Accra, March 8, GNA
– The National Coordinator of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) has called
for the strategic pooling of Government and other stakeholder resources to
develop community-oriented livelihood projects for poor women to build better
Mr Mike Arthur said ICI’s research and experiences as a technical leader in the elimination of child labour had shown that giving women the requisite training, the tools and some start-up capital to undertake economic ventures empowered them to support the education and proper development of their children.
Mr Arthur was speaking in an interview with journalists in connection the celebration of International Women’s Day, which is being marked under the theme: “# Press for Progress”.
He said it was also imperative to build the capacities of women to enhance their decision making sensitivities towards building balanced societies.
ICI is an international Non Governmental Organisation, which works with the cocoa industry, civil society organisations, farmers’ organisations, communities and national governments, to ensure a better future for children and their families in cocoa growing areas.
It also contributes significantly in efforts to eliminate child labour in cocoa communities.
Mr Arthur said children’s issues could not be alienated from those of women because of the nurturing and cohesive roles women played at the family and societal levels.
In this regard, he said, everyone must be concerned with the issues, which affected them and press towards their solutions to ensure a better society.
ICI, he said, had been assisting the farmers to form Community Child Protection Committees, Income Generating Groups and Community Service Groups to develop home-grown solutions to ensure that their children developed into healthy, well-educated productive adults.
It also provides farming inputs, social amenities such as schools, educational supplies and other pro-poor solutions to the most vulnerable communities.
For women, Mr Arthur said, they were being assisted with income generating activities, in line with their interests, and these included vegetable farming, food processing and soap making.
They were also receiving training in decision making and the proper management of their incomes.
ICI at present works in 29 communities in eight districts within the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central regions.
Today’s celebration is intended to spread wider, the awareness among governments, Civil Society Organisations and the public, on the importance of promoting women’s rights and gender inclusiveness both in labour and in all spheres of the society.GNA