The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has urged Ghanaians to strengthen their family values to promote peaceful coexistence and development.
“A healthy and solid family translates into a healthy and solid society thereby positively impacting socio-economic development.”
The Deputy Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Freda Prempeh who gave the advice, was speaking at the maiden edition of strengthening the family conference held in Accra yesterday.
It was organised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in collaboration with the MoGCSP on the theme, ‘My family, My Strength.’
The event brought together participants from different religious backgrounds – Ghana, La Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Togo and Sierra Leone.
According to the deputy minister, families played very important roles in the society by providing a sense of belonging and satisfaction to its members.
She said a strengthened family significantly improved parenting skills, family relationships and reduce problem behaviours, delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse among children.
The absence of a strong family tie, she said does not only affect family members negatively but also have effects on the nation because the family systems formed the foundation upon which a nation is built.
Madam Prempeh was of the view that violence against women and girls in Ghana had its deep roots embedded in cultural practices which had been internalised by society and the family.
She explained that legally, abuse, violence and discrimination in Ghana were prohibited, adding that Ghana had already signed and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights among others.
She further stated that her outfit had also initiated various projects and interventions that promote and protect the vulnerable in society.
She commended the leadership of the Latter Day Saints for holding such a seminar, saying it would go a long way in changing the mindset of some members of the public, concerning the relevance of a strong family base.
“I entreat everyone to be each other’s keeper to ensure a strong extended family system which has knitted us over the years,” she added.
Mr Marcus B. Nash, the President of the West African region of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaking at the event stated that strengthening of families would bring upon individuals, communities and nations continuous peace, protection and prosperity.
He urged persons and various governments to promote measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family “for it is the fundamental unit of the society”.
He emphasised on the essential nature of the family adding that the family was as vital as the oxygen we breathe.
“When I talk of essential I mean like the oxygen we breathe let’s say for instance the oxygen I breathe is cut, my life would perish within one to two minutes, the family therefore is essential to say in spiritual, moral even in economic means,” he added.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU AND DANIEL ASANTE