UNDP calls for effective civic education to address gender equality

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Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), says civic education is an effective strategy for addressing gaps in gender equality.

She explained that civic education, a valuable tool in educating the citizenry on their rights and obligations, could positively influence individuals’ attitudes and mindsets towards gender equality.

Dr Lusigi said this at the launch of a Gender Policy Document for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on the theme: “Gender Mainstreaming for Effective Delivery of Civic Education.”

The Policy is to ensure adherence to the NCCE’s comprehensive and systematic commitment to gender equality at all levels of the Organisation and in its programming, partnerships, and collaboration.

Dr Lusigi said citizens’ rights, responsibilities and obligations to society were premised upon individuals, groups, and communities’ access to and being represented in public structures.

‘‘Citizens must be able to participate fully in the range of economic, cultural, and political life as well as structures of decision-making in society,’’ she said.

The UNDP Resident Representative said the promotion of social justice and human rights were dependent on a vibrant civic life, where male and female citizens were engaged in all aspects of society and the progress of democratic institutions.

She said gender equality was critical to Ghana ‘s development, and as such, the efforts by NCCE to deepen gender mainstreaming through policy is essential for progress.

Dr Lusigi noted that despite increasing attention to gender issues worldwide, substantial gender gaps however existed which is threatening the achievement of the SDGs.

‘‘For instance, Ghana’s recent Voluntary National Review of progress on the SDGs to be presented at the High-Level Forum in July in New York highlights limited progress in women’s participation in parliamentary, political, and public life,’’ she said.

She expressed worry that all the 2021 targets for women participation in public sector leadership were not achieved, particularly the decline in the number of female Ministers and Chief Directors.

The UNDP has supported the development of a training manual to strengthen the gender mainstreaming capacity of NCCE staff nationwide for the effective implementation of the policy.

Dr Lusigi called for stakeholder collaboration to promote an inclusive society for sustainable development, and assured the participants of the UNDP’s commitment to support the country’s efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Dr Mrs Henrietta Yemidi, Director of Research, Gender and Equality, NCCE, said the gender policy will set the tone for a systematic and sustained mainstreaming of gender issues into the operations of the Commission and external stakeholders.

She said the policy was formulated in agreement with gender equality goals, frameworks, and legislative instruments at the international, sub-regional, regional, and national levels

Dr Mrs Yemidi said the policy also responded to provisions on equal opportunity for all as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and the National Gender Policy Framework by the Gender Ministry.

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