2012 International Women’s Day
“Empower Rural Women, End Hunger and Poverty”
Message from WiLDAF Ghana and Dolly foundation
WiLDAF Ghana and Dolly foundation joins women around the globe in solidarity for human rights, dignity and equality as we celebrate International Women’s Day. This sense of mission drives us and millions of people around the world (male and female, young and old) to pursue justice and inclusion. We very much appreciate a day like this when we can celebrate the achievements of governments and civil society groups across the globe to empower rural women and girls.
Today we pause to reflect on, and celebrate the achievements of rural women through their collective and dedicated action aimed at securing the advancement and achievement of gender equity. We also applaud their extraordinary contributions to agriculture, economic and societal development. It is also a day which gives voice to that silent struggle by women everywhere regardless of social and economic differences. This reflection on progress and celebration also serves to inspire women to achieve their full potential as they work toward the creation of a society constructed on social justice and equity.
During the past century, since the observance of the first International Women’s Day, we have witnessed a transformation in women’s legal rights, educational achievements, and participation in public life. Women have taken many steps forward. The State has also made some strides by passing key legislation to improve the status of women and girls in Ghana. Additionally, there have been a number of programmes geared toward increasing opportunity, access and resources for women. Nevertheless, we should not become complacent because of these visible elements of progress, since the silent struggle with socio-economic realities is a barrier to the fulfilment of women’s empowerment and gender equity. Improved achievements in education for example, often do not translate into the outcomes which might be reasonably expected in the labour market, nor does a Domestic Violence Act per end abuse against girls, boys, women and men. The attainment of gender equity in our country continues to be limited by cultural and structural factors in spite of increasing awareness of gender issues. Many rural women still have limited autonomy and low status, which puts them at increased risk of hunger, gender-based violence, poverty and other forms of discrimination. Advancing rural women’s political, social and economic status are vital ends in themselves as well as critical strategies to eradicate poverty, promote women’s rights and pave the way for sustainable development. Improving access to justice and legal rights information is essential for rural women’s empowerment and ability to earn an income and feed themselves and their family. When women can make free and informed choices in all spheres of life, including marriage, number and spacing of their children, they can reach their full potential and further contribute to the development of their communities and nations.
WiLDAF Ghana and Dolly foundation a network member works to complement government’s and other development partners’ efforts to empower rural women and ensure that they can claim their rights. With our network members and partners, we strive to strengthen women’s human and legal rights and develop new ways to inform women and girls about their rights, and their participation in decision making at all levels. We strongly agree with the statement that “Every human being has the right to live in peace and dignity. Every human being has the right to shape his/her future and the future of their countries”.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, WiLDAF Ghana and Dolly foundation calls on all stakeholders to join our efforts in promoting rural women’s participation in decision making, eliminating violence against women and girls, and improving women’s access to justice - factors that contribute to improved livelihoods.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to International Women's Day 2012.