Mr. Washington Mawuli Nuworkpor, Communications Coordinator of ActionAid Ghana (AAG) has challenged journalists and media practitioners to develop the passion for development issues and bring to the fore concerns militating against development in the country for policy direction.
He said the media needs to increase the profile and visibility on poverty and vulnerability to raise awareness of developmental concerns of smallholder farmers, women, children and vulnerable groups in society to build public pressure for a positive change.
“Communication for change means that all of our work must be geared towards making change happen through working together to promoting active citizenship because if people are the change, they must be empowered in their communities, nationally and internationally to challenge themselves and others to act”, he said.
Mr. Nuworkpor made the suggestion in Tamale on Thursday during a day’s sensitization and training workshop for some journalists and local government officials in the Northern Region on unpaid care work and sustainable agriculture.
The workshop was organized by ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organization with financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aimed at supporting over 3,000 smallholder farmers and advocating for their rights and recognizing their role in society on unpaid care work.
Mr. Nuworkpor said communication, particularly journalism, was more than a function for documenting or promoting the work of NGOs but was a part of the solution to poverty and injustices in society and urged media practitioners to delve deeper to expose developmental challenges.
Mr. Nuworkpor said ActionAid works in six regions of the country, in areas of human rights, women’s rights, right to education, food rights and climate change, including promotion of gender equality, stressing that “we’re bold and innovative in our approach and thinking”.
Mrs. Azumi Mesuna, Project Manager of Women’s Rights to Sustainable Livelihoods of AAG, said the AAG was implementing a three and half-year project on Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) in four districts in selected districts in the Northern and Upper East Regions funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the cost of €2,044, 577.
She said the project, which is being implemented in Ghana and Rwanda, targets 5,400 women smallholder farmers with 3,000 in Ghana and 2,400 in Rwanda, noting that, about 500 women have already been assisted in the Nanumba districts to acquire lands for cultivation whilst certified seeds would be provided to them.
Mrs. Mesuna said improving food security for women and their households and addressing their constraints, building their leadership skills to demand changes in public policy that will support them as farmers and careers through a collective action locally and internationally was part of the component of the project.
Dr. Michael Ayamga, Lecturer at the University for Development Studies (UDS) and a Consultant to the Project, said gender roles have contributed to non-recognition and non-remuneration of women for some forms of work done otherwise known as unpaid care work.
He tasked society to appreciate and recognize the unpaid work of women such as housework, cooking, and caring for children, old and sick people, noting that, unpaid care work could be reduced or redistributed through the provision of public services that support care provision in society generally.
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