GENDER MINISTRY & ECOWAS LAUNCH PROJECT TO FACILITATE WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
January 31, 2019 8:55 am
On Wednesday 30th January 2019, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre officially launched a project in Ghana that will help Ghanaian women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The project is dubbed ’50 Million Women Speak Platform’ (50MWSP).
The project originally seeks to give a platform for women entrepreneurs to improve their access to information through networks to enhance their businesses.
The 50MWSP will provide Ghanaian women entrepreneurs and other Women across the African Continent the opportunity to work on the gender-related barriers including poor education and entrepreneurial training, poor access to financial and non-financial services and information. The platform will also create the opportunity for linkages among women entrepreneurs that will promote innovation, peer-to-peer learning, coaching and sharing of information and knowledge with the member states.
Launching the project for Ghana, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison said the activation of the project in Ghana was very timely because the need for women to network and share ideas on a single platform cannot be over-emphasized, particularly in a changing world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation.
According to the sector Minister, Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. Therefore, she believed the platform will offer that opportunity for capacity building opportunities and the establishment of networks that will promote advertising and marketing communications to improve women’s businesses.
Statistics shared by Hon. Cynthia Morrison through the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2016/17 Women’s Report show that women entrepreneurial activity globally went up 10 per cent, closing the gender gap by 5 per cent since 2014. The report continued that sub-Saharan Africa leads the way with its female entrepreneurship rates the highest globally. 25.9 per cent of the female adult population is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the region.
The statistics the Hon. Minister said, express undoubtedly the magnitude of impact women entrepreneurs have across the globe, but also more importantly, the contribution they make towards the growth and we-being of their societies.
Hon. Cynthia Morrison noted that the launch of the initiative in Ghana is a clear manifestation of the commitment of President Nana Addo’s Government to empowering women entrepreneurs and bridging the gender gap.
Finally, she lauded ECOWAS for helping to boost gender equality in Africa and urged all stakeholders to embrace the opportunity and make the project work in Ghana.
The Director of ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, Mrs. Salimatu Thiam who spoke on behalf of the president of ECOWAS, noted that women were the backbone of every country’s success and they needed an opportunity to compete with the male counterparts to improve their welfare on the African continent.
She explained that the project was part of the framework of Article 15 of Chapter 5 of the Additional Act on Equal Rights for Women and Men for Sustainable Development in the ECOWAS areas, calling on member states to adopt all legislative and regulatory measures to ensure women’s equal access to all economic and gainful opportunities.
Speaking on the benefit of the 5OMWSP, Dr. Afisah Zakariah, the Chief Director of MoGCSP, stated that the move to empower women and make them independent financially in society would foster developmental goals, adding that, “the time has come to deliberate on the efforts to mainstream gender equality in all spheres and also bring the issue to the forefront of policy making,” she added.
Aside the Hon. Minister and Chief Director for MoGCSP, the Director of ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, the event was honored also by Mrs. Barbara Addo, Hon. Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Mahmoud Kane, Coordinator-50M Women Speak Project, Hairdressers Associations of Ghana, Queen mothers, Market Women, Women Entrepreneurs, and the Media.