inequality and women empowerment, is intended to mainstream gender concerns into national development processes to improve the social, legal, civic, political, economic and socio-cultural conditions of women and men.
The validation workshop discussed the policy document, inputs elicited from stakeholders and the strategic implementation plan for finalisation of the document in June.
Speaking at the workshop, the sector minister, Nana Oye Lithur, said stakeholders in the sector were expected to take strategic policy actions to deal with gender inequalities related to critical areas, such as unequal access to social, economic power and justice, as well as inequality in access to social protection by the marginalised, vulnerable and the poor.
She further indicated that there were “Inequalities between women and men in sharing of power and in decision making at all levels, and in dealing with all kinds of conflicts and insecurities and threats to women.”
She noted that the policy was a culmination of Ghana’s efforts to address all forms of gender-based discrimination, which started from independence, and cited former President Kwame Nkrumah as the pacesetter who initiated an affirmative action policy, with the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1960, which provided 10 women the platform to join the then National Assembly.
Since then, she said, various governments had made efforts to promote gender equality and empower women in Ghana through various initiatives and policies.
In his speech, the UNFPA Representative in Ghana, Mr Babatunde Ahonsi, said his outfit had over the years supported the government’s vision to achieve gender equality in all sectors due to its importance to national development.
“The UNFPA sees the validation workshop on the National Gender Policy as one of the many important avenues on the road to achieving gender equality and holistic national development,” he stated.
He said the framework would help to provide the strategic and coherent direction to inform programmes, plans and actions that should be undertaken to address the challenges of gender inequalities.
A Gender Consultant at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Mrs Hillary Gbedemah, said inequalities undermined democracy because women were not fairly represented in governance.
She urged the ministry to ensure that the policy was promulgated on time without any resource constraint.
For her part, the President of the Ghana National Market Women Association, Madam Mercy Nii Djan, urged the ministry to educate market women on the policy and also translate it into various languages to enable them read and understand it.
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