General News of Thursday, 31 March 2005
Accra, March 31, GNA - The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) on Thursday stressed the importance of economic empowerment of women, without which there would be no real development and indicated that efforts would now be placed on moving women from the micro-level to the macro-level as owners of small and medium scale businesses.
Hajia Alima Mahama, the Sector Minister, said a technical team drawn from MOWAC, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and civil society groups would soon meet to finalise plans for the implementation of a comprehensive project for gender sensitive programming in Ghana.
Hajia Mahama was addressing a press briefing to report on Ghana's participation at the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 10 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The meeting, held from 28 February to March 11, also reviewed the outcome Document of the UN General Assembly's Session held five years ago, also known as the Beijing Plus Five and provided member states with the opportunity to share experiences and good practices towards overcoming the remaining obstacles to the attainment of gender equality goals.
The Minister, who led Ghana's 14-member delegation, stressed that the promotion of gender equality and enhancement of women's status were very high on Ghana's development agenda.
"With the elevation of the national machinery to both Ministerial and central management Agency status, now gender-equality issues receive attention at the highest level of decision-making," she said.
Hajia Alima said an interactive meeting held by the Commonwealth Secretariat for Ministers of Women's Affairs, Senior Officers, civil society organisations and partners prior to the actual session, offered representatives of Commonwealth countries the opportunity to articulate a strong Commonwealth voice at the "Beijing Plus 10" meeting. She said a resolution titled: " Message from Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministers (CWAM) to the United Nations Beijing Plus Ten Review" was adopted to affirm their commitment towards the implementation of the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005 to 2015 and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Beijing Plus Five Documents.
Hajia Mahama stated that governments were urged to take possible actions to promote women's full and equal participation in decision-making and further called for immediate measures to address violence against women, promote and protect women's right to land, housing, inheritance and livelihood.
She said the CWAM also called for strengthened partnership at all levels between Commonwealth governments, civil society and between men and boys and other partners in advancing the rights of women and girls.