A revised National Gender Policy (NGP) and its Strategic Implementation Plan are in the offing.
The revised policy and strategic plan, which are being drafted by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and its stakeholders, are to replace an earlier five-year policy which expired in 2020.
At a stakeholders’ meeting in Accra to finalise the drafting of the revised policy, the Chief Director at MoGSCP, Dr Afisah Zakariah, told the meeting that the two documents were to help effective gender mainstreaming in the country.
The chief director, who was represented by a Director at the Department of Gender, Mrs Vera Karikari Bediako, said the policy focused on mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment into the country’s development efforts at all tiers of governance.
According to her, achieving gender equality called for the country to address the biggest challenges confronting the nation such as poverty, inequality, intersectionality, as well as putting an end to violence and discrimination against women and girls “no matter where they live or how they live, so that no one is left behind”.
She said to address those inequalities, “Ghana must work towards a significant increase in societal investments in gender equality in order to strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equity and the empowerment of women and girls.
The Consultant working on the policy and its strategic plan, Sheila Minkah-Premo, in a presentation said there was the need for a gender policy in the country because there was gender imbalance in the country in several areas of life and the policy, therefore, was to help the country achieve gender balance in all spheres of life.
She said the first policy was developed in 2015 to set out a national policy to address gender equality and women's empowerment which expired in 2020, while the strategic implementation plan which was also from 2016 to 2020 was also put together to help with implementation of the policy.
She said the new policy and strategic plan, which would span 2023 to 2027, would also focus on mainstreaming gender equality and women empowerment concerns into national development processes for equitable livelihood for women and men, boys and girls.
The theme for the 2023 NGP is “Creating equal opportunities for all to accelerate Ghana’s development”.
Mrs Minkah-Premo said the policy was going to deal with issues such as “gender and access to justice”, “gender and participation in public/political life”, “gender and technology/cyber bullying”, “gender and employment/trade and livelihoods”, “gender and natural/land resources”, gender and agriculture” and “gender and education” among others.
The Country Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Barnabas Yisa, in an address said gender equality and the achievement of other development goals such as health, education, social and economic rights fulfilment, and even growth, were inseparable.