Women empowerment, critical to attaining SDGs – Population Officer
Mr. Alosibah Akare Azam, the Upper East Regional Population Officer, is calling on stakeholders to review and initiate interventions and policies geared towards addressing gender inequality issues to attain inclusive development.
This, he said, would eliminate all forms of gender discrimination, particularly ones against women and empower them to contribute significantly to achieve the sustainable national development and the 17 goals of the SDG’s.
The Regional Officer made the call when he briefed the media in Bolgatanga, as part of activities marking the 2019 World Population Day celebration.
The global event celebrated annually on July 11, is set aside by the United Nations (UN), to highlight key population issues and challenges at the global and national levels and examine the need to review existing policies and programmes to address them.
Ghana’s theme for the celebration is, ‘Reproductive Health, Gender and Equality for sustainable development.’
Mr. Azam explained that the country’s socio-economic development depended on the attention paid to gender issues and the programmes formulated to mitigate them.
“Generally, when gender equality improves, the amount of power within women to bargain and acquire resources that is desired, is likely to increase, thus, leading to increased in opportunities for women to make personal and social choices,” he said.
“Sustainable development, especially attaining the SDG five, relies on ending discrimination towards women and providing them equal opportunities for education and employment,” he added.
The Regional Officer revealed that the Upper East Region for instance, during the 2010 population and housing census, recorded over one million people, about 52 per cent being women.
This, according to Mr. Azam, does not correspond with women representation at the decision making processes, especially at the local governance levels.
Teenage pregnancy, inadequate information and social cultural beliefs, regarding the use of modern family planning methods, were major factors that accounted for the rapid population growth the region and the country is experiencing Mr. Azam added.
“The traditional leaders should institute by-laws in their communities to facilitate or promote reproductive health and abolish negative or harmful practices that affect reproductive health,” he added.
The Regional Officer said family planning was central to achieving gender equality, women empowerment and reduced poverty. He said intensive education, especially in the rural areas, would ensure parents understand the implications of having many children with limited resources.