Gender inequality impedes Ghana’s development – ActionAid

ActionAid Ghana (AAG), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Upper East Region, says gender inequality is one of the main problems that impedes Ghana’s development agenda.

It said gender inequality prevented the utilization of the fullest potential of human capital of the population, especially female groups.

Mr Akuka Yakubu, the Programme Officer of AAG, said while women were being disadvantaged in various facets of life including economic, social, cultural, and religious aspects, gender disparities in education, economy and politics had prevented their contribution to national development. 

“Although many factors have been cited by various studies to be the cause of women’s disadvantaged situation in the country, the root cause is patriarchy which has permeated various aspects of society.

“This calls for the reconstruction of people’s mindset with regard to the status of women which has been perpetuated by patriarchy,” he said.

Mr Yakubu was speaking at a public forum in Bolgatanga, organized by the AAG’s Regional Programme Office on gender equality as part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration.

The celebration was on the theme: “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.”

The IWD is celebrated annually on March 8 to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women serve as reminder of the progress made towards gender equality and highlight the work needed to be done.

The forum, which was intended to discuss issues around women’s rights, was held in collaboration with the Department of Gender, the Ghana Enterprise Agency, the Young Urban Women’s Movement, and the media.

Mr Yakubu said the celebration called for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environment where all women would be valued and respected.

“Inspire inclusion encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives, contributions, and achievements of women from all walks of life, including those from marginalized communities.

“While we celebrate the achievements of women, we need to also reflect on the challenges and barriers that hinder the achievement of gender equality,” he said.

The Programme Officer called on the government and civil society to encourage more women to rise to the challenge of developing themselves and their country.

That, he said could be done by giving them more opportunities in leadership, decision-making, education, and participation in economic activities, adding that “The government should improve upon its commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of females in Ghana.

Mr Yakubu said AAG, and other development actors believed that advancing women’s rights and gender equality was a core desirable goal for any successful and sustainable development agenda.

“AAG strongly subscribes to the dictum that women must live without fear of violence, be freed from the burden of unpaid care work, have increased access to, and control over productive resources and should be given opportunities to participate effectively in the decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods,” he said.

In a solidarity message, Mr James Twene, the Acting Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said despite the strides made by stakeholders to check inequality among women, disparities persisted.

“Women still face barriers to equal opportunities, unequal pay, and limited access to healthcare, gender-based violence, and underrepresentation in decision-making roles.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to dismantle these barriers and ensure that every woman and girl can thrive, free from discrimination and inequality. Investing in women is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic investment in our collective future,” he added.

Mr Twene emphasized that investment in women and girls was not only a matter of social justice but also a smart economic decision that yielded significant returns in terms of poverty reduction, economic growth, and sustainable development.

Source: GNA

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