Ghana: Asogli Queen-Mothers Fight Violence Against Women

Ho — The Asogli Queen Mother's Association in Ho has decried violence and economic abuse of girls and women in the West African sub region. The Association has, therefore, organized a workshop in Ho, for the relevant stakeholders to deliberate on how to put an end to the abuse and violence against women and girls in the society.

The workshop, which brought together over 60 participants across the country and Nigeria, was on the theme: "Building Bridges to end Economic Abuse and Violence against Girls and Women Employed in the Informal Sector in Ghana." It was sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation.

Topics treated include identifying and developing strategies towards addressing cases of violence and economic abuse of girls and women employed in the informal sector in Ghana, promoting the education and employment of the girl child as a strategy towards ending violence against women in West Africa and the role of civil society, traditional rulers and faith leaders and government in ending economic abuse and violence against women employed in the informal sector in Ghana.

Speaking on behalf of the Asogli Queen Mother's Association, the Queen Mother of Ho-Dome, Mama Atrato II noted that domestic abuse and violence against girls and women in the Africa sub-region, particularly Ghana, continued to be a major problem drawing back efforts at promoting socio-economic activities among females in the society.

Mama Atrato said the workshop was very timely because it was being held at a time girls and women are being brutalized, either as house helps or apprentices.

She commended the Commonwealth Foundation for the assistance, because the educational programme started by the Asogli Queen Mothers Association would help to reduce the continuous abuse and violence practiced against girls and women, as well as their economic abuse in communities across the Africa sub-region, especially Ghana and the Volta region in particular.

"We, the Ho-Asogli Queen Mothers, are so much concerned that we see the need to build bridges to end the economic abuse and violence against girls and women. Young girls no longer want to go and learn a trade like sewing or hairdressing.

The question is how do we encourage the girls and women to go and learn trades without being abused?" She asked.

Mama Atrato stressed that the time had come for governments in the sub-region to pay particular attention to the informal sector and to ensure that workers in the sector were paid "living wages", as well as to ensure that women in the informal sector were not abused at the workplace, to the advantage of their male counterparts.

She pointed out that if government would concentrate on the private sector to ensure that employers strictly observe the labour law that controls how much a worker should earn and reprimand employers who abuse the basic human rights of workers, particularly women, it would go a long way to reduce poverty among women in the society.

A Resource Person from Nigeria, Mrs. S. Oladumetoye noted that violence and economic abuse of girls and women are major factors that prohibit the rapid development of women on the Africa sub-region, adding that the situation in Ghana was not different from that of Nigeria.

Mrs. Oladumetoye pointed out that it was very important for leaders in the various countries in the sub-region to adopt pragmatic steps to address the situation which would ensure total economic progress of women as well as ensure that their basic human rights were protected.

Another Resource Person from Ghana, Ohemaa Awindor stressed that not until leaders in Africa give priority to the total welfare of girls and women, much would not be achieved in the development process adding that it is time for governments to address the problem of economic exploitation of girls and women in the Africa sub-region.

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