Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), an NGO, has underscored the need for policies in the agriculture sector to be responsive to gender.
To achieve gender equality in the agricultural sector, stakeholders needed to ensure that, agriculture policy interventions benefitted both women and men equally, it stated.
According to the organisation, women who formed the majority of the workforce in the sector, were faced with many challenges.
It included barriers to land acquisition, limited or no access to credit and lack of technology, which it says was affecting the growth of the sector and the quality of life for female farmers.
It, therefore, called for policy interventions that would address all barriers to womens’s effective participation in the sector.
Speaking at a round-table discussion in Accra yesterday, the Programme Manager of NETRIGHT, Ms Patricia Akakpo, noted that, a “Gender Responsive Act will go a long way to address some of the inequalities in the sector. And this can be done through constant and active engagement with legislators and stakeholders.”
The meeting brought together stakeholders such as women rights advocate groups, the academia, the media and legislators to discuss and make inputs into policy decisions on bridging gender gaps in the agricultural sector through policy interventions.
It was held on the theme “strengthening gender responsive policy processes in the Agricultural sector.”
Ms Akakpo further explained that, the meeting was to provide a dialogue space for discussions among legislators responsible for designing and implementing policies to promote all-inclusiveness in the sector.
The Director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, said research had established that, women’s contribution to agriculture in Ghana and in Africa was very high and had the potential to determine the success or failure of the sector.
She, therefore, called for policy interventions to address the gender gaps to enable women, in particular, maximise their opportunities and hard work in the sector.
Professor Tsikata attributed some of the difficulties in the sector to policy failure which needed to be addressed.
The Chief of Party for USAID Ghana feed the future Agriculture policy support project, Mr Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, said his outfit was supporting NETRIGHT because they believed raising awareness of women’s inclusion in agriculture development would address the gender gaps and accelerate the sector’s development.