Ghana yet to achieve 30% threshold of women public officers – Minister
Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has expressed concern that Ghana has not achieved the minimum threshold of 30 per cent representation of women in political and public offices.
Women and girls in the country are most of the time at the receiving end of harmful practices such as widowhood rites, female genital mutilation, trokosi, early child marriage, witchcraft accusation as well as vices such as rape, defilement, child prostitution and domestic violence.
Ms Djaba was speaking at the launch of the HeForShe campaign to support the global movement by the UN Women towards the attainment of gender equality.
Ghana is the seventh country on the African continent to sign onto the HeForShe campaign after Rwanda, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
The overall objective of the HeForShe campaign is to build a platform for high level, accessible and visible public advocacy and outreach on the engagement of men and boys as equal partners in the struggle for achieving gender equality.
It is aimed at mobilizing over two million men in Ghana and one billion men globally to support women and take actions that lead to the empowerment and gender equality for both sexes.
The campaign’s central message is that gender inequality is not only a women’s issue but a human rights issue, the resolution of which will benefit both women and men in all spheres.
She said Ghana has a male dominated Parliament and out of the total number of 275, only 37 are females, in spite of the ratifications such as the Beijing Platform of Action on Gender Equality, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa among others.
Ms Djaba said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-AddoIn in July 2017 was nominated the African Union Gender Champion” for 2017, as a result of his actions in promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in decision making.
She said Ghana is spear heading the Gender And Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA), a presidential initiative which was launched in November 2017 to promote women as leaders in business and politics across the continent.
The gender Minister said for Ghana to achieve gender equality, there is the need to create a conducive and enabling environment where men and boys will rise in support of women and girls.
“Men need to support their women to do the household chores, like helping to cook for the family, going grocery shopping, preparing the children for school, supporting their women to climb the economic ladder, supporting girls’ education and skills development and encouraging the general growth of women and girls.”