Review Cultural Practices to Empower Women — Women Farmers
Women engaged in cocoa farming in the Sekyere Kumawu District of Ashanti have called for the abolition of obnoxious cultural and traditional practices that hampered their economic empowerment and development.
Nana Akosua Benpomaah, Sekyere Kumawu District Chief farmer, who made the call, said it was time cultural practices that prevented women from having equal access to land and other economic resources in their families and communities were removed.
Speaking at a farmers’ forum at Oyoko, she said the continued marginalisation of women in decision making and inequalities in accessing economic resources, were to blame for extreme poverty among women, especially those in rural communities.
The forum was organised by the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD and the goal was to discuss issues and challenges facing cocoa production in the district.
It also created the platform for cocoa farmers to interact with extension and technical officers to share ideas on new farming techniques and agronomic practices to improve farm management in order to increase crop yield and income.
Nana Benpomaah said traditional and cultural practices barred women from the inheritance of land belonging to their deceased spouses or male family members in some communities, which were inimical to gender equality and an affront to economic empowerment of women.
“This situation is just one of the strong underlying factors enhancing poverty, unemployment and hardships among women and families in the various communities in Ghana, especially in the rural areas, where farming is the main stay of the people” she stressed.
Nana Benpomaah said even in some communities, women were prevented from having their own farms as wives ending all their toils with their husbands in vain, in the event of a divorce, or when the husband decided to find another wife.
The whole farm acquired together with the ex-wife is completely taken over without considering a share for the first wife who toiled with him to get the farm.
This made the affected women and their children more vulnerable thus endangering their economic progress and social standing.
She called for support from government and other women rights advocates to consider the views and concerns of women in the land tenure system in Ghana to, help empower and assist rural women to have access to land to guarantee their economic freedom and sustain their incomes, to cater for their families.
Mr. Samuel Addai Agyekum, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sekyere Kumawu commended women in cocoa farming for their efforts to improve cocoa and food production in the area.
He said the Assembly would continue to engage women in agriculture to train and empower them to increase crop yield to boost agricultural production while increasing their incomes to improve on their socio-economic standards.