Action-Aid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the Upper East Region, has called on stakeholders to address male dominance and low female representation in political and economic activities.
It called on the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among other stakeholders, to work together to provide basic needs like water facilities and early childhood development centres as enshrined in Ghana’s 2004 Early Childhood Development Policy.
The NGO’s Regional Programme Manager, Mr Alhassan Sulemana, who made the call at this year’s annual International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration in Bolgatanga, said the Day, observed on March 8 every year, was in recognition of the social, political and economic contributions of women, globally.
This year’s IWD was on the theme: “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” and a campaign theme: “Break the Bias” with emphasis on a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination against women.
Mr Sulemana said Action-Aid Ghana had, over the years, contributed to ensuring gender equality in line with its vision to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication, among other things.
He said the NGO focused on interventions including unpaid care and decent work, training of women in livelihood and entrepreneurial skills, advocating for more gender sensitive programmes in the Planting for Food and Jobs, and capacity building for women and girls in leadership.
“On this International Women’s Day, let us rejuvenate our efforts for a better world, realising equal rights for women and men, girls and boys in our beloved country,” he said.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said the theme for the IWD was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goal five, which focused on gender equality in every aspect of endeavour and not wait till 2030.
“I am aware that there are several issues surrounding gender equality such as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, unpaid care work, climate change and food insecurity and inaccessible productive resources among others,” Mr Yakubu said.
He said the prevailing gender norms in society allowed women and girls to undertake the bulk of unpaid care work, such as the care for children, food preparation and cleaning.
“This unequal burden of unpaid care work undermines women and girls rights to decent work, education, health, rest and leisure, limit their opportunnities and impede their social, political and economic empowerment,” he said.
Mr Yakubu said the RCC was committed to ensuring that women in the region were empowered socially, economically and politically and commended Action-Aid for its support towards the empowerment of women.