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Ghana’s powerful women

Ghanaian women are working hard and are often struggling to make ends meet for themselves and their families. I have recently visited two factories, where women make up a significant part of the work force. Mim Cashew in the Brong-Ahafo region is Danish-owned and 75% of the factory’s workforce are women who work hard with the collection and processing of the nuts. Intelligent Cards Production Systems (ICPS) in Accra has been supported by Denmark with a total of USD 9 million in the form of loans, grants and investments over the past 10 years. It is a high-tech production facility where requirements concerning quality assurance to meet international standards are very high. Here women are performing some of the key functions. 

Women in Ghana both have the challenge of earning a sufficient income and of maintaining their own health and that of their children. When women are asked about what should be the key priorities of the government, health often comes in as a prominent first answer.

Denmark has been supporting the health sector in Ghana for 23 years and during the recent years, our focus has been on bringing down maternity and infant mortality rates. Much has been achieved and many women and new-born babies have survived thanks to a better health system with dedicated and hard-working health staff. Equally important has been the insistence of women themselves of delivering with the assistance of skilled birth attendants. 

powerfulwomen

A Danish app to help safe childbirth

There is still some way to go, though, and Denmark is now supplementing our previous support by the provision of a senior technical advisor on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender Equality to UNFPA, Ghana. Ms. Charlotte Kanstrup took up her position in mid-February, and among her many tasks is the sharing of information on a free-of-charge Safe Delivery App developed by the Danish organisation Maternity Foundation and University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark, which can be used by health staff working with limited resources in rural areas.

Also Ghanaian women with more privileged jobs and living conditions are working hard. I am fortunate to count among my good friends here in Ghana a number of women who have leading positions in private companies, communication, think tanks, and research.. Although hard working, they are always ready to take upon themselves additional responsibilities. They sometimes have to struggle hard to be heard and respected, but they set a shining example for other women – whether Ghanaian or Danish.

Get the Safe Delivery app

Read about the Ambassador's last visit to ICPS

Watch a film about the production of cashews at Mim Cashew here: