BY PHILIP ANTOH /philip.antoh@dailyheritage
THE DEAN of Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof Kwame Frimpong, has said there is the need for Ghanaians to give priority to woman and celebrate their right because they form an integral part of society.
According to him, Ghanaian women form a greater fraction of the development and the struggle for advancement in life, hence the need for attention and protection of their civic right.
Prof Frimpong made these statements last Friday, March 8, 2018 at UPSA during a joint stakeholder’s dialogue organised by Amnesty International, Ghana with support from Human Rights Advocacy Centre on International Women’s Day held in Accra.
The event drew scores of women from all over the country to dialogue on issues relating to their plights, bringing them to the attention of the general public and mounting pressure on policy makers to respond to their needs.
Delivering his address dubbed ‘Public Dialogue on Ghana’s Gender Balance on 2019 International Women’s Day,’ Prof Frimpong, called on Ghanaians, especially policy makers to give priority to women issues to equip them financially.
“If you understand that the woman is the same as a man, and is a human being then there’s no need for us to talk about gender discrimination. We don’t need to have separate rights for others or deny others of equal rights,” he stated.
International Women’s Day, is a day set aside to celebrate women across the globe, highlight on issues of women and also used to accelerate gender parity. This year’s celebration was on the theme ‘Balance for Better’ which resonates with goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals stressing on Gender Equality and the need to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
According to the campaigns and fundraising coordinator at Amnesty International, Ghana, Mr Samuel Komla Agbotsey, the reason for organising the event at the UPSA campus was to give the students the opportunity to have a feel of human rights and add to their theoretical bank of knowledge.
In her solidarity message, the Executive Director of Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Ms Cynthia Nimo-Ampredu appealed to President Nana Akufo-Addo to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to holistically address issues of women empowerment.
“We call on His Excellency, who is also an internationally recognised gender champion and his government to prioritise women empowerment,” she noted.
She called on the government to effect the amendment of labour Act 2003 to increase maternity leave from three to months so as to promote job security for women as well as take radical steps to see the passage of the Property Rights of Spouses and the Intestate Succession and Affirmative Action Bills.
The staunch women’s rights advocate also demanded that the government takes deliberate steps to increase women’s representation in Parliament to at least 30% and to address the systemic challenges experienced in the implementation of the domestic violence act.
The three-hour programme also witnessed a panel discussion which brought together members drawn from government, civil society groups, gender activists, academia and Amnesty International Ghana to deliberate on key issues affecting women.
Dr Maame Gyenkye –Jandoh, Senior Lecturer and Head of Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon led participants through an overview of Ghana’s journey in ensuring Gender Balance, while the Former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur gave an overview of Gender and Human Rights and how its understanding could help promote Gender Balance for a better society.
The Deputy Board Secretary of Amnesty International Ghana, Maame Akosua Asare, presenting on the topic ‘Balancing for Better: The Role Of Young People In A Fast-Changing World,’ charged the youth to help empower themselves in order to change the negative mindsets people have about them.
On her part, the former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection called on all and sundry to make deliberate and conscious effort to change the gender narrative to remove barriers to women’s empowerment where ever they find ourselves.
“I believe when we do this, we can fast-track the change that we all desire,” she posited.
A curtain was drawn on the event after social interactions and networking session which witnessed various insightful questions, comments and contributions from participants all geared towards trouble shooting and professing solutions on how to deal with women’s issues.