By Christiana Saywah-Jimmy
About 30 farmers are participating in a sensitization workshop for leaders of farmers’ organizations hosted by the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)-Liberia in collaboration with the Farmers Union Network of Liberia.
The three-day workshop under the project “West African Women and Farmers against Poverty” focuses on topics such as human rights, Inheritance Law, gender relations, women’s rights and gender, domestic violence; farmers’ role, improving the consideration of gender in organizations across the country.
Atty. Vivian Neal serving as lead facilitator lectured on the different rights that should be enjoyed by every human with farmers being no exception. While one of the Board members of the Farmers Union Network, Julius Momolu Bass said the workshop is a manifestation of Liberians willingness to build the capacities of rural women.
Mr. Bass said women should play leadership role admist the misconception that leadership roles are ascribed to only males noting that women are easily mobilized and respect the dignity of labor as compared to men in every sphere including agriculture or farming therefore they play better leadership roles.
While the programme officers of WiLDAF-Togo specifically in Lome, Madam Kafui Kuwonu said the workshop is geared towards mitigating the program in all of the countries in order to ensure that women issues are part of all agricultural sectors regarding participation.
Madam Kuwonu said it is also expected that traditional practices that tend to slow women participation are harmonized with the understanding that women have equal rights as the men. She said the four-year project that is now ongoing in 20 communities in Liberia and that it is anticipated that implementation is conducted in a way that it conforms with that of other countries thereby having the same results even though those countries may vary in policies.
Meanwhile a member of WiLDAF-Liberia, Atty. P. Teplah Reeves said the intent of sensitizing the farmers is to change their ways of farming as well as their leadership styles which depicted that women do the hard work while the men remain and focus on the leadership aspect or serve as secretaries to the financial aspects.
She said the government should ensure that Liberia engages in mechanize farming because farming as a whole is labor intensive and collaboration would mean that government pumps in at least some substantive amount in the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture particularly for the purpose of supporting farming. The program ends on Friday at the Thinker’s Village resort in Paynesville.