Rabat hosts sub-regional forum on women and micro-finance
Regional-Morocco, Economics, 4/18/2002
A two-day sub-regional forum on women and micro-finance opened in Rabat Wednesday with representatives of several African countries attending.
The encounter, held under the theme "sub-regional consultations on the reduction of the gender-specific dimensions of poverty: micro-financing policies, processes and practices," is debating means to promote women's economic conditions and ensure their integration.
Opening the forum, Moroccan delegate minister in charge of women condition, family, children and handicapped persons' integration, Nouzha Chekrouni, said women's access to means of production has become a necessity to fight poverty and promote local and regional development.
She called for consolidating the rule of women-led enterprises through endowing them with modern techniques to improve their competitiveness, especially by initiating them to the norms of quality, new production and marketing techniques, and information and communication technologies like Internet.
The minister recalled that her department enforced a number of measures to encourage women enterprises, which not only aim at eradicating poverty, but also to spot women's economic abilities, in order to lower the social and cultural obstacles to their blossoming in all fields.
Morocco is waging a battle against gender disparities in the realms of education, health, employment and decision-making, Ms. chekrouni said.
Other speakers said Africa's economic and social development requires the contribution of all human potentialities, and underlined the decisive role the African women have to play.
Representatives from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sao Tome, and Togo are participating in the forum, sponsored by the United Nations Secretariat General's division of women promotion.
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