29th Anniversary of 31st DWW

15 05 2011

Nana Konadu Agyeman-RawlingsStatement By The President Of The 31st December Women’s Movement On The Occasion Of The 29th Anniversary Of The Movement – Sunday May 15, 2011

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM). On May 15, 1982 we took the first step to a journey that saw our movement help break the cultural status quo that relegated women to the background of society and made them second-rate citizens.

Through our efforts, especially in the first decade, the cultural myth that women could not play a leading role in the management of the family unit, raise economic resources for the family and play a role in societal development was broken.

Today we stand as a strong symbol of women’s emancipation and the role of women in the cultural, social and political development of our country is seen as a right and not a privilege.

Women’s empowerment initiated by us, has led to the promulgation of several laws to protect women and children’s rights.

The DWM has also broken into small scale and large-scale economic activities with many of our members and branches managing small-scale businesses that are bringing economic sustenance to their families and communities.

Over the past year we offered small loans to our members, particularly in the Western region to embark on small-scale business that will inure to the benefit of their families and their communities.

On the larger scale we were proud to finally launch the Nsawam Cannery after almost one-decade of legal wrangling perpetuated by the previous government which sort to question the sweat and toil of our movement in raising external funding for the project.

We currently have about 120 members of staff. In the coming year we hope to raise significant funding for full-scale production of various canned products and have a target of employing two thousand workers when in full production.The establishment of Nsawam Cannery will also serve as a source of meaningful employment for many not just within the company, but for farmers whose produce will feed the factory, thereby arresting post harvest losses.

It has been a tough journey with several challenges along the way, but we have come a long way, achieved a lot for our women folk and continue to work hard to eradicate relics of our culture which continue to inhibit the fundamental human rights of women, especially young women who are betrothed to older men even at birth.

May 15 also marks the International Day of Families, a day whose objectives are not at variance with the ideals of the DWM. This year’s theme: “Confronting family poverty and social exclusion”, exposes the situation of families that have incomes far lower than the average and who cannot afford to provide good nutrition, education and security for their children.

Our Movement does recognise what poverty and social exclusion can do to whole communities which have a high poverty prevalence rate hence the support we give to our members and other needy people to embark on economic activity unique to their communities.

Ours is a never-ending process. We will continue to protect the rights of the under-privileged; culturally, economically, socially and politically. We will identify newer challenges and confront them head on. Our women and children always deserve the best and we cannot compromise on that.

The President and entire executive of the movement wish all members a Happy Anniversary. Continue to be strong in fighting the scourge of poverty, deprivation and political discrimination that confronts our women folk so we can help in improving the worth of our country Ghana.

Long live the 31st December Women’s Movement!

Long live the women of Ghana!

Long live Ghana!

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

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