EU commits €450,000 to gender empowerment in fishing communities

By Isaac Arkoh 

Cape Coast, Sept. 6, GNA – Mr Massimo Mina, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, says the EU has voted more than €450,000 to give a strong boost to gender empowerment in 18 marine fishing communities in the Central and Western Regions.  

The three-year project, spanning 2022-2024, would enhance access to social services and livelihood opportunities for survivors and those at risk of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with supportive mechanisms for community-based structures to prevent GBV.  

The Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Ghana announced this at the launch of the Women in Fisheries Against Violence project at Anomabo in the Mfantseman Municipality.  

He said the role and contributions of women in the fisheries sector to Ghana’s economy could not be overlooked, hence, gender equality was paramount to realizing the full potential of the fisheries and aquaculture development.  

It was the way to also increase fish production, improve livelihoods and enhance nutrition security, particularly for the most nutritionally vulnerable.  

“I would like to mention that on our part, the EU will continue in its support to Ghana within the fisheries sector and promotion of gender quality.   

This is part of the post-COVID-19 recovery interventions that will contribute to addressing structural inequalities and build more inclusive societies,” he assured.  

He said the rationale for the intervention stems from the fact that the EU recognised the issues of gender-based violence, notably within the fisheries sector and as part of the inception of the WiFIVS project, a baseline assessment and analysis on GBV was conducted and validated by stakeholders.  

In that regard, a baseline assessment revealed that 54 per cent of community members within beneficiary fishing communities have experienced or witnessed GBV with 90 per cent of this number having experienced GBV.  

He said engagement with prosecutorial agencies during the assessment revealed limited resources and personnel for state institutions to conduct their duties efficiently.  

“The outcome of the assessment is a moment of reflection and I am happy that partners such as CHRAJ, and DOVVSU were celebrating efforts to remedy the situation.  

Additional, the role of traditional rulers and the media in creating awareness of gender-based violence was critical to take in the support of all.  

Among many interventions, he stated that the EU’s approach is pivoted on protecting the ecological balance of the oceans as a sustainable source of wealth and well-being for future generations.  

He cited the implementation of EU projects such as the Far Ban Bo and Far Dwuma Nkodo projects as testimonies of the EU’s commitment to accelerating progress towards international commitment to gender and equity.  

Through the projects, the EU contributed immensely to empowering fisher communities to play an active role in the management of the fisheries resources and to fight the menace of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing communities through the watchdog and surveillance roles. 

Mrs Adiza Ama Owusu, the Project Manager of WiFVEs, described GBV as a social dilemma that must, as a matter of urgency, get rid of to protect the vulnerable.  

She mentioned that all victims of domestic violence, especially women, must speak up and quit such toxic relationships while setting good examples for their children to follow.  

“When you stay in abusive marriages, you teach your children the wrong things about life. Let them know that all forms of abuse are unacceptable,” she stressed.