Gender disparity is a denial of human rights – Gender Minister

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, has said the economic empowerment of women has a direct correlation with the development of the country.

She noted that there was an inextricable link between gender empowerment and poverty, which often affected social economic development of the nation.

Madam Afisah Djabah stated this in a statement delivered at the High Level Interactive Dialogue on Wednesday at the ongoing 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Speaking on the topic: “Building Alliances to Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment In the Changing World of Work”, she said the global disparities in the economic well-being of women as against men are clearly fuelled by various gender norms and values that did not promote women as skilled, strong and smart enough as their male counterpart.

“This is wrong, deceptive and an injustice to humankind.  I believe that any such value or norm which promotes the devaluing of women in the work force does not have a place in today’s world and must be done away with,” she argued.

The Gender Minister admitted that Ghana had also faced gender disparities at various levels of her workforce, which went against women, particularly, in the formal sector.

She said in the decision making positions, women have remain underrepresented, adding that, there was much economic gain to be made from recognising the value of women’s work and enhancing their participation in national development through deliberate and well-targeted policies.

The minister cited statistics from the 2014 Ghana Living Standards Survey, which revealed that 29.9 per cent of males were engaged in wage employment as against 11.7 per cent for females.

Such disparities, she said, also existed in other key areas such as politics where currently 37 out of 275 Members of Parliament were women.

To address this disparity, she said, the government had taken steps to ensure a strong legal and policy environment that supports women’s inclusion and welfare.

She added that an Affirmative Action Bill was currently under consideration in Parliament, and when passed, would enable the country to correct the imbalances seen in many decision-making positions in the country.

The minister expressed commitment by the government to work with the Civil Society Organisations, development partners and donors to advance the economic empowerment of women in the changing world of work.

“African Governments, in particular, must show commitment by undertaking gender budgeting and allocate resources to areas where gender disparities need to be addressed.  Enough talk, the time is now to walk the talk” she stated.

Source: GNA

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