The Netherlands Embassy in Ghana has provided support to women in two districts of the Central Region on alternative livelihood skills development.

The Embassy is funding the Equal Rights and Opportunities Project (EROP) spearheaded by Women in Need, a non-governmental organisation.

The participants who are mostly unskilled women with no incomes, and representatives from Associations of Hairdressers, Dressmakers, Traders, Palm oil and Fishmongers have been trained in soap-making, baking and basic Financial Literacy skills they could rely on to boost their economic power.

Speaking at the training session at Ajumako in the Central Region, Policy Advisor with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Theophilus Ayugane, explained the project was part of the development of their human right which aims at empowering women to increase their equal rights as far as human rights are concerned.

He was convinced one of the best ways of empowering women and girls is to equip them with skills that would be part of them for life.

The training, he added, was not only focusing on soap-making, baking and others but also to satisfy the component that looks at ensuring that women’s human rights are not violated.

He stated: “We want to ensure that we boost the economic power of the women and so we also link them to Financial schemes to assist them access seed capital in order to lessen the burden on them.

Mr. Ayugane explains that the Netherlands Embassy has been working with CSOs in the Central Region, Ashanti Region and parts of the Northern parts of Ghana to empower women with skills that could make them independent.

He told the trainees, “there’s a monitoring team that does follow-ups on those that have been trained to ensure that they stayed focused and lived the skills they have been trained in.”

The project is being implemented in two Districts of the Central region, in partnership with GH-Alliance and Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development-AfCHuRSD, implemented in the Northern part of Ghana.

The EROP Project seeks to empower women and girls through livelihood and entrepreneurial skills development in the 10 beneficiary communities.

Program Officer of Women In Need, Abigail Addo-Quaye was convinced that the absence of skills in the lives of the women makes them vulnerable and that gives rise to sexual and gender-based violence in many communities in the region.

She stressed the organization would ensure the women were empowered to make them self-reliant and economically independent.

She further emphasized: “As we know, Central Region is one of the poorest regions in Ghana and that’s why we are focusing on two districts: Gomoa West and Ajumako Enyan Essiam'.

She indicated that most of the women don’t have any skills and those with skills can have add-on skills, so helping them acquire some skills as alternative employment to what they do would be a major economic boost for them and enhance their income earning capacity.

Business Development Officer with the Ghana Enterprises Agency, Christiana Boatemaa, talks about the sustainability of the project.

She stated that her outfit would continue to hold the fort when the EROP project ends. For her, that’s where the Ghana Enterprises Agency would activate all its charges to ensure that the program is sustained.

“We, the BACs, would do our best to monitor them and ensure that whatever they came to learn would benefit them and benefit other dependents of theirs.”

She revealed the agency would provide a major role to support them technically and financially. “Whatever we would do to encourage them, is what we would do,” she stressed.

The women who were trained to bake, make soap and other detergents expressed their happiness and promised to use the skills they have acquired to support their households.

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