Deputy Gender Minister calls for women’s empowerment in socio-economic devt …as nation marks International Women’s Day

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms Freda Prempeh, has called for the enforcement of policies and efforts aimed at empowering women to appreciate their immense contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.

 She also called for the active involvement of women in decision-making and matters that affected them in society.

Ms Prempeh made the call at the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day at Koforidua last Thursday.

The event held on the theme, “I am generation equality: Realising women’s right”, brought together women from various institutions and communities, including New Juaben Municipality, Assin Fosu, Tarkwa and Anwhiam.

It was jointly organised by Solidaridad West Africa, Mondelez International Cocoa Life Ghana Programme, and Abantu for Development and Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, both non-profit entities.

The minister noted that the challenges facing women in society, such as inadequate resources, lack of education and confidence and domestic responsibility, had not been addressed adequately.

For example, she said winning a seat at the district assembly elections entailed a lot of hard work that was driven by logistics, handwork and huge sums of money.

“Winning at the parliamentary level is even more cumbersome. Recognition by political parties has been good but slow. Stereotyping, patriarchal nature of male-dominated careers interwoven with social and cultural hindrances have created a lot of timidity, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

“Some women are bogged down by impediments and therefore, do not pursue their careers, even though they may have competence, capacity and knowledge in their chosen fields. Cultural hindrances, lack of spousal and family support are also some of these challenges,” she stated.

To create a change and move women forward, Ms Prempeh said there was the need to create a more conducive environment that would enable women to participate in decision-making at all levels.

“There is the need to remove or eliminate gender stereotypes and unearth hidden potentials of women through affirmative action, education and capacity building,” she said.  

Ms Prempeh noted that, currently, only 38 females, representing 13.8 per cent, were female parliamentarians, lamenting that women were poorly represented even though they constitute majority of the population.

 In an address read on his behalf, the Country Representative of Solidaridad West Africa, Suzan Yemidi, said this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day would mark several moments in the gender crusade.

She outlined a number of activities to mark the event as, five years of implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the celebration of the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and 10th anniversary of establishment of the UN Women.

FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA

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