Stakeholders validate new National Gender Policy

Nana Oye Lithur - Minister of Gender
Nana Oye Lithur – Minister of Gender (middle)

Stakeholders, led by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, have validated the new National Gender Policy (NGP); to help address gender equity and empowerment of women for national development.

The policy aims at mainstreaming gender concerns into the national development processes, for improving the social, legal, civic, political, economic and socio-cultural conditions of Ghanaians, particularly women, children, the poor and vulnerable in society.

The NGP focuses on mainstream gender equality, women empowerment and social protection concerns, by strongly concentrating on the implementation of objectives, such as Women Empowerment and Livelihood; Women’s Rights and Access to Justice, Women’s Leadership and Accountable Governance; and Macro-Economics, Trade and Industries.

The Validation Workshop on the Final Draft of the NGP on the theme: “Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment into Ghana’s Development Efforts,” was attended by stakeholders, officials from the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs); metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies; civil society organizations; and development partners.

Nana Oye said, the main strategy for reducing poverty, social injustices among women and men, improving health standards, and enhancing efficiency of public and private sector investments, was to ensure gender equality and women empowerment.

“Achieving gender equality is therefore, a pre-requisite for sustainable development,” the Minister observed.

She stated that the NGP was a culmination of Ghana’s efforts,  right from independence, for a society devoid of discrimination of any kind, especially gender-based discrimination.

“Our founding father Dr Kwame Nkrumah was the first African President to initiate an affirmative action policy; when he introduced the Representation of the People’s Act, 1960. This provided for 10 women to join the National Assembly,” she said.

She observed that since then, women continue to be actively encouraged to participate in national politics and governance process.

“A good number of them have occupied significant positions in state institutions, such as the MDAs in recent times. Ghana has had a woman Speaker of Parliament and the Judiciary is still headed by a woman,” Nana Oye said.

“We are obviously looking forward to the day a woman President will emerge in Ghana,” she added.

The Minister said the African Union at its recent summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, declared 2015 as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”

She said: “As a government, we are committed to partnering the international and local communities to ensure that women’s empowerment and development are achieved at a faster pace than ever before.”

She paid tribute to her predecessors who had contributed in diverse ways towards the drafting of the NGP.

On recent negative development at the Bawjiase Children’s Home in the Central Region, the Minister said the Attorney-General’s Department will be taking legal action against perpetrated abuse of the children, which was unearthed by the ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

She said the Ministry would soon hold a press briefing on it to update Ghanaians.

Dr Babatunde Ahonsi, United Nations Populations Fund Country Director said,  his organization views the NGP as one of the many important avenues on the road to achieving gender and holistic national development, hence their commitment and support to the process to arrive at a nationally-owned document that would be effectively implemented by all stakeholders.

The Rector of the Law Institute,  Rector Mrs Hillary Gbedemah,  urged stakeholders to take a critical look at the monitoring and evaluation of the new policy as they go forward.

Mrs Mercy Nee Djan, National President of the Market Women Association, advised parents to give their wards the best education, thereby guaranteeing them a better future.

She pledged her Association’s support and commitment to the full implementation of the NGP.

Source: GNA

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