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General News of Thursday, 18 August 2016

Source: GNA

Gender issues must be highlighted ahead of polls – Oye Lithur

Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur

Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said there is the need for a comprehensive approach to increase the participation of women in power and decision-making.

“We must bring gender to the forefront of election 2016”, she said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Nana Oye Lithur said there is the need for gender advocates to intensify their campaign for increased participation of women in the electoral machinery, adding that the agenda to uphold is the “Ghana Women 2030 reinvigorated Beijing Declaration agenda”.

She said: “Election 2016 offers advocacy platforms for the support of women’s political participation through capacity building, training and dedicated gender equality structures.”

Nana Oye Lithur said in the spirit of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Ghanaian Women recently set reinvigorated targets for the next 15 years, to ensure that women occupy their rightful positions in power and decision-making of the country.

“Women have now put forward a gender checklist to serve as the benchmark for measuring results by 2030,” she said.

The Gender Minister called on National Women Organisers of the various political parties to hit the campaign front based on issues and serve as “Gender Apostles of Ghana Agenda 2030”.

The Ghana Agenda 2030 which is linked to the United Nations Women Agenda 2030 calls for measures to ensure that 50 per cent of vice chancellors and university professors are women.

The Agenda also calls for women to take about 60 per cent of the positions of state corporation chief executive officers; Ghana Club 100 chief executive officers and bank chief executive officers.

It also states that women must occupy 60 per cent of all ministerial portfolios, especially Finance, Energy, Education and Health.

The Ghana Women 2030 target also aims at 60 per cent of parliamentary seats, 60 per cent of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executive posts; and 60 per cent of assembly and unit committee members.

Nana Oye Lithur called on all political parties through their women’s wing to give the Agenda 2030 the necessary support.

The Agenda 2030 is not a fight against men, or a struggle to dislodge men from any position, she said, it is about “the importance of women’s equal participation in decision-making as a means of achieving transparent and accountable government and administration for sustainable development”.

Nana Oye Lithur said Agenda 2030 acknowledges that despite the steady increase in women’s political representation and participation in parliaments, they remain significantly under-represented at the highest levels of political participation, as well as across the public and private sectors.

The Gender Minister said the persistence of discrimination, gender bias, the threat of violence, harassment, and intimidation in political institutions, has contributed to the low level of women’s political participation.

She thus called on all democratic institutions to take measures to ensure women’s equal access to, and full participation in, power structures and decision-making and increase women’s capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership.