An appeal has gone to the government to adopt child care centers in the country, especially in the rural communities.
Such a move, according to the Coalition of Maternal Health and Citizen Empowerment (CMCE), would offer mothers an appropriate environment to keep their children during working hours.
The Executive Director of CMCE, Mahama Salaam said adopting and providing logistics for child care centers would also help these mothers in the communities to focus on their work and contribute to the development of the country.
He spoke at a day’s workshop organized by CMCE, in collaboration with ActionAid Ghana, at Hwidiemin the Asutifi South District of the Ahafo Region.
Participants included traditional leaders, women groups, and officials from social welfare, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ghana Education Service (GES), Ghana Health Service (GHS), and the District Assembly.
The workshop discussed the findings of a research conducted by the organizations to support the Small Holder Farmers Movement and the Young Urban Women’s Movement.
The research looked into social services for women in the communities with a focus on water, health facilities, sanitation, and child care centers in nine communities in the Asutifi North and South Districts.
Mr. Salaam said the communities have seen an improvement in the water, health, and sanitation situations, though there are some shortfalls that need to be improved.
He, however, said women, who contribute significantly to national development are the most vulnerable in the communities and as such need some essential social amenities to help improve their lives.
“When women give birth and have to work -farming, teaching, nursing, and trading, among others, they need a place to keep their children. That is why we need to provide more child care centers in the communities,” he said.
He said child care centers are key in the development of every country, and bemoaned the fact that the operations of such centers are not supervised by the Ghana Education Service.
“We are pleading with the Assembly and the central government to adopt child care centers as part of the educational structure and provide the needed logistics and support for caretakers for effective delivery,” he said.
The CMCE Executive Director, Mahama Salaam, noted that when these working mothers have a place to keep their children, they will have enough time to concentrate on their work, thereby increasing their contribution to the development of the country and being financially better.
He revealed that ActionAid has provided three child care centers at Sienchemu, Mehame Nkwanta, and Amanfrom in the Asutifi South District which requires some level of support to function properly.
Rosemond Anab, the President of the Women Farmers Movement, said one of the biggest challenges for women, most of whom are peasant farmers in the districts, is carrying their children to the farm and other workplaces.
She also appealed for more child care centers which she believes would reduce their burden, help them focus on their work, and help reduce poverty among women.
Nana Anim Dankwa, Saamanhene, Kenyasi No.1, noted that, as traditional leaders, they must be committed to empowering women in their communities and supporting ventures that would help them to work and be independent.
He, however, urged the women to take advantage of the many development interventions from NADef, Newmont Ghana, and the traditional councils to improve their lots.