Accra, July 21, GNA – The Network for Women’s Right in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has held a public forum for the utility agencies, regulatory bodies and a cross section of the general public on critical issues of concern to women.
The forum on the theme: “Strengthening women’s livelihood opportunities through better regulatory systems in the utility sector,” was also to initiate public discourse on the power crisis situation from a gender perspective.
Madam Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Programme Manager, NETRIGHT, said the forum forms part of the interventions by gender advocacy group to demand transparency, accountability and gender responsiveness from duty bearers.
She said it also seeks to ensure gender sensitive policies to secure women’s livelihood, especially within the informal sector.
She said water is essential to life, and water provision remains gendered in all traditions in Ghana adding that poor access to it has been known to impose a considerable demand on women undermining their ability to deliver on their productive and reproductive activities.
Madam Blankson Akakpo said access to reliable electricity serves as a key ingredient to stimulate development, expand livelihood choice, stimulate economic growth particularly in small and medium enterprises and lead to improvement in women’s livelihood.
She said the reliability and efficiency of these services have been largely compromised in recent times adding that regular tariff increases in the utility sector is also alarming and crippling many businesses especially small-scale businesses managed by women.
She said the forum was organised to also strengthen existing relationships and build new partnerships to enhance networking, alliance building and advocacy on women’s economic rights, as well as secure government’s commitment towards finding a solution to the power crisis.
Mrs Hannah Araba Baidoo, Sociology Department, University of Ghana, said the power crisis has had a relatively negative effect on small scale enterprises including hairdressing, tailoring, catering among others across the country
She said “small scale industries have been the most affected businesses in this era of outages since they depend on them for their livelihoods.
She said some of the negative effects of the crises on them includes income reduction, idealness and closure of jobs, among others.
Mrs Baidoo said the power crisis was a nationwide issue and called on government and other stakeholders to come on board and a find lasting solution to the challenge.