The empowerment of women in society

The concerns of women’s inequality with men in society continue to exist.

Experts, including Government appointees and other stakeholders have appealed to governments to consider the empowerment of women as its top most priority in the development agenda of the country.

Many continue to call on the empowerment of women and see it as the empowerment of the community and that no community or family could be better off, if women were not empowered.

Others say women are those who personify society and as such they are best managers of the family and the community.

Women are constantly faced with violent attacks by men and society as a result of historical and cultural perceptions. Some of the perceptions include such notions as “the woman is weaker vessel and what men can do, women cannot do”, and “they are the property of the man”.

Inspite of the huge contributions that women continue to render to society, they are still looked down upon, disrespected and relegated to the background by society and face challenges like poverty, lack of education, beaten by men, abused and despised because they are less empowered.

The talents and skills of women have been suppressed by society and we continue to see them as weaker vessels due to cultural beliefs and inferiority complex on the part of women.

Women face a lot of challenges at home and the society at large. It is time the society and stake holders, including governments come to the aid of these less empowered women and assist them in acquiring skills for national development.

Women are seen as imature, with no wisdom and need to be corrected through punishment anytime they misbehave.

In Ghana, the move to address the issues of inequality and the abuse of women’s right, institutional reforms have been pursued to improve the administration of all issues affecting women and children. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has been established to fill administrative lapses, which hitherto impeded the successful implementation of women’s rights as the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) are all established to assist women and children who are deemed to bevulnerable.

Women have been marginalised for far too long in political; economic and social issues and yet Ghanaian women constitute 51 per cent of the total population and make fundamental contributions to society.

Inspite of their numerical strength in the area of economic, social and cultural divide, their voices are still not sufficiently heard and their presence in public life is limited.

A research by experts show that the ability of women to participate effectively in socio-political and economic development is hampered by inadequate education, lack of access to financial resources and low participation in governance.

The issue has been a great concern to governments and stakeholders in finding ways of addressing the inequality and abuse of the rights of women in society.

Governments should come up with educative, effective and attractive document that will sensitise both the empowered women and the vulnerable ones to rise up and take leadership roles in society.

Many believe that women have impacted so positively on the growth and development of Ghana, but so often remain unappreciated hence there is the need to recognised them and pushed them unto the limelight for National development.

Government need to implement a policy on Affirmative Action strongly, which seeks to promote social justice and placing women equally as men in decision making for national growth.

Others are calling on parliament to pass the Domestic Violence Bill in its entirety to help empower women at home or bring peace into the family.

Women need to be empowered with skills to enable them unearth their potentials and help contribute their quota at home and the society at large. Women should be supported in general, both financially and physically to enable them have interest in the issues of development in the country.

Both men and women in the home should treat each other equally and respect each other to enable the children emulate them. The girl-child must be equally educated, loved and assisted to rise up to face the challenges of life as the boys do.

The Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection should make the effort to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment and safer environments through the prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

The ministry should strengthen the legal and policy framework to promote gender equality and the Affirmative Action Bill.

Government should continue to make efforts to address discrimination against women in the economic and political spheres, foster entrepreneurship and leadership and remove barriers to meaningful engagement opportunity for Ghanaian women.

By Stella Armoo Kwaw

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