March 16, 2023 10:35 am

On 15th March, 2023 the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu participated in the 4th African Girls Summit – Pre Girls high level side event held at the ongoing 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

The Minister was joined by the the Chief Director, Dr. Afisah Zakariah, Director for the Department of Gender, Madam Faustina Acheampong and some members of Ghana’s Gender and Children’s Committee.

The event which was held at the permanent Observer Mission of the African Union (AU) to the United States was themed: “Strengthening Digital Rights and Online Safety to Protect and promote Girls and Women’s Technological Empowerment”.

Delivering her statement, the Hon. Minister indicated that the use of the internet among children especially, girls and women is on the rise and gradually becoming an intrinsic part of their daily lives.

“The internet offers girls and women several opportunities in areas such as education, health, market, entertainment and socialization by accessing information to enhance their well-being and development”. she stressed.

She added that, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana – who is also the AU Gender Champion – has put a robust system in place to protect the rights of girls and women online adding that Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization has established the National Cyber Security Centre as well as appointing a National Cybersecurity Advisor to coordinate cybersecurity in government and across all sectors.

These actions according to her have contributed to the establishment of a Child Online Protection Department.

Hon. Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu disclosed that, Ghana has also launched the Internet Watch Foundation Child Online Protection and operationalized the Internet Watch Foundation Reporting Portal for the removal of and reporting of child sexual abused material being accessed from Ghana but hosted outside the country.

On Legislation, the Sector Minister hinted that the recently passed Cyber Security Act, 2020 (Act 1038) has provisions that criminalises online grooming of girls and women, online enticement of children for sexual abuse, sextortion, and the production, viewing and distribution of child sexual abuse material.

She therefore reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to enhance policies and advocacy to strengthen the digital rights and online safety to protect and promote girls and women’s technological empowerment.

Ending her address, Hon. Lariba Abudu urged all to work together and adopt best practices to ensure that information accessed by children, girls and women online are what will enhance their knowledge in promoting their education and general wellbeing.

Source: MoGCSP