Ghana will be hosting the First Ladies Conference on ending child marriage and other harmful traditional and cultural practices and the second African Union (AU) Girls Summit in August, 2018.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCP) in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the AU Commission, would host the two summits in Accra.
Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Gender Minister made the announcement on Tuesday at the ‘Meet The Press’ series in Accra.
The Minister shared the Gender Ministry’s comprehensive programmes, challenges and achievements over the past 16 months and the outlook.
Madam Djaba said the Gender Ministry had a vision to create a harmonious society in which the survival and development of the sexes, children, the vulnerable, and persons with disability are guaranteed.
She said the MoGCSP exist to contribute to the development of the nation by achieving gender equality and equity; facilitate the enforcement of the rights of children; promote the integration and protection of the vulnerable, excluded and persons with disabilities in the development process working with integrity, excellence, fairness and respect for diversity.
She noted that the Ministry had been strengthening the legal frameworks to promote the mainstreaming of gender, children and social protection issues into the national development discourse.
She explained that bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, the Aged Bill, the Foster Care and Adoption Regulations were submitted and approved by Cabinet in 2016. However, the change in government required that, they were resubmitted to the new Cabinet for approval.
She said in line with this, the Ministry undertook further consultations to reflect the broader views of the public and government priorities for women, children and the vulnerable.
Madam Djaba said the Foster Care and Adoption Regulations were at their final stages of passage in Parliament.
She said the Affirmative Action Bill had been re-submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval.
She noted the fours bills; the Aged Persons, Social Protection, Persons with Disability, and Ghana School Feeding Bills would be taken through stakeholder consultations and subsequent submission to Cabinet for approval.
“Existing legal documents and policies such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Human Trafficking Act, the Children’s Act are being translated into voice format in 11 Ghanaian languages for easy access by the general public,” she said.
She said within the period under review series of programmes were undertaken to mark calendar events such as the International Women’s Day (IWD), Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was marked with three national durbars and 30 regional durbars.
Madam Djaba said the Ghana National Action Plan (GHANAP) on the UN Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security was reviewed to ensure the full representation and active participation of women in conflict, prevention, resolution, peace, negotiation, mediation, crisis and security management at all levels of the Ghanaian society.
She said the Ministry continued to create awareness on fistula in prevalent communities, which targeted Chiefs, Queen mothers, opinion and Religious Leaders; declaring that these activities were to mark the World Fistula Day.
She said in the course of the period under review 400 Kayayei were trained in livelihood and pre-employment skills.
She noted that furthermore, a comprehensive five-year strategic plan was being developed with a broad stakeholder consultation to eradicate the phenomenon.
“My Ministry is responsible for the vulnerable, the excluded, the disadvantaged, the marginalised, the extreme poor, and the neglected. We need to break the barriers of social cultural norms, taboos and harmful traditional and cultural practices. We must look after each other as a community of Ghanaians,” she said.
She said the Ministry was therefore, in a unique position to be the voice of the voiceless; “as we work to ensure no one is left behind”.
High profile dignitaries at the event were Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, Minister of Information and his Deputy Mr Perry Okudzeto.