Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has called for the scaling up of clean cooking methods to address climate change.
She said clean cooking methods would simultaneously provide significant improvement to health and enhance women’s empowerment and local economies.
Mrs Dapaah, also the Caretaker Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, made the call at the Men’s Cooking Competition, organised by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection as part of activities to celebrate the International Women’s Day in Accra.
The International Women’s Day is instituted by the United Nations to globally celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
It is celebrated on March 8, every year, to also rally support at all levels to ensure that the rights and empowerment of women in all areas of national development are prioritised.
The global theme for the celebration, “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow” with a campaign theme #BreaktheBias, seeks to recognise the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the campaign for climate change adaptation, mitigation and response to build a more sustainable future for all.
Globally, Mrs Dapaah said, three billion people depended on open fires or inefficient stoves to cook their foods thereby, negatively impacting on their health, the climate and the environment.
She said unsustainable harvesting of wood for fuel did not only contribute to forest and environmental degradation but was a major drive of climate change.
The Caretaker Minister said inefficient combustion of solid fuels like wood, charcoal, animal dung, crop residue and coal produced a range of climate damaging emissions that were dangerous to human health and the environment.
She said the major climate pollutants emitted by traditional cooking practices was black carbon, a component of particulate matter emissions.
Mrs Dapaah stated that the shock lift climate pollutants eventually estimated total black carbon in the country to be 16.5 kilotons and residential cooking with inefficient wood or charcoal stoves, were the largest source of black carbon contributing 78 per cent of total black carbon emissions in 2017.
She said, of the total black carbon emissions from cooking, 74 per cent were from rural households, particularly those in the forest region whereas the remaining 26 per cent were from urban cooking.
Mrs Dapaah encouraged the citizenry to adopt clean and efficient methods to promote sustainable use of natural resources and reduce shock lift climate pollutants.
She appealed to men to help their partners in the kitchen.
Mr Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana, said the men’s cooking competition would help men appreciate the efforts of women in the kitchen.
He said men would have solved most of the major problems of society such as maternal mortality and gender based violence if they were directly affected.
Mr Ojuolape noted that because men were in charge in society and were not feeling and taking the problems personally as women did, the challenges still existed.
‘‘If it were men who had to go through menstrual cycle every month, I am very very sure that menstrual pad would be distributed freely in this country without any problem,’’ he said.
Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, Head of the Ghana Civil Service, government was trying to increase the number of female directors in the Civil Service since they were at the forefront of development of countries.