High illiteracy rate in Northern Region

Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Northern Region Population Officer has indicated that 62.8 per cent of persons in the region are illiterates with a larger percentage of the figure being women.

He said the situation is very worrying because it has implications for various sectors of society especially on socio-economic development saying: “If many women are illiterates, then it has implications for child bearing, care and the overall development of the human being.”

Mr Amadu was addressing a forum in Tamale at the weekend organised by the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation as part of activities to strengthen rural women’s livelihoods through community land stewardship.

Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation is a women led non-governmental organisation working to ensure that rural women acquire lands for agricultural activities and security of tenure.

The forum was to share lessons and experiences from the Community Land Development Committees that has been formed in some communities to bring women, youth and opinion leaders to discuss and dialogue on issue relating to acquisition of land by women.

Mr Amadu said Gushiegu District in the Northern Region has the highest number of illiterate population in the country followed by Karaga District, adding that such numbers does not promote a healthy society.

He expressed worry over the rate of teenage pregnancies in the region explaining that only 6.0 per cent of persons from 15 to 45 years use contraceptive based on the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey.

Madam Fati Alhassan, Executive Director of Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation said women rights to land ownership is very important since it provides them food security and positive livelihoods.

She expressed worry that many of the women through the assistance of the NGO have been able to acquire lands but find it difficult registering such properties due to bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Mr Patrick Seidu Saa, Regional Director of the Department of Women said even though there has been substantial improvement in the standard of living of women, many of them still lack behind in economic ventures.

He appealed to chiefs in the region to make lands easily available to women to ensure gender equity. GNA

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