Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said government is set to activate a policy to ensure 20 percent of procurement is awarded to women.
Delivering the mid-year budget review, the Minister noted the toll the coronavirus pandemic has had on women.
“Our women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through lesser earnings and savings.”
The government sees the need to “advance the economic well-being of our women” amid this context.
The minister added that “women would also be supported with specific capacity building programmes and will be empowered to leverage the gender-sensitive lending policies to be implemented by the Development Bank of Ghana.”
In the 2021 budget, the government noted that the drastic and sudden slowdown of economic activity in 2020 has had an acute adverse impact on all aspects of society, especially on women, along with the youth, the poor, the informally employed.
This followed the World Bank’s concerns that the pandemic has seriously impacted the global progress towards gender equality.
It cautioned that women around the world are continuing to face restrictions that hinder their economic opportunities.
To address this, the government had also announced an intervention under the Young Women Entrepreneurship Initiative with the theme: “Women’s Economic Empowerment – Key to National Development”.
This initiative is aimed at helping to build the capacity of young women entrepreneurs and transition them from Necessity entrepreneurs to Opportunity-Driven entrepreneurs.
Three hundred young women entrepreneurs were funded with an amount of GHS1.0 million in 2020, according to the government.
In 2021, an additional set of 1,000 beneficiaries will be trained and supported financially, the 2021 budget indicated.
The government has also said the 69 percent of the beneficiaries of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme were women-owned businesses.
It noted that this intervention “unlocked access to finance mainly to women who would not have been able to access funds to support and build their businesses.”
“Technical Support was also provided in the form of training in Entrepreneurship and Financial Management to 15,748 beneficiaries across Ghana, with about 67 percent being females.