The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the African Centre for Human Right and Sustainable Development (AfCHuRSD) have set in motion a project that seeks to promote equal rights and economic empowerment of women in Ghana.
The Project,which is scheduled to end in 2021,intends to increases awareness, knowledge and understanding of women’s rights among communities and influencers such as local authorities and the media.
It also looks to advocate for the participation of women in leadership at the national and sub- regional levels, while pushing for women’s economic empowerment through capacity building training in administration and business management.
At the unveiling ceremony in Accra on Thursday, Madam Bernice Naah, Chief Executive Officer of AfCHuRSD, pointed out that their preliminary focal group discussions with some women in areas where the project is to be rolled out revealed that awareness of the right of women in the rural communities is still low, thus most women continue to be suppressed.
According to Madam Naah, their interaction also discovered a low level of awareness of the role of the agencies set up to protect and prevent the discrimination against women such as the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice, Legal Aid and Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU).
She noted that women continue to battle under representation from that decentralized levels to the national levels in political party leadership, local government leadership among other prominent positions in society.
She added, “Women are still disadvantaged in terms of sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment.”
She was optimistic that at the end of the project, women and girls rights would be protected and respected, while Journalists, community leaders, the Police would advocate for, and provide protection for victims of human right violations against women.
Rev. Dr. Comfort Asare, Director, Department of Gender at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana, noted that gender equality is very critical in Ghana’s development agenda and thus the wellbeing of all is paramount to the country’s sustainable development.
She emphasized the importance of getting men on board to push such a laudable initiative forward because gender equality should not only be championed by women, adding that, “men must take part; we cannot continue without the men.”
She commended the CHRI and AfCHuRSD for the project and pledged the Ministry’s support for the initiative.
Launching the Project, Dr Juliette Tuakli, Chief Executive Officer of Family and Child Associates, who chaired the event indicated that Ghana has signed onto many progressive International Conventions that protect the right of women, however the awareness of these conventions have remained low among the populace.
Dr Tuakli re-echoed the need for men to play important roles for the agenda of women empowerment to succeed.
She said most women in higher positions are mostly mentored by men, hence there is the need to bring the men on board to push such a course.
On her part, Ms Mina Mensah, Head of Africa Office, CHRI, the project is being implemented to complement the work of other rights- based organizations relative to women empowerment.
Ms Mensah said, “We are doing the work that has already been done by other women based organization. We are also adding our voice to the ongoing initiatives. We need the help of everybody to ensure that women take their rightful place in society.”
Statistics from the 2012 Population and Housing Census puts Ghana’s female population at 51 percent, yet, women are underrepresented in Ghana’s Parliament.
By Mohammed Suleman