Government agencies without gender policies to be sanctioned

Miss Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), on Monday warned that government agencies that would not have referable gender policies by 2010 could be sanctioned.

She explained that such agencies would have to present gender certificates to enable them to access their sectoral budgets.

Miss Dansua was speaking at the opening of a three-day training workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB), organised by the Ministry with sponsorship from UNFPA, for 16 selected ministries, departments and agencies, in Ho.

She said Ghana was committed to adopting the Global Development Strategy of Gender mainstreaming into all development plans.

Miss Dansua explained that gender mainstreaming did not mean “usurping power for women but finding more efficient ways by which public resources are distributed to ensure fairness and equity to benefit both men and women, boys and girls equally for accelerated development and to ensure a harmonious society”.

She said the drive towards gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting was initiated by MOWAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) and the National Development Planning Committee (NDPC) in 2008.

Miss Dansua said cabinet had given the approval for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to formulate gender polices, implement gender responsive budgeting and also set aside funds to address gender inequality in their sectors.

She said the workshop would sensitize participants in formulating budgets in gender-responsive ways, link gender-responsive policies with adequate budgetary funds, execute budget in a way that would benefit women and men, girls and boys equitably and monitor the impact of expenditure and revenue-raising from gender perspectives.

Miss Dansua said the advantage of the phenomenon included alleviating poverty more effectively, enhancing economic efficiency and advancement of women’s rights.

Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister, said “agencies at all levels must evolve strategies to make the concerns and experiences of women and men an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in political, economic, and societal spheres so that all sectors would benefit equally”.

He observed that in spite of the steps taken, over the years, to ameliorate gender inequality, including the passing of the intestate succession law and gender inequalities were still pervasive and gender gaps remain widespread”.

Topics to be treated include, Gender Analysis and Gender Sensitive Indicators, Basic Concepts and Issues in Budgeting, and Gender Responsive Budgeting –An Effective Tool for Integrated National Development and Poverty Reduction.

Source: GNA

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