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General News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: GNA

Choose women as Presidents, not running mates - Bossman

Accra, Feb. 7, GNA - Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Thursday asked political parties to consider women as more capable of becoming flag bearers instead of assigning them the supportive role as running mates.

She said parties must fully support women by implementing affirmative action and removing structural barriers in the political system that impeded their initiative to vie for the presidential slot. Speaking at a two-day workshop on Gender Mainstreaming organized by CHRAJ for its officers in Accra, Ms Bossman said opting for women as running mates instead of the Presidency was evident of lack of gender mainstreaming in the country's political system

The workshop was aimed at sensitizing CHRAJ officers in the regional and district offices to be more gender sensitive in handling complaints.

The Commissioner also expressed regret that after several years of democracy in Ghana, the country was not doing so well on gender mainstreaming issues and most policies and societal concepts were still not responsive to disparity.

"We must as country stop the habit of comparing ourselves to the worse countries, We should rather strive to improve our gender issues and compare our performance to the best", she added. She bemoaned misconceptions of the concept "Gender" which was often associated to feminism or sex in terms of male and female, saying that gender was rather defined as roles society assigned to a particular sex. She explained that a particular society's definition of the weakness and strengths of the male or female would determine the roles either sex would perform, hence gender implications vary from culture to culture but it ought not to be discriminatory.

Ms Bossman said the Commission would push for the implementation of affirmative action at all levels.

Professor Ken Attafuah, Executive Director of the Justice Human Rights Institute and facilitator of the workshop said gender was culturally constructed, hence the need for a collective effort to address its negative effects on human rights.

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