Stop inhuman practices against women – UNFPA

Ms Miriam R. Iddrisu, Gender Officer of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has called for an end to inhuman cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, widowhood rites and forceful marriages in Ghana.

She noted that the country’s legal regime abhorred such practices and called for the need to prosecute those who engage in such acts to serve as deterrent.

Ms. Iddrisu made the call in Tamale on Tuesday during the International Women’s’ Day celebration in Tamale.

The International Women’s Day which falls on 8 March every year is a global day designated to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women.

The occasion which was organized by the Department of Women under the theme: “Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology, Pathway to Positive and Reproductive Health and Decent Work for Women”.

It was preceded by a procession of women and school pupils through the principal streets of the Tamale Metropolis aimed at sensitizing the public particularly women and the girl-child on the need for them to take their rightful places in society.

Ms Iddrisu said it was only when girls enjoyed equal access to education, and their right to sexual and reproductive health that the nation could achieve equity for all.

“When women plan their families, balance work and family life as they desire, when a pregnant woman no longer fear losing her job and maternity no longer continues to be a source of discrimination in employment, we can advance equal right between men and women”, she said.

Ms Iddrisu lamented on the high rate of abortions and maternal mortality in the Northern region and called on government to make reproductive health education for young girls and expectant mothers a priority.

According to her, the recent review conducted by the Ghana Health Service in the region, recorded 81 maternal death cases in 2010, 96 in 2009 and 91 in 2008 adding that such a phenomenon was not acceptable and must be reversed.

Mr. Issahaku Patrick Seidu Zakari-Saa, The Northern Regional Director of Department of Women, called on stakeholders in the fight against domestic violence to collaborate effectively to ensure that violence against women and children were addressed.

He reiterated the need for equal opportunity for all sexes to facilitate national development.

He said the status of women in any society reflected its commitment to social development and enlisted the support of Ghanaians across the social and political divide to support affirmative actions that uplifted the image of women.

Mr. Zakari-Saa added that men must be part of the move in promoting the rights of women since they would be the ultimate beneficiaries in such an effort.

Source: GNA

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