Mrs Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, the Executive Director of Ark Foundation, has said there is the need for a wider recognition and effective implementation of women rights issues to make them operational in the national gender policy.
She said the country was good at drafting policies but had failed in the implementation process, explaining that the implementation of those policies would help achieve the objectives of the policy as well as enhance actions for results.
Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye was speaking at a symposium on the National Gender Policy in Accra on the theme: “Creating a Sustainable Gender Policy for Effective Gender Mainstreaming in Society,” on Tuesday.
The programme was organised by the Gender Development and Resource Centre of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
The National Gender Policy was launched in 2015 to mainstream Gender Equality concerns into the national development processes by improving the social, legal, civic, political, economic and socio-cultural conditions of Ghanaians, particularly women, children, the vulnerable, people with special needs, persons with disability and the marginalised.
The Policy was guided, particularly, by Article 17(1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution, which guarantees gender equality and the freedom of women and men, girls and boys from discrimination on the basis of social or economic status, among others.
The policy is also based on the international instruments on Gender Equality, Equity and Empowerment.
Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye said the idea of gender equality and women’s empowerment was meant to reduce poverty levels, social injustices and to improve health standards and enhance the efficiency of public and private sector investments for the betterment of society.
She said most of those policies were on ad-hoc basis because they were donor-driven with less government support, and urged the Government to be more proactive and pay more attention on issues affecting women.
Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye said there was disconnect between advocacy and research, policy and reality, talk and service and appealed to the Government to prioritise the sector’s budget and ensure the strict implementation of policies on women’s rights.
“Rape victims do not only need summary trials, but they need certain psycho-social services such as specialised counselling to minimise the trauma they go through,” she said.
Mrs Comfort Asare, the Director of the Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the national gender policy was critical because it provided policy guidelines in achieving gender equality in women empowerment as well as the marginalised in society.
She said in spite of the policy, there was low funding in the implementation and low women participation in governance.
Mrs Francesca Pobee-Hayford, the Gender Advisor for Canada Programme Support Unit, commended the Government for developing the policy as there were gaps in gender equality in education, health, employment and governance, especially in the rural areas.
She called for a logical framework for effective monitoring and assessment to ensure results and provide the requisite resources for the implementation.