The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has held a validation meeting to review the National Framework and Toolkit to engage men in gender equality.
The meeting, convened by its Department of Gender, solicited inputs, support and commitment from stakeholders in aid of the revision.
The Framework and Toolkit will ensure uniformity and meaningful participation of men and boys in promoting gender equality.
Mrs Zuweira Lariba Abudu, Minster Designate, Gender Ministry in a speech read on behalf by Mr Mawutor Ablorh, Director, Ghana Productive Safety Net Project, reiterated that engaging males in the conversation of gender equality could not be overemphasised.
She noted that over the years, women and girls led the pursuit of gender equality and women empowerment, however, it was time for men and boys to be involved and exposed to the crucial roles expected of them in achieving the goal.
“For us in Ghana, the tone has been set by our own President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, who was nominated in July 2017 by the AU Chairperson as the “African Union Gender Champion” because of his actions in promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in decision making which is worth emulating by our dear men and boys in our country.” Mrs Abudu stated.
The Minister Designate added that Ghana was a beacon of hope in the sub-region and hoped that the drafting of the National Framework and Tool kit for engaging men and boys on gender equality would be another feat to be achieved.
She therefore called for a collective effort from stakeholders, champions, supporters, and collaborators to accelerate progress on gender equality as a country since it was beneficial to everyone.
Mrs Abudu said the Ministry was passionate about getting men and boys on board to achieve the gender equality agenda to address all forms of discrimination against women to enable them to contribute effectively to national development.
Dr Afisah Zakariah, Chief Director, Gender Ministry, in a speech read on her behalf by Madam Vera Karikari Bediako, Deputy Director, Department of Gender, said gender norms were highly personal for everyone and deeply embedded in the minds of societies, and people’s daily activities.
She said challenging gender norms could therefore be difficult and presented a range of barriers which needed to be overcome in societies.
The Government, Dr Zakariah said, through the Gender Ministry was making steady progress in mainstreaming gender into all spheres of socio-economic development, however, gender inequalities persisted and needed to be addressed.
She said men and boys had much to gain from increased gender equality, as they paid significant cost in terms of quality of life from the way gender relations were currently- defined and practiced.
Mr Barnabas Yisa, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said: “We at UNFPA are using gender-transformative programming to redefine our strategies particularly with lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said it was simply about collecting different approaches that could lead to transformative changes.
UNFPA, Mr Yisa said, acknowledged the importance of meaningful male engagement at the state, local and community levels through shared decision-making, challenging negative and toxic notions of masculinity and promoting healthy, gender-equitable relationships.
The Country Representative urged stakeholders and partners to increase the momentum in engaging men and boys as well as all other relevant groups, saying UNFPA was fully committed to the cause.