Stakeholders deliberate on review of gender policy

BY: Doreen Andoh
 Mr Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Country Representative in Ghana, making a statement  at the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Mr Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Country Representative in Ghana, making a statement at the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

A process to review and update the national gender policy began with a maiden stakeholders’ consultative meeting in Accra yesterday.

Led by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the review has become necessary following the expiry of the five-year gender policy — 2015 to 2020.

The participants discussed fine-tuning the expired policy and a strategic implementation plan to respond better to emerging and persisting gender inequality and equity issues, as well as women empowerment challenges.

The meeting was organised by the MoGCSP, with financial and technical support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Participants included representatives of ministries, development partners, policy makers and civil society organisations.

Inclusive process

The Chief Director of the MoGCSP, Dr Afisa Zakariah, said the meeting was to engender national discourse for the realisation of gender equality and equity between both females and males.

She said the update process would be consultative and guided by key stakeholder inputs at the national, regional and district levels.

Stakeholders deliberate on review of gender policy

According to her, the processes of reviewing and updating the policy and its strategic implementation plan would enable Ghana to develop an all-inclusive policy.

Dr Zakariah further said an updated policy would provide broad guidelines to operationalise the national commitment to mainstream gender equality in all aspects of national development.

“With the introduction of the national gender policy, the government seeks to re-emphasise its greater interest in working tirelessly for the development of both men and women,” she added.

The director expressed gratitude to all development partners, particularly the UNFPA, for their technical and financial support.

UNFPA’s mandate

The UNFPA Country Representative, Mr Niyi Ojuolape, said the promotion of gender equality and empowerment was central to the mandate of the organisation.

He said its development approach was anchored on three transformative goals — zeroing unmet need for family planning, prevention of maternal deaths and gender-based violence and harmful practices.

“We have, over the years, been pursuing the goals of women empowerment through excellent collaboration with the sector ministry, and I take this opportunity to reiterate our continued commitment to work with the government and other partners to ensure that the ambitious goals of this gender policy are translated into reality,” he said.

“Ghana’s effort at promoting gender equality and women and girls empowerment is evident through the enactment of laws and the development of policies, strategies and commitments to international instruments,” he added.

Mr Ojuolape, however, said in spite of the laudable initiatives and commitment by the government, there still remained more to be done to achieve gender ideals.