Regional News of Friday, 8 March 2013
Ghana on Friday joined the international delegates attending the 57 session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to mark International Women’s Day in New York.
The 2013 International Women’s Day is on the general theme: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.
It was marked at the UN headquarters with a special interactive session.
Wrapped in Ghanaian traditional attire, most of the Ghanaian delegation exhibited the country's rich tradition whilst joining forces with others to stand against violence against women and girls.
Nana Oye Lithur, Ghana’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in an interview with the Ghana News Agency lauded the effort of gender pace-setters both in Ghana, Africa and on the international arena.
“Whilst we mark the day on the bigger platform, we must not forget the woman at Makola Market who always wakes up early to go and sell for the children to eat; the woman in the village at Sefwi Anyinabrime goes to the farm daily to pay the school fees of children; and the woman gathering shea nuts in the Upper East region to provide for the daily needs of the family.
“We need also to remember women who passed away just in their attempt to bring another life to this world, the woman who has been banished into the witches’ camp or neglected because she has been accused of one ill or another.
“We must also salute the effort of single mothers and some outstanding men who have contributed tremendously to the gender movement.”
Nana Oye Lithur also noted that Ghana must use the day to reflect on women and girls who are still adversely affected by sexual abuse, physical violence, and who go through various forms of harmful traditional practices.
“We must collectively work towards reducing the high prevalence of gender based violence in schools…fight against our children who are being daily exposed to pornography through the internet and spousal abuse”, she said.
Nana Oye Lithur said the new Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will set out implementing modalities for the progressive legislative and social intervention programmes to ensure gender equality through the promotion of the welfare system and protection of children, whiles empowering the vulnerable through social interventions.
The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, in a statement to mark the event, has urged the global community to turn their outrage against violence against women into action, as the world marks this year’s International Women’s Day.
“We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women – and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered.
“We renew our pledge to combat this global health menace wherever it may lurk – in homes and businesses, in war zones and placid countries, and in the minds of people who allow violence to continue."
The UN Secretary General said those atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervaded virtually every society and every realm of life.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world to highlight the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole, while recognizing that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist.