s goal of enhancing women’s capacity in economic decision-making processes while reducing the gender inequalities they face in accessing, owning, and controlling economic resources.

Her speech was met with applause and approval from attendees when the project goal was mentioned, according to her which seeks to advocate for the economic and social rights of rural women in West Africa

Darkey pointed out that WiLDAF Ghana would be collaborating with various stakeholders such as government institutions, civil society organizations, and communities to empower these rural women economically and socially.

To ensure the initiative’s success, she pleaded with all parties involved to contribute in any way possible.

In her opening remarks, Care International Regional Advocacy Coordinator Regina Baiden hailed the project as a “beacon of hope” that aimed to ensure economic justice for women farmers and members of sacred groups in Benin and Ghana.

She expressed her outfit’s gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with WiLDAF Ghana and Women in Agriculture Platform (WAP) to implement the project within the two West African countries.

She bemoaned the obstacles that prevent women from advancing economically in terms of their access to and control over productive resources, technology, and practices, among other things, but she was nonetheless confident that through the collaborative project, the parties involved are in a position to significantly improve the economic circumstances of women.

Madam Baiden urged all parties to work toward pursuing economic justice and uniting their voices in support of rural farmers.

In an interview conducted on the sidelines of the event, Paulina Addy, Director of the Women in Agriculture Development Directorate at the Ministry for Food and Agriculture, urged WiLDAF Ghana and its partners to always make it a point to monitor the project’s progress at all levels to ensure its success.

The Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme Manager at WiLDAF Ghana, Lois Aduamoah-Addo, gave an overview of the project and identified the two communities in Ghana that will benefit from it: Bawku West District and Nabdam East District.

She asserted that the success of the project would determine the lengths to which WiLDAF Ghana and partners, including stakeholders, would go in order to give women the voice they require to thrive.

For her part, the Executive Director of Women in Agriculture Platform (WAP), Gilberta Akuka, expresses her profound gratitude to WiLDAF Ghana and partners for the initiative, which would help shape lives and empower her platform members to gain their economic freedom.

The two-day national launch of the project was graced by the presence of numerous esteemed entities, including government representatives, development partners, the media, academia, and organizations that champion women’s rights.

WiLDAF Ghana, founded in 1993, is an African women’s rights organization that works towards the promotion and protection of women’s rights according to international standards.

The queen mother of Mamprobi, Naa Obeyo Dromo I, presided over the project’s launch.  She stated her expectation that the “Economic Justice for Rural Women in West Africa” project will significantly alter the social and economic circumstances of women living in rural West Africa.

WiLDAF Ghana’s project launch proves to be a significant step in alleviating the economic disparities faced by rural women in West Africa. By providing women with the necessary tools and resources, and empowerment through rights education and knowledge, the project is set to usher in a new era of women’s economic liberation in rural West Africa.

The project aims to impact the lives of women in Ghana and Benin directly and indirectly with focus on Women in Agriculture Platforms (WAP). Its primary objectives include strengthening the economic governance systems at local, national, and regional levels to promote gender equality in economic policies, amplifying the voices of rural women at these levels, and enhancing women’s access to productive resources.

Source:Joseph Wemakor|humanrightsreporters.com

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