Facilitate women's access to land - Widows plead with ministry

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
Widows carrying placards in the streets of Bolgatanga to mark International Widows Day
Widows carrying placards in the streets of Bolgatanga to mark International Widows Day

Widows in the three regions of the north have called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to establish land banks to facilitate women's access to land to enable widows and their children to benefit from government interventions such as the Planting For Food and Jobs programme.


They have equally stressed the need for managers of the Land Administration Project (LAP II) to carry out an intense public education on the provisions of the Land Bill and the need for the passage of a gender-sensitive bill that would address the needs of women, including widows.

The call was contained in a six-point communiqué issued by the widows and signed by the National Director of the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), Madam Fati Abdulai.

The communiqué was issued to mark the celebration of this year’s International Widows Day in Bolgatanga on Friday, June 22, 2018.

The event was on the theme: "Inclusion of the ‘Invisible women’ and the invisible problems to national agenda through community youth journalism."

The communiqué also appealed to the judiciary to consider reducing the cost of seeking justice in cases that involved widows in order to make justice delivery accessible to them.


It also called for concrete steps to be taken to decentralise and adequately resource the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service to uphold the rights of widows and their children.

"We must give directives to all state institutions to consistently generate gender disaggregated data which shall be accessible to policy makers, development partners, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the private sector," the communiqué stressed.

Commendation

It, however, commended successive governments for introducing policies and laws such as the Intestate Succession Law (PNDC L111), the Marriage Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty(LEAP) programme.

"Inasmuch as we applaud past and current governments, as well as other stakeholders, for their efforts in ensuring that widows and their children live dignified lives, we are quick to add that the issues widows and children face can no longer stay invisible if Ghana is to attain the Sustainable Development Goals 1,2 and 5,” it observed.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari, observed that the celebration of the day in the region over the past 10 years had increased awareness of the plight of widows and their children.

He called on widows in the three regions of the north to take advantage of the social interventions being rolled out by the government to improve on their lives.