Financial institutions urged to empower women through microcredit

Increase microcredit for women in the Bono East Region, as a strategy for poverty alleviation and women empowerment, the Center of Posterity Interest Organisation (COPIO), a Techiman – based NGO, has urged financial institutions and other stakeholders.

This, according to the organisation, would give women confidence, improve their status, make them active in decision – making thereby encouraging gender equality and to make them economically viable.

In a statement released on Thursday at Techiman, the Bono East Regional capital, copied to the Ghanaian Times, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for COPIO, Mr Mustapha Yeboah, said the move will boost women’s productivity and self esteem.

Mr Mustapha noted that giving credit support to women would contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) one and five which stressed the need to achieve gender equality, women and girls empowerment and ending poverty in all forms.

The statement added that “by providing financial assistance to poor women through credit, the women are able to invest, acquire assets, increase their skills and open up new businesses to support national development “.

Mr Mustapha disclosed that women in the Bono East Region find it difficult to access loans, since most financial institutions required physical collateral worth more than the loan requested coupled with high rate of interest.

He said due to the high rate of illiteracy among women, they have been facing unemployment challenges compared to their female counterparts, saying that supporting them with microcredit will make the women economically independent.

“Microcredit is viewed as a method of giving women more status in a socioeconomic way and changing the current conservative relationship between gender and class. Women are able to provide income to their households when empowered “the statement added.

Mr Mustapha indicated that COPIO in partnership with Plan International Ghana through a Gender Transformative Project (GTP) under Women Voice in Leadership (WVL) and funded by Global Affairs Canada, is pushing for women access to loans and other financial services in Ghana.

The statement further said COPIO is an alliance of rural community women who believed and practice women empowerment, and are motivated to help change the world through awareness, advocacy and support to individual, women and girls groups.

” Against this background, COPIO and partners are calling on financial institutions, NGOs, government agencies, philanthropists and residents of the region and beyond to support women to have access to loans and other financial services ” the statement noted.

Mr Mustapha added that COPIO has provided series of capacity building trainings on various financial management areas, hence the women would be able to judiciously invest these funds in more profitable ventures saying that repayment of the loans were guaranteed.

FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, TECHIMAN

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