Accra, March 07, GNA - ActionAid Ghana, ahead of 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD), has called on government to invest more in the provision of gender-responsive public services as a short-term measure and put in place mechanisms to redistribute Unpaid Care Work.
On March 08 every year, the United Nations and its partners in the global community celebrate IWD, a day specially set aside to recognise and celebrate the social, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world.
The day also provides the opportunity to highlight the many cultural and social impediments that challenges and prevents equality.
A statement issued in Accra on Wednesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency said: “As we focus on technology to improve agricultural output, we should also invest in technology that reduces the drudgery of care work on women to enable them spend more time engaged in productive, agricultural work.”
It said the United Nation’s theme for this year’s IWD celebration is: “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” with Ghana adopting the local theme, “Women Too: Press for Freedom to Develop Ghana”.
However, ActionAid Ghana (AAG) has selected the theme; “Unpaid Care Work: Time to Act,” to reflect and raise awareness of the burden unpaid Care Work (UCW) places on women and girls.
The statement mentioned that to mark this year’s IWD, AAG would embark on series of activities including community sensitisation, marches, radio and TV programmes to discuss Unpaid Care Work as a women’s rights issue in the Volta, Northern and Greater Accra regions.
“These initiatives are aimed at campaigning against women’s Unpaid Care Work, promoting sexual and reproductive health rights, climate resilient sustainable agriculture and decent work,” it said.
The statement explained that care work has widespread, long term, positive impact on well-being and development but prevalent to gender norms, the ways in which women and men are expected to behave and class inequalities, lead to an imbalance with women and girls living in poverty taking on a far greater share of Unpaid Care Work under difficult working conditions.
“Care work is not only the responsibility of women and girls but the general society, including households and community members, and the government; with women’s time being used to subsidise government’s cost of providing care facilities,” it added.
According to the statement, Ghanaians contribute to the country’s economy through their work including; small-scale trading in the local market, or as casual labourers in commercial farms, others are factory workers, miners, teachers, and domestic workers etc. Through their work, women and men contribute to Ghana’s economic growth by producing goods and services that people use every day.
Social reproduction activities, which is primarily performed by women, include nurturing homes and communities through child care, cooking, cleaning, shopping and other care activities, as well as child bearing, caring for household members (such as children, the elderly and workers).
Unpaid Care Work is a component of social reproduction activities, relating specifically to all the activities that go towards caring for people within a household or community. This work is not paid, not recognised, requires time and energy, and is done out of social obligation and/or love and affection.
The statement hailed the women of Ghana for the role they have played in the development of their families, communities and society as a whole.
AAG, along with its local and international partners, have adopted a four R Approach (Recognition, Redistribution, Reduction and Representation) to ensure Unpaid Care Work is prioritised as a public issue, resulting in policy changes that promote an increase in the time spent by women to engage in economic, social, and political activities.