Over-burdened household chores contribute to poverty among indigenous women   

By Dennis Peprah

Kwasi-Nfum (B/R), June 27, GNA – Ms Augustina Lotsu, a gender advocate, has said many indigenous women were living in poverty because they were over-burdened with households’ chores without having time to build their economic potentials.  

 “When women spend much time on household activities, they have less time to engage or go into income generating ventures, thereby putting them at high risk of living in poverty”, she stated.  

 Ms Lotsu, who is a Gender Advocacy Officer of the Global Media Foundation (GloMeF), a Sunyani-based human rights and media advocacy non-governmental organisation therefore called men to inspire their wives and assist them to engage in viable economic activities to  

enable them to support in the upkeep of the family.  

 She was speaking at separate community advocacy dialogues on unpaid care work held at Kwasi-Mfum, Antwikrom and Wawasua, farming communities in the Sunyani Municipality.  

 According to her domestic work such as cooking, cleaning, fetching water, fuel collection and child-care remained essential, saying it was thus imperative for men to support their wives in such chores because “women and girls are mostly over-burdened by these activities which also affect them psychologically”.  

 GloMeF with support from Plan International Ghana under its Women’s Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise Project, being funded by Global Affairs Canada, organised the dialogues, mostly attended by women in the farming communities.  

 The WISE project seeks to promote innovative, integrated and gender transformative business services by improving women’s agency to exercise decisions regarding their participation in economic growth as well as increasing productivity, profitability, and innovation of women-owned businesses.  

 “Women and girls in countries around the world, regardless of socio-economic status, perform a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work,” Ms. Lotsu stated, saying “unpaid care is a barrier to women having full access to their human rights, particularly for women living in poverty”.  

 “When girls and women spend more time on unpaid care work than men, they have fewer opportunities to receive education or secure a paying job,” she stated, indicating “boosting women’s economic empowerment is key to achieving gender equality, but pervasive social  

norms and discrimination continue to keep women from thriving in the workforce”.  

 Ms. Lotsu said, “when women don’t have access to the same employment opportunities as men, they can’t support themselves or their families and without financial independence too it’s more difficult for them to escape poverty”.  

She said the United Nations global goal five aimed to empower all women and girls to reach their full potential, and therefore called on government and the private sector as well as civil society actors to make commitments to “balancing unpaid care work”.  

 Ms. Lotsu commended the Plan International/Global Affairs Canada for supporting the implementation of the project, which further sought to orient community members and create awareness on the benefits of supporting women’s economic participation and building women’s agency to take individual and collective actions.