Men who are committed to the fight for gender equality have always been looked on with suspicion, constantly questioned about their masculinity and received painful discrimination from society and gender activists.

Mr Adolf Awuku Bekoe, the National Coordinator of the Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation, Ghana has noted.

The practice, according to him, derailed efforts to get more men involved in the process towards gender equality and must be discouraged to avoid the situation where society and the fight for gender equality would be the ultimate losers.

Mr Bekoe was speaking on the topic “Male involvement in gender issues and their roles in ensuring gender equality” at a ceremony to mark this year’s International Women’s Day at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on Wednesday.

It was organised by the Centre for Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CGRAD) on the theme “I am generation equality: Realizing women’s rights”.

Mr Bekoe, a Lecturer at the Psychology Department of the Methodist University, described the practice as ‘unfortunate’ while indicating that the work of fighting gender equality leading to good governance was stressful and difficult for those who were committed to it.

He therefore implored the rank and file of gender activists not to add more pain to the process by exhibiting habits and actions that were conflicting to achieving the objective.

According to him, men had very important roles to play in the gender equality discourse and therefore must be seen as partners working with women side by side to promote equality and good governance.

Mr Bekoe shared his personal experiences as a male gender advocate where his organisation was denied funding because of his position to underscore the magnitude of the problem even at the international level.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Former Minister of Education who spoke on “Gender equality so far” encouraged women to support and recognised the achievement and success of other women.

She admonished educated and privileged women to use their outfit to speak for the voiceless and faceless women who were conveniently forgotten in the drive towards achieving women rights.

“Those of us who have voices, we have to use them in their interest. There are all these policies that some of us who have voices make that sometimes don’t help the ordinary women, whose voices are not heard. Therefore the power that we have gained by coming this far should be plowed back,” she said.

“We must extend the power that allows us to protect our children to others so they can also protect their own children the same way. Because we cannot continue to fail, we fail ourselves when we fail to take action,” she added.

Prof Opoku Agyemang expressed disgust about the increasing numbers of child marriages and urged the authorities to consider the social profile of child marriage, saying “if poverty is the reason, let us invest in ways that alleviate poverty and create hope in the future in sustainable ways”.

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