The Ghana government has been urged to make rural communities a priority in terms of infrastructural development to help improve the socio-economic conditions of the people, especially women and girls.
The bad state of roads, old and dilapidated public school buildings with virtually no school logistics, lack of electricity, as well as bad state of most health facilities, have caused extreme poverty in most rural communities.
This has affected the standard of living in rural communities, particularly among women and young girls.
Madam Grace Marfo, Project Officer, of Teen Girls Club (TGC), made the call at a day’s conference for 300 teen-girls selected from some rural communities in Ashanti Region.
The conference was organised by the Self Help International (SHI), an international NGO focusing on the empowerment of the girl-child, in collaboration with the Rosemond Foundation and the Girl-child education unit of the Tafo Municipal assembly to mark the International Day of the Girl Child.
The Teen Girls Club is one of the thematic areas of Self-Help International, which seeks to empower women and girls by providing them with various interventions in some rural communities in Ashanti Region.
Women and girls from Bedabour, Nkontomire, Beposo, Kukubos and Timeabu in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti Region are benefiting from the various interventions to improve on their living standards.
The girls are being supported with extra classes, provision of reusable sanitary pads and financial assistance to go to school.
Among the areas being focused for the women are agriculture and entrepreneurship development, promoting good health and nutrition as well as women and girl-child empowerment.
The aim is to help reduce poverty, hunger, while helping women in rural communities to support their families.
Madam Marfo said these Interventions would help the girls stay in school to attain high academic laurels and discourage them from engaging in antisocial acts that would lead them to teen-age pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
She said the dilapidated nature of roads also hindered women to move to bigger communities to sell their farm produce and so such women were mostly supported to make them self-reliant.
Madam Betty Drah, Tafo Municipal Director of Education, said recognising the international day of the girl – child would help promote the importance of girls’ education and rights.
She said girls also had potentials as the future workforce so their voices must be amplified for them to live in pride.
Madam Drah said young girls must not be lured into early marriages, adding that, this affected them negatively.
Madam Ama Nyantah Boateng, Acting Regional Director of the Department of Gender encouraged the girls to report to the Police if they were abused in any form.
She said girls had equal rights and wellbeing as their male counterparts and so they must be well educated to contribute immensely to the home and society.
Discriminating against the girl child must not be encouraged, she stressed.
Source: Ghana Business News