Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA-GH), a women empowerment Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has launched a project to enhance the protection of women and young girls against violence and promote gender equality at all levels in the Northern region.
The project, dubbed ‘Women Empowerment for Leadership and Action for Development (Women-LEAD)’, seeks to promote women and girls’ empowerment through mobilisation and establishment of capacity building and advocacy platforms. It would also influence the implementation of gender-sensitive policies through engagements with duty bearers and stakeholders responsible for women-related issues.
The three-year project is being funded by Global Affairs Canada and Plan International Ghana, under the auspices of Plan International’s ‘Women’s Voice and Leadership’ project in Ghana. It would be implemented in five communities in the Tamale Metropolis and five communities in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern region.
Planning Officer for the Tamale Metro Assembly (TMA), Alhaji Inusah Abukari, who represented the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Musah Superior, speaking at the launch of the project commended the organisation for the initiative to empower more women from rural areas to take up leadership positions.
“It is a very good project but we expect that whatever plans they have for the period, they should collaborate with us so that we can put it in our medium term plans,” he said, before reiterating the commitment of the assembly to collaborate with institutions to champion the affairs of women stating, “women empowerment is part of development of the assembly.”
Executive Director of SWIDA-GH, Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed, said the outfit has identified a high prevalence rate of gender-based obstacles facing women in the implementing districts, hence the need for this initiative to help curb the problem.
“The idea of the project is to make sure that the women that we have in the system, whether in leadership position or are preparing to go in for leadership position, are sensitised and encouraged to take up certain positions and manage them well,” she said.
“We have also identified the problem of low level of women’s participation in decision-making in their communities, and we deem it necessary to tackle the issue through this project so that women can also contribute to the development of their communities,” she added.
She noted that the project is to ensure women don’t occupy the positions merely for publicity but play active roles in the decision-making process to address issues relevant to them.
Women-LEAD Project Lead at the SWIDA-GH, Khadijah Abdul-Samed, said the project would help form girls in leadership clubs in basic and tertiary schools to help the campaign against gender-based violence in their communities.
She noted that the beneficiary women would be trained in entrepreneurship on economic empowerment and agribusiness opportunities to help improve the livelihoods of women and girls.
She explained that the organisation would also collaborate with the religious and traditional authorities to highlight and help eradicate social norms that impeded women and girls empowerment and find lasting solutions to such issues.