Market women in the north to be equipped with tech and software skills to increase productivity and profits.
Market women in the Tamale metropolis are to be equipped with skills in the use of technology and software that will help enhance their operations. A majority of women in Ghana are engaged in commercial activities which range from cross-border trading to petty trading.
Markets play an important role in the socio-economic life of people as they facilitate the exchange of goods and services, create employment and serve as a major source of revenue for many local authorities in developing countries. It is therefore important that attention is paid on providing the basic infrastructure and the building of capacities needed to support the effective operation of market places in Ghana.
Speaking at the Northern Regional Market Women Conference held in Tamale, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Nana Oye Lithur said ensuring gender equity and women economic empowerment is the priority of the NDC government and the Gender Ministry.
“Women’s economic empowerment requires bold and sustained action to advance women’s opportunities and rights and to ensure that women can participate and be heard,” she said.
The theme for the conference was: “Empowering Market Women for Economic Prosperity.’’
According to the minister, a study which was conducted recently at the Techiman market revealed that 91 percent of the respondents had not participated in any form of training and 99 percent had not received any form of direct economic empowerment initiatives from either government or civil society organizations.
Another study conducted at Abogbloshie market, she noted, revealed that 45 percent of respondents had challenges with lack of financial resources while 35 percent had challenges with marketing and sales of their wares with another 19 percent concerned about the market infrastructure and facilities.
All these Hon. Oye Lithur said, contribute to the situation where many market women remain below the poverty line despite putting a lot of hard work into their businesses. Government, under the able leadership of President John Dramani Mahama is committed to empowering women in all sectors of the country to reach their highest potential.
In this regard measures have been put in place to facilitate an enabling environment that promotes the empowerment of women, the minister added. Nana Oye Lithur further revealed that the launch of the National Gender Policy on 5th December 2015 was to affirm the ministry’s commitment to women empowerment.
“We will also identify ways to create a platform for periodic engagement between market women and local authorities in the northern region to enable government understand the specific issues and challenges facing market women in the region, especially issues relating to sanitation and health needs.”
Speaking on behalf of the Northern regional Minister the District Chief Executive for Sagnarigu District Alhassan Mohammed Sorigudoo commended government efforts in the construction and expansion of markets in the country. According to him, government has constructed standard markets around the country to improve women empowerment since they are the majority in society and play important role in the economic development of the country.
By Lilian Walter