Recognise and actualise targets of SDG 5 in planning – MCE

The 17 SDGs

Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, Agona West Municipal Chief Executive, has entreated governments to recognise the importance of Sustainable Development Goal five (SDG 5) in the actualisation of planning for development.

She, however, noted that within the context of delivering sustainable human settlements; Gender Equality must be strongly integrated into the achievement of Sustainable Cities and Towns, which is, Goal 11.

Mrs Assan was speaking at the European Development Day, a global partnership, established to promote and strengthen the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development in Brussels, Belgium organised by Cities Alliance.

The event, which was on the theme: “shaping inclusive public spaces: a gender perspective to territorial planning,” brought together speakers all over the world to discuss inclusive public spaces interventions implemented in different regions in the world.

It gave specific attention to the contribution of initiatives to progresses across various SDGs and targets beyond Goal 11, as well as to advance the Urban Agenda.

The event focused on the contributions that women made in generating inclusive public spaces by bringing together successful experiences of cities’ transformation implemented in different regions in the world.

It also focused on how local communities, governments and the private sector could partner not only to improve public spaces, but also to collect data for advocacy, decision-making, planning and monitoring processes.

The shaping of inclusive and effective public spaces has the potential to contribute to advancing several SDGs in an integrated manner.

She said the unbalanced presence of women at the decision-making table at local levels, a relegation to ‘organising’ events but no voice in final decisions and lack of recognition of concerns of women in planning relevant social infrastructure and management was very worrying.

The MCE said, Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was changing the narrative by appointing women into governance positions as she had been a beneficiary of the policy to have more women in politics and governance.

She said the Agona West Municipality was also working on changing the narratives by embarking on initiatives to engaging more women by building their capacity and recognising their role in development.

“The lack of women inclusion in governance over the years requires re-orientation and training in employability skills for economic sustainability of livelihoods of women,” she said.

Mrs Assan said there was the need to recognise and accept that women had a voice and view point on issues of development and to support their voices and involvement in local governance in respect of Planning.

She said women and children were the most disadvantaged when development and economies of countries suffered and recognised that the voice of women in leadership ‘politics or business’ made significant and positive changes in sustainable ways.

The Agona West MCE said she had a deep passion in the capacity building for women in politics and passionate about issues affecting women and girls and that her assembly was embarking on programmes and activities that empowered them.

“Recently we brought together 84 widows who are taken through training in employability skills and entrepreneurship and was adjudged the Best Woman in Development at the Agonaman Achievers Awards,” she added.

Mrs Assan reiterated Ghana’s commitment to its partnership with Cities Alliance and allied Development Partners important to her mutual goal of improving the lives of her citizens in a sustainable and participatory manner.

She also acknowledged the support of some civil society organisations working in her municipality through collaborations with the assembly and bought into the idea of the need to address development planning through engagements and involvement of citizens, especially women.

She told investors about the development and investment opportunities in Ghana, adding that, “as a member of the Equitable Economic Growth Campaign, the Municipal Assembly had already taken steps to create and improve the enabling environment for investment and business.”

Other Mayors at the event included Pam Belcher-Taylor, the Mayor of Paynesville of Liberia and Ms Grace Mary Mugasa, Mayor of Hoima of Uganda.

The Mayors mentioned waste management, youth unemployment, healthy citizens, urban sprawl, migration and secondary cities as their major challenges facing their cities.

They also called for actions to be taken to make cities inclusive and safer for girls and women, and empowering vulnerable communities.

Source: GNA

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