By Julius K. Satsi/Abdulai Haruna, GNA
Accra, Aug. 22, GNA - ActionAid Ghana and stakeholders have urged government to help recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work by women through economic and social policies to improve their livelihood.
Mr Sumaila Abdul Rahman, the Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, said recognition of unpaid care work meant that labour offered by women was acknowledged and recognised as work and production.
He said this, in a speech read on his behalf on Thursday at a National Dialogue session on unpaid care work on the theme: "Recognise, Reduce and Redistribute Unpaid Care Work: Women's Labour Counts".
He said recognition of unpaid care work could take several forms, including; provision of compensation for the work, recognising it when determining other benefits, such as pension payments, or measuring unpaid care work in national statistics.
He said reduction of unpaid care work meant a lower burden for individual women and for society more generally, adding that it could happen through provision of a service in a different way.
Mr Rahman said unpaid care work would be reduced, if services were provided closer to where people lived and worked so that less time was spent accessing health care and the like.
He said unpaid care work was not only limited to women in rural communities, but extended to all women irrespective of their employment or marital status, age, or income level.
Madam Veronica Gbande, the President of the National Women Farmers' Movement of Ghana, urged government to take on the responsibility of recognising the invaluable contributions of care givers by paying their wages, providing play materials.
She said: "As majority of communities do not have childhood care centres, I call on government to build these crucial structures so that women can also contribute in the development of the country more fully and from a more empowered stance."
Madam Gbande said the lack of gender-responsive public services and low-shared responsibilities in care work had forced women into having to choose between caring for their families or chasing income-generating.
Madam Azumi Mesuna, the Project manager for Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights project said they were working on piloting 20 child care centres to reduce the burden on women.
She said women do a lot of unpaid work, adding that, women use up to 13 hours doing unpaid care work hence the need to quantify those works and recognise them appropriately.
She said there were women who paid taxes to the government hence the need to provide services that seek to reduce the burden on women who do unpaid workers.