Women in the cocoa sector in the country must embrace technology in the industry to increase productivity, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, the Executive Director of Abantu for Development has stated.
She said the adoption of technology in the sector would bring about innovation and promote the country’s economy
Dr Mensah-Kutin said this at a meeting to commemorate this year’s International Women Day celebration to celebrate women farmers for their achievement and advocacy for sustained equality and empowerment of all women
The programme which was on the theme “Strengthening Innovation for promoting Gender Equality in Cocoa Life Programme” assembled women cocoa farmers from Eastern, Ashanti, Central, Bono and Western Regions.
It was organised by Abantu for Development in collaboration with Mondelez International Cocoa Life Ghana.
Dr Mensah-Kutin said if women in the cocoa sector embraced innovation in the cocoa sector, it would boost productivity in the industry.
The Executive Director stated that there had been progress in ensuring gender recognition in the country and called for more to be done.
“Even though there is progress, we must still do our best to ensure gender equality and equity,” she added.
She said gender equality and equity was crucial in the country to help in the decision making process.
The Director of the Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, Ms Faustina Acheampong, in a speech read on her behalf by Ms Miriam Bafowaa Opoku, Programme Officer at the Department,said women were critical to the sustainable development of the cocoa industry.
She said despite the perception of cocoa as a male crop, in all cocoa producing countries women played a vital role as cocoa producers.
She implored women in the cocoa sector to work hard, challenge gender stereotypes and call for all forms of Gender-Based Violence in the societies, and draw attention to gender bias.
“Gender equality goes beyond issues of women, but rather a building block for economies to thrive, effectively engage the underrepresented voices especially women to contribute to decision making policy, make future of a circular economy bright,” she added.
The Country Director of Cocoa Life Ghana, NanaYaaPeprahAmekudzi, stated that the cocoa sector was crucial and the backbone of the country.
She said women contribution to the cocoa sector was vital and called on them to use technology to improve the sector.
A Gender Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mrs Jennifer Asuako, said her outfit’s partnership with the cocoa industry dated back in 2008.
She said over 2000 women in the cocoa sector had benefited from such partnership.
Mrs Asuako stressed the need to support women in the cocoa sector since their contribution was enormous to the country’s economy.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI