General News of Thursday, 12 January 2012

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US Congressmen Call On First Lady

The First lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Ernestina Naadu Mills has called for the need for governments to focus on women empowerment issues in alleviating poverty world-wide. She said that the world has come far in major sectors yet women involvement and participation in major policy decisions continue to remain a challenge.

The first lady made these remarks during a meeting with a delegation from CARE; a global humanitarian organization from the United States of America in Accra. The group comprised congressmen and senior US representatives who are in the country on a five-day learning tour to focus on the issues of health, governance, education, gender, and nutrition.

They are expected to experience at first hand how critical United States investments are making a difference in the lives of developing nations. The first lady expressed her delight at the visit as it provided her an opportunity to share some of the major government interventions in addressing challenges facing women and children.

Particularly in the area of increasing women participation in decision making, the first lady noted that more workshops have been held in all ten regions of Ghana to advance the call for women inclusion in decisions that affect them. Dr. Mrs. Naadu Mills also shared her thoughts on reducing the alarming number of girls who leave their homes especially those in the three northern regions of Ghana in search of non-existent jobs in Accra. This development has compounded the issue of streetism with its attendant problems.

She further stressed that it is important for the state and individuals to provide the needed incentives and enabling environment to discourage these girls from embarking on such risky journeys.

The first lady used the occasion to brief the delegation on her just ended nationwide campaign on reducing pregnancy related deaths which she described as very successful. The campaign she said formed part of the first phase of her tour which was to bring policy makers to a round table to dialogue on ways of encouraging society to take maternal health issues serious.

The group however expressed gratitude to the first lady for championing these major issues in society and serving as a strong voice for the vulnerable. They pledged their commitment to trumpet extensively the good works of Ghana’s first lady to the rest of the world.