Gender experts brainstorm at Elmina
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under its Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage has brought together Regional Directors of the Department of Gender at a workshop at Elmina in the Central Region to review its guidelines for engaging men and boys.
The two-day event is to also review the Child Marriage Advocacy Toolkit developed by the UNFPA to enable them incorporate it into the stakeholders and partners 2019 work plan as they engage the various communities they work in to address child marriage and other adolescent reproductive issues.
The toolkit developed by the UNFPA has been in use since the inception of the programme, to educate households on the benefits of investing in adolescent girls.
In attendance are other stakeholders from the National Youth Authority (NYA), the National Coordinator of the Police Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights as well as the Media Communication Advocacy Network (MCAN).
The UNFPA Deputy Country Representative to Ghana, Ms Erica Goldson, in an address, said adolescent girls were the most vulnerable in society and as a result the UNFPA as part of its global mandate was working with governments and implementing partners to address issues affecting vulnerable girls in the communities.
“As partners, we can help in this direction by assisting to address the child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sexually transmitted infections, and maternal mortality due to early pregnancy,” she said adding that the UNFPA was therefore ready to help to change the dynamics for Ghana hence the stakeholders engagement.
Ms Goldson reiterated the UNFPA’s commitment to ensure that every pregnancy was wanted and every delivery was safe as well as the sexual and reproductive health needs of the adolescent girls were met.
Dr Comfort Asare, National Director of the Department of Gender on her part lamented the gender inequality especially young adolescent girls and hoped that policies would be put in place to reverse the trend.
The Member of Parliament for Abura Asebu Kwamankese in the Central Region, Mr Elvis Morris Donkoh, stressed the need for MPs to continuously educate members of the House to enable them appreciate the issues and not leave that to the Select Committee on Gender alone.
He conceded that the problem of gender inequality and gender equity was real and expressed the hope that all was not lost as continuous sensitisation was needed to enable MPs appreciate the issues to address them through appropriate legislations.
Mr Donkoh commended the UNFPA for its engagement with stakeholders and government in addressing the issues of gender in the country.
FROM NORMAN COOPER, ELMINA