The Department of Gender has urged males in the Ningo-Prampram district to active in gender inequality gap bridging activities which includes engagements on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
Madam Matilda Banfro, Acting Greater Accra Regional Director of the Department of Gender, made the request when her outfit in collaboration with the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly (NIPDA), with support from the UNFPA, and the Canadian Government held a one day male only dialogue session on their roles on SRHR and Gender Equality.
Madam Banfro said even though men had a critical role to play in bridging the gender inequality gaps, often they were an untapped resource in such gender initiatives.
“To address this gap, there is the need to engage and sensitize men and boys to be change agents in ending gender inequalities and for Sexual Reproductive Health and Right, “she said.
She said it was critical to understand men’s roles and responsibilities in working towards gender equitable world adding that they must therefore be reached, and included so that interventions for women and girls were not derailed by male resistance.
She further stated that men should therefore be actively involved in developing and implementing legislations, and policies to foster gender equality, as well as provide role models to promote gender equality in the family, the workplace and in society at large.
“Studies have pointed out that for gender relations to be transformed; the structures that underpin them have to change. Gender equality is not just a women’s issue so it’s vital that men and women work together to end human rights violations and inequalities amongst women and girls and men and boys”.
Madam Zubaida Damago, Development Planning Officer, and Gender Desk Officer at NIPDA, said it was unfortunate that in Ghana, once gender was mentioned, people misconstrued it to mean women saying, “Gender talks about both males and females”.
Madam Damago added that, however in Ghana, females had been marginalized for so long in so many aspects of life, and still continued to be appendages to men in all walks of life, accounting for government championing of the cuase of females to bridge the gap between males and females socio-economically.
Madam Augustina Nartey, Ningo-Prampram District Director of Social Welfare and Community Development, in a presentation said gender inequality was a form of social division relating to varying amount of power, resources, and opportunities between men and women, where one gender became more socially privileged than the other.
Madam Nartey noted that gender equality did not mean women and men must become the same, but rather their rights, responsibilities and opportunities would not depend on their sex adding that “men and women have the capacity to do whatever each one wants to do irrespective of sex. ”
Reverend Ebenezer Asiamah, District Director of Health Services, Shai-Osudoku , on his part, said some of the effects gender inequality among women included, high HIV infections, low intake of family planning, vulnerability to high maternity morbidity and mortality, low levels of formal education, poor health status and violence on women among others.
Mr David M Tuglo, Deputy Director at NIPDA, welcoming participants urged Ghanaians not to only associate gender with women but must also think about how men were experiencing the same problems.
According to him “society has tagged men to be the strong force and has been consumed by the stereotype that men have to be firm and not emotional hence many young men in particular are left to battle the fields of life as supermen”.