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General News of Friday, 17 March 2017

Source: Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations

Continued gender disparity is a denial of human right - Gender Minister

Ghana has made a case at the United Nations that there is an
inextricable link between economic empowerment of women and gender equality,
therefore the continued gender disparity is a denial of a fundamental human right.


and affects social economic development.



Consequently, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms. Otiko Afisah
Djaba has said, her country believes that the economic empowerment of women has a
direct correlation with the development of the country.


The
Minister stated this in her statement at the High Level Interactive Dialogue at the
on-going 61st session of the Commission on the Status of
Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.



Speaking on “Building Alliances to Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment In the
Changing World of Work”, she pointed out that the global disparities in the economic
well-being of women as against men are clearly fueled by various gender norms and
values that do not promote women as skilled enough, strong enough and as smart as
their male colleagues.


“This is wrong. This is deceptive and this
is an injustice to humankind. I believe that any such value or norm which promotes
the devaluing of women in the work force does not have a place in today’s world and
must be done away with”, she argued.


Admitting that Ghana also faces gender disparities at various levels of her
workforce which go against women, particularly, in the formal sector and also in the
decision making positions, where they remain underrepresented, she said there is much
economic gain to be made from recognizing the value of women’s work and enhancing t
heir participation in national development through deliberate and well-targeted
policies.


Quoting
from the Ghana Living Standards Survey (2014), she said that 29.9 per cent of males
are engaged in wage employment as against 11.7 per cent for females.


Such disparities, she said also existed in other key areas such
as politics, where currently 37 out of 275 Members of Parliament are women.


To
address this disparity, the Government of Ghana has taken steps to ensure a strong
legal and policy environment that supports women’s inclusion and welfare”. Ms.
Djaba noted.


She added that an Affirmative Action Bill, currently
under consideration in Parliament, when passed will enable the country to correct the
imbalances seen in many decision-making positions in the country.


The Minister called for a clear commitment to work with Civil Society
Organizations, development partners and donors to advance the economic empowerment of
women in the changing world of work.


African Governments, in particular, must
show commitment by undertaking gender budgeting and allocate resources to areas where
gender disparities need to be addressed. Enough talk, the time is now to walk the
talk” she stated.

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