System Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment (SIWEE) Initiative to enhance the capacity of rural women to address barriers to women’s economic advancement in Ghana in the last few years to enable them to contribute to the socio-economic needs of the family and the nation has been launched.
The initiative by Oxfam in collaboration with Ghana Network Ghana is working with rural women to develop innovative solutions to address the barriers that inhibit their economic empowerment and ensure their resilience to social and economic shocks.
It is also designed to develop real tailored resolutions to barriers and challenges to women’s economic empowerment and emancipation.
The initiative focuses on three value chains namely, Cocoa, Shea, and Sorghum across 9 communities in Southern and Northern Ghana namely Kumbungu district of the Northern Region, Pusiga in the Upper East Region, and Asamankesi in Eastern Region.
The event organized at Mbanayili in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region brought together women groups from the Agricultural value sector and stakeholders from the various sector of the economy to commemorate the occasion.
Speaking at the ceremony, a representative of Oxfam in Ghana Madam Joan Gou said, with the initiative, women would be trained in business development and given financial literacy to enhance their businesses.
“We recognize the huge role that rural mothers, daughters, and grandmothers play in producing food and building agricultural and rural development worldwide she said”.
According to her, the aim of the project is to empower women in the agricultural value chain; ultimately giving them decent work and stable incomes three alongside increased voice and agency in the cultivation and processing of agricultural produce.
The National Shea Network Ghana Coordinator Iddi Zakaria said, agriculture plays an important role in the country and the contribution of the rural women has been enormous in boosting food security and livelihoods but the capacity to support the worthy course continues to be a problem.
He noted that with SIWEE, both stakeholders and value actors meet to deliberate on issues affecting them and how women’s economic issues can be addressed to change them for life.
“Before the initiative, we met with the community leaders and the value change actors to identify their needs and aspirations that would be able to address their economic issues. We identify five areas being enterprise support, market, farmer-finance connects thus linking them to financial institutions, and mechanization in the use of critical equipment” he said.
According to him, if the women could be empowered, the areas of their challenges must be taken into consideration.
With the initiative, the women would be registered with the Assemblies in order to access the funds and other logistics needed to execute their projects he said.
Kumbungu District Director of Agriculture Abiba Musah said the district has allocated some funds for the women farmers to help build on their activities.
According to her, the district has lots of agriculture potentials and therefore given priority and support to women into the sector to enable them to contribute their quota to the socio-economic needs of the family and the nation.
Some women groups commended Oxfam and the Shea Network Ghana for their several interventions to the rural women in those areas.
They said the lack of a good road network continue to hinder their progress and therefore appealed to the government to help construct their road for the smooth transaction of their business.