The United Nations (UN) Ghana has called for the speed-up of efforts at innovation and put females at the heart of initiatives, to help achieve gender equality in the country.
Innovation, according to the acting UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, could help address some of the barriers females encountered in accessing public services and opportunities to end gender inequality.
This was contained in a statement issued by Ms Cynthia Prah of the UN Information Centre, Accra, on Friday, to commemorate this year’s International Women’s day on the theme “Think equal, build smart, and innovate for change”.
According to UN-Ghana, the country could end gender inequality by 2030, through innovative efforts such as urban planning focused on community safety; e-learning platforms that take classrooms to women and girls; affordable and quality childcare centres and technology shaped by women.
“We should make it central to our efforts to promote women’s empowerment and in doing so, we need to make sure that women and girls are not only just consumers of innovation, but that they are given the space to be innovators themselves.”
“The countless numbers of life-changing inventions created by women throughout history prove that they are capable to do so, when society doesn’t get in their way,” the statement quoted Ms Lopez-Ekra as saying.
It stated that despite notable progress over the years, discriminatory social norms on gender continued to impact negatively on the lives of both women and men in Ghana.
It said women’s education and economic empowerment were too often compromised by lack of adequate and sustained opportunities, support, and investments.
Child marriage and teenage pregnancy, it said remained a critical barrier to girls’ continued education, skills development and formal sector employment, leaving majority of them in the informal sector where they earned low income and have limited access to social security projection.
The statement also highlighted how women spent significant time on domestic chores and suggested that shared responsibility could improve their access to education and economic empowerment opportunities.
Women’s rights and gender equality, it said was accelerators for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which promote prosperity for everyone worldwide.
“Achieving a gender-equal world requires social innovations that work for both women and men and leave no one behind,” the statement said and affirmed UN- Ghana’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and participation in the development process in the country.
BY TIMES REPORTER