SPEECH DELIVERED BY HON. DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S AFFAIRS HAJIA HAWAWU BOYA GARIBA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2010 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY CELEBRATION PUBLIC FORUM ORGANIZED BY GHANA SECTION
3/16/2010 9:37:28 PM -
VENUE': INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTER. ACCRA DATE: 8TH
RESEARCH FELLOW, AMNESTY INTERNA TIONAL, GHANA,
THE PROGRAMME DIRECTOR IBIS, GHANA,
THE WOMEN COORDINA TOR, AMNESTY INTERNA TIONAL, GHANA.
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA,
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
ALL PROTOCOLS OBSERVED
I welcome all of you to this public forum to mark this year's INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S DAY organized by Amnesty International Ghana Section.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The International Women's Day is a time set aside to assess challenges facing
women worldwide, celebrate their achievements, and look ahead into the exciting
opportunities that await women in the future. I am therefore very happy to be
associated with this year's celebration.
As the Ministry responsible for "Women and Children's Affairs", we give due
recognition and attention to the role women playas well as the issues that affect
women and children. This is clearly manifested in our mandate which is to
initiate/formulate policies and promote gender mainstreaming across all sectors
that will lead to the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women,
survival, development and growth of children as well as the protection of the rights
of women and children.
We, at the Ministry for Women and Children's Affairs, are therefore very proud to
be associated with this public forum.
Chairperson, Distinguished Guests, ladies and Gentlemen,
It is worth noting that, this year's celebration coincides with the 15thanniversary
celebration of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) and the
54thSession of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
meeting. The Platform for Action was adopted by consensus by all Member States
of the United Nations. Its adoption together with other UN Statutes and
. Resolutionson gender equality such as UNSCR 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889,
carry the strongest statements of political commitment by governments, to
advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women and girls.
Chairperson, ladies and Gentlemen,
On this occasion of the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY celebration, it will be
appropriate to use this platform to enumerate some achievements of the Ministry,
an~ therefore Government, and efforts made in enhancing the lives of women and
children in Ghana in collaboration with other key Sector Ministries.
The Ministry of Women and Childrerrs Affairs (MOWAC) has since 2001
spearheaded a vigorous national drive to overcome the challenges of gender
In the area of Health, it has been emphasized that the reproductive child health
component which entails, Family Planning, Safe motherhood, adolescent health
and development (in and out of school youth), reproductive tract cancers for
women and men, menopause and andropause, gender-based violence, working
with men as users of reproductive health services, child health programmes,
education on sexuality during the life cycle and care of the aged need to be
With regard to education, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on achieving
gender parity in primary and secondary education through promoting girl child
education and our Gender Parity Index (GPI) has moved from under 0.90 in the
last 3 years to 0.96. This has been made possible to a large extent with the
continuation of the School Feeding Programme, the increment in the allocation
of the Capitation Grant and the introduction of the free school uniforms for all
school going children in Ghana. This has lightened the financial burden on women
in spending money preparing meals for their children to take to school; pay school
fees as well as sew school uniforms for them. There are however challenges in
the education of the girl-child in the areas of access to education and training,
their retention and achievements.
In collaboration with civil society organizations, including the Domestic Violence
C~alition, the Domestic Violence Act is being operationalised. The Domestic
Violence Act provides protection from domestic violence, particularly for women
and children who form the majority of the victims of domestic and gender- based
violence. As a step in implementing the Act, the Domestic Violence Secretariat
established to coordinate the implementation of the Domestic Violence Plan of
Action has been equipped with support from the Royal Netherlands Government.
The Board to oversee the implementation of the Plan of Action has also been
established and launched together with the Domestic Violence policy and plan of
action. For the effective functioning of the Domestic Violence Secretariat,
Government is to set up a fund that will support victims and survivors of Domestic
and gender-based violence. Support i~ also being provided by Development
Partners to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOWSU)
established within the Ghana Police Service, with regard to the protection of
women's rights, through the provision of social welfare services and legal aid
The Ministry in its attempt to promote Good Governance has been working
towards achievement of proportional representation of women at the local level.
In the 2010 District Assembly elections, resources shall be secured and provided
for capacity building programmes to train and sustain the campaigns of
women in all the 10 regions of Ghana. We want to continue to encourage our
women to put themselves forward to be elected into public office as they are
excellent managers, from the way they manage homes with very little resources.
To ensure resources are provided within the national budget and in support of
financing gender equality and women's empowerment programmes, negotiations
are carried out between government and donors, through advocacy and lobbying,
to influence development c,?operation through the Multi-Donor Budget Support
(MOBS) and Consultative Group (CG) negotiations. As a result MOWAC in the
last few years has taken steps to translate government's commitment to gender
equality issues into Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) within the national
budgeting system leading to government policy direction to all Ministries to adopt
measures toward implementing GRB.
. Chairperson, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, celebrating 15 years of
implementation of the 13 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action requires
se~ious stock - taking. Ghana has assessed progress made within these fifteen
years in its Third Progress Report on the implementation of the Platform for
Action. The areas identified for further action, in the report, should be strictly
adhered tq, if we are to make further progress in the promotion of gender equality
and women's empowerment.
In connection with violence, it has been stressed that the Ghana Police Service
(DOWSU) and all concerned organizations should come together to offer support
and provide protection for our women and children. The provision of shelters for
victims of domestic violence, training to Law enforcement agencies, the
enhancement of women's access to justic~, improvement in the legal aid system
to cover more women and other vulnerable groups as well as training of more
clinical psychologists have all been highlighted as areas that require further action.
Focusing on women in decision - making, it has been elaborated that systematic
career development training for women in the civil and public sectors will ensure
that women have equal access to managerial, entrepreneurial, technical and
leadership training. This will translate into the creation of a critical mass of women
in decision making positions to serve as role models and to mentor young women.
In addition the implementation of Affirmative Action Policy in Ghana will ensure
. better participation of women in governance and decision making.
. It is important to emphasize at this point, that when these are adhered to, Ghana
would be placed in a better position to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG), especially goal 3; promotion of gender equality.
To conclude, Madam Chairperson, ladies and Gentlemen, let me share this
quote whjch I find very thought-provoking, and yet overlooked by many of you: 'a
man's work is from sun to sun, but a ,woman's work is never done'. I am
sure you will all agree with me that this quotation is indeed true as women work
and continue to strategize for the welfare of their husbands' children and extended
families; long after the sun has set.
On behalf of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) and on
behalf of all its partners in Ghana, I wish to send special felicitations to every
. woman in Ghana, we love you and appreciate you. Today should indeed be a
very special day for everybody: women, men, girls and boys for without a woman,
we would not have come into this world in the first place.
God Bless you all.
I THANK yOU.