November 24, 2020 2:56 am
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the UNFPA is committed to work to end all negative cultural practices, stigmatization, enhance the quality of life of people and to protect the vulnerable and ostracized in society against all forms of human rights abuses.
Gender Equality and Women Empowerment are strategies for reducing poverty levels, social injustices among women and men, improving health standards and enhancing efficiency of public and private sector investments and domestic finance. Thus, achieving gender equality is regarded as the attainment of human rights and a pre-requisite.
To ensure a national framework is formulated on Gender Equality, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Harmful Cultural Practices and Child Marriage, the Department of Gender have organised a one-day engagement with traditional leaders on 24th November, 2020 in the Northern zone, Tamale as was done in the Southern zone to complete the nationwide engagement with traditional authorities.
In a speech read on behalf of the Director for the Department of Gender, Madam Faustina Acheampong by Mr Ephraim Kwabla Tetteh, a staff of the Department said despite the many commitments signed by the government at the international level such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1998) among others, which have direct implications for accelerating the status and welfare of women, they continue to lag behind that of their male counterparts in all spheres of life.
Negative cultural practices such as widowhood rites, trokosi, FGM, child marriage and witchcraft accusations according to the him are retrogressive and obstruct the discourse for equality.
He said the Ministry will continue to contribute to the development of the nation by achieving gender equality and equity, facilitate the enforcement of the rights of children and also promote the integration and protection of the vulnerable through appropriate policies and strategies.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is committed to working to end all negative cultural practices, stigmatization, and enhance the quality of life of people and protect the vulnerable and marginalized in society against human rights abuses.” He said.
As part of the one-day engagement with traditional leaders, there were presentations on: Understanding the implication on Gender inequality, SGBV and Harmful Cultural Practices as well as Ending SGBV and Harmful Cultural Practices: The Role of Traditional Authorities.
The objectives of the one-day engagement was to:
1. Sensitize traditional leaders to be involved in the discourse to improve women and girls’ safety, their physical and mental health, economic security, human rights and legal protections and overall well-being, to unlock the potential for change.
2. Equip traditional leaders with knowledge on existing laws on harmful cultural practices and educate them on the negative impact of these practices on development in order for them to support the abolishing of such practices by enforcing the existing laws.
3. Engage traditional leaders and authorities to be champions in promoting and protecting the rights and general well-being of women and girls and promote gender equality within their respective communities.
4. Formulate a National framework on the issues of Gender Equality, ASRH, SGBV, HP and Child Marriage.
It is expected that participants would be committed to support the enforcement of laws against sexual and gender based violence after the workshop.