Plan International Ghana in partnership with Global Affairs Canada is empowering rural women in Ghana through an initiative dubbed “Women’s Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise” (WISE).
The WISE project is built on the inspiration, power and potential of Ghanaian women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses and seeks to contribute to increase realization of right to economic empowerment, wellbeing and inclusive economic growth for targeted women in Ghana and empower them in the areas of decent work and Social Protection, Education and Training, Including Women in Decision making and Leadership.
In commemoration of this year’s International Day of Rural Women under the theme “Rural women and girls building resilience”, Plan International Ghana in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada and other CSOs in Ghana is organizing series of activities in Bono, Bono-East, Ahafo, and Northern regions to highlight the critical role rural women play in promoting agriculture, food security, economic growth and rural development.
Speaking in an interview, Patricia Gyan-Bassaw, WISE project lead at Plan International Ghana said “When it comes to the food system, women play an essential role from production, processing, aggregation, distribution to marketing and preparing the food to make sure households and communities get the nutrition they need to be healthy.”
She however mentioned that, women especially those in rural areas face a lot of barriers in terms of power distribution, roles and responsibilities, unpaid care given and domestic work.
“Plan International Ghana and Global Affairs Canada stand in solidarity with these women, working with them to strengthen their agency, social networks, financial and business skills to achieve their economic rights and contribute towards achieving gender equality,” she added.
Other interventions of the WISE project include building of women-friendly hub to provide gender responsive services, entrepreneurship and business management services and equipping rural women and other vulnerable ones with the skills to go into the soya bean value-chain, snail and mushroom farming.
Explaining how rural women can be empowered amidst covid19 pandemic coupled with other challenges, Lilian Bruce, Gender and Influencing Specialist at Plan International Ghana said “eliminating gender, sexual and domestic violence and harmful practices among other interventions would enable women and girls to recover from the current global challenges including that of COVID-19 and position them on the path to sustainable economic growth.”
Lilian Bruce further explained that lack of access to lands, loans, transportation services and sexual and reproductive health services are some of the major challenges rural women are confronted with and must be addressed.