The Tuna Women Development Programme (TUWODEP), a Non-Governmental organisation (NGO), has urged local authorities to expand their areas of development to cover social, economic and cultural rights of women to access fertile lands for farming.
It said the right of women to access fertile farm lands in the light of “rising poverty levels” in rural communities especially among women called for district assemblies and traditional authorities to include; socio-economic rights of women in their development plans.
Mr Raphael Ali Yenbapono, the Project Manager of TUWODEP, said this in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Wa, explaining about a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting held at Sawla on land management.
The stakeholders met to review a research report on “Women access to fertile lands at Dakompilayiri,” a farming community in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Northern Region.
Madam Akunaaba Leticia, the Officer in charge of Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD), said traditional authority should “objectively reflect the economic status of women” in the district and pay attention to their overall economic empowerment.
Such an effort should also apply to other cultural barriers that impede the development of women in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District.
The statement also said a representative from Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District Assembly, Mrs Fridaus Musah, confirmed that most of the women complained of their challenges.
She said socio-economic rights, which women in the district lacked were part of human rights and indivisible and “without these rights guaranteed and promoted there can never be development”.
A representative of Dakompilayiri Women Farmers Association (DAKWOFAR), Madam Biinyine Bommo, also narrated the challenges women go through in providing for their children and themselves because of lack of economic resources.
She said their husbands only give women “infertile lands that lacks the necessary nutrients to support plant growth” and thereby affect production.
According to the statement, traditional authorities felt decisions about land management should be left to them because “that is the culture which must be preserved at all cost”.
They also said men (husbands) were responsible for providing for the needs of their families and not women (wives), and that any change in this setting will result in the collapse of the family.
Mr Yenbapono later told the GNA that the event brought together members of DAKWOFAR, chiefs, District Assembly officials, ministry of food and agriculture, national commission on civic education and several other stakeholders.
It was organised by TUWODEP in collaboration with BUSAC Fund under the Women Access to Fertile Land Project.
The objective of the meeting was to brief stakeholders about the findings of a research report on women access to fertile lands for farming purposes in Dakompilayiri, a farming community in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Northern Region.