Hajia Alima Mahama, a lawyer and development consultant, has called for financial and material support for single mothers and female food crop cultivators because they constitute the poorest in Ghana.
According to her, it is on the records of the Ghana Living Standard Survey that the poorest in Ghana are households headed by women and food crop farmers, who are mainly rural and peri-urban women.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a workshop on Women’s Rights, organized by ActionAid in Accra, Hajia Mahama said their healthcare, children’s education and cash transfers to supplement their paltry income would help them up the ladder of human dignity and prosperity.
The workshop, which was attended by 45 persons from the Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association, Market Women’s Association, Commercial Drivers Union, and members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), was funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
According to her, the government and subsequent governments should design policies to help the poor and the vulnerable to strengthen the nation’s welfare agenda.
Hajia Mahama said the Ghanaian society would lose its peace if social and economic opportunities were not made available to all.
“If the poor and the vulnerable are left to grope in their financial and material poverty darkness, their darkness would blight the whole society,” she said.
On the distribution of pads to girls, she proposed that government should rather encourage school authorities by ways of grants to purchase the items and educate girls on their hormonal changes, as part of a broad reproduction health module.
According to her, should the government make the procurement of the pads its direct business, the reality of someone taking undue advantage to exploit the system for financial gains could not be ruled out.
She called on women to reach out and know their rights, privileges, and duties in society in order to enrich the nation’s democracy.
“If majority of the people, who are women, cannot feel the essence of our democracy then we have a problem,” she said.
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