Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Education Minister has lauded the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for supporting the empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality.
He also commended the duo for initiatives, which they had launched to increase sensitisation in a bid to curb gender-based violence.
Dr Opoku Prempeh gave the commendation in a speech read on his behalf at a day’s durbar on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Harassment (SH) to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019 in Accra.
The 2019 International Women’s Day Celebration was marked on the theme “Empowering the Youth to Advocate Against Gender-Based Violence”.
The event on the global theme “Balance for Better”, was attended by more than 200 students drawn from 10 junior high schools (JHSs) and senior high schools (SHSs) within the Accra and Tema Metropolitan Areas.
It was organised by the Women Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) of the KAIPTC in collaboration with the Gender and Communication Unit of GIZ Ghana, and the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) Programme of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).
The broad aim of the Durbar is to sensitize the youth about Gender-Based Violence and to empower them to be advocates against Gender-Based Violence in their communities.
The KAIPTC this year launched its five-year Strategic Plan, which focuses on building capacity to ensure the full implementation of all protocols relating to women peace and security agenda.
Dr Opoku Prempeh noted that the GIZ’s new gender strategy (2019-2021) would enable the organisation to continue to be a reliable partner and an attractive employee through the implementation of the gender equality plan and the women’s empowerment principles.
“These two initiatives, among others, are very commendable, and I applaud the two respective institutions for taking on these responsibilities in their desire to equip women with the capacity to control their own bodies in dealing with domestic violence, and sexually suggestive predatory advances,” the Minister said.
“Throughout the history of mankind, women have suffered discrimination in many facets of life. These have included, but not been limited to denial of property rights, a right to education, a right to partake in national affairs and a right to work or to equal for equal pay for equal work in addition to be becoming victims of both domestic and sexual violence. This has been in spite of women being major players in economic growth, through commercial activities.”
He said it was sad to note that gender-based domestic violence was still prevalent in this country.
“It is particularly noteworthy that this is more prevalent in rural than urban areas, and that many cases are reported for fear of stigmatisation or other factors.”
Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Griffiths Santrofi Evans, Commandant KAIPTC said the durbar sought to educate participants on the fundamentals regarding how to address issues of gender-based violence and also how students and the youth could protect themselves against potential threat.
He said more importantly was for them to know the relevant institutions that they had to go to seek redress when they were faced with gender-based violence.
“At the end of the day we hope to achieve our aim or the theme that we have used to be able to empower you the youth to become advocates against gender-based violence,” AVM evans stated.
“We cannot build a future for you, but what we can do for you is to build you to be able to move into the future confidently.”
Schools that were represented at the event include the Ashiaman Secondary School, Nungua Secondary School, Teshie Technical, St. Johns, Airforces SHS, Nima cluster of Schools, Chemu Senior High School, Bostal Institute, Junior Girls Correctional Institute, and Presby SHS, Teshie.