The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with the support of UN Women will on December 12, 2017, launch the HeForShe global solidarity movement in Ghana.
The launch is to be performed by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra.
Speaking at a media launch in Accra, Wednesday, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba explained, the HeForShe campaign in Ghana in support of the global movement by the UN Women towards the attainment of gender equality.
The Minister disclosed that the HeForShe campaign is aimed at mobilizing over two million men in Ghana and one billion men globally to stand up and support women and take actions that lead to empowerment and gender equality for both men and women.
She indicated that “for Ghana to achieve gender equality there is the need to create a conducive and enabling environment where men and boys will rise in support of women and girls; where men will support their women to do the household chores like helping to cook for the family, going grocery shopping, preparing the children for school, supporting their women to climb the economic ladder, supporting girls’ education and skills development and encouraging the general growth of women and girls”.
Otiko Afisah Djaba bemoaned that Ghana has not achieved the minimum threshold of 30% representation in political and public office, in spite of the nation’s ratification of international gender-responsive policies such as the Beijing Platform of Action on Gender Equality, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa among others. For instance, Ghana has a male-dominated Parliament; out of the total number of 275, only 37 are female.
The Minister said that women and girls in Ghana are most of the time at the receiving end of harmful practices such as widowhood rites, female genital mutilation, 'trokosi', early child marriage, witchcraft accusation as well as vices such as rape, defilement, child prostitution and domestic violence.
Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba
She noted that her Ministry will leave no stone unturned in collaborating with other Ministries and the law enforcement agencies to ensure the full enforcement of the laws that promote gender equality and the development of men and women.
Madam Mariam Tendou Kamara, HeForShe Specialist for UN Women lauded Ghana for being the next country on the African Continent to sign onto the HeForShe campaign after Senegal, Malawi, Kenya, Gambia, Rwanda, Sierra Leon and Nigeria.
She praised Ghana for sharing in the vision of the UN Women and showing strong commitment towards the campaign for gender equality.
She encouraged men and boys of different backgrounds to join the campaign and promote gender equality.
Meanwhile, high-level dignitaries and distinguished guests are expected to attend the HeForShe launch scheduled for December 12, 2017, including government officials, political leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, business leaders, celebrities and artists, champions and influencers from civil society, including youth and the media.
The overall objective for launching the HeForShe in Ghana is to build a platform for high level, accessible and visible public advocacy and outreach on the engagement of men and boys as equal partners in the struggle for achieving Gender Equality. The campaign’s central message is that gender inequality is not only a women’s issue but a human rights issue, the resolution of which will benefit both women and men socially, politically and economically.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with the support of UN Women, has set up a Technical Steering Committee since November 2017, to plan, lead and implement the action plan for the national launch. This week, with the unveiling of the HeForShe online platform in Ghana, a digital advocacy campaign will kick off, as part of the pre-launch action geared towards mobilizing and galvanizing support in accelerating progress for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment across the country.
In Ghana, there are important gender differences in men’s and women’s legal status and in the rights and protections afforded by law, while Ghana became a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1986, and has ratified a variety of international and regional women’s rights conventions, treaties and declarations, including at the National level such as the Convention for nationality of married women as well as the Conventions for Political Rights of Women.
In July 2017, the President of Ghana was nominated by the AU Chairperson, “African Union Gender Champion” for 2017, as a result of his actions in promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in decision making.
The Gender And Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA), a presidential initiative spearheaded by Ghana to promote women as leaders in business and politics across the continent, was effectively launched this November 2017.