Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday paid a glowing tribute to Ghanaian women and called on them to participate actively in the country's political process.
This, they said, would enable them to make positive inputs that would go a long way to re-arrange the social and economic order of the country and improve upon the quality of life of the broad masses of the people, especially children.
The MPs were reacting to a statement made on the floor of the House by the MP for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Mrs Gifty Kusi, to commemorate the International Women's Day which fell yesterday.
The MPs, however, said more conducive conditions needed to be created and sustained by the state and religious, traditional and civil society organisations to actively involve women in the country's politics.
According to them, women are afflicted by numerous cultural and traditional practices in the country that have consigned them to the fringes of political, social and economic activities.
The MPs stressed the need for the “pulling down of such strongholds” that militated against the forward march of women, and placed them on the periphery of political activities
In her statement, Mrs Kusi said “International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men,” she said.
The MP condemned violence against women in the country, adding that the physical and psychological effects of violence on victims could not be over-emphasised.
“In addition to the hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed, reports show that violence against women has been linked to a number of immediate and long-term conditions, which include physical injury, depression and suicidal behaviour,” the Tarkwa-Nsuaem MP said.
She said violence against women was one issue that must necessarily be addressed if the nation, and for that matter the world in general, were to move forward in peace.
Mrs Kusi mentioned the breaking down of taboos, exposure of violence and the spread of awareness creation as some of the effective steps that could be taken to eliminate injustices against women.
“Mr Speaker, violence against women is a social problem that warranted an immediate co-ordinated response from multiple sectors.
I believe that the social and political institutions that have the mandate and responsibility to protect the citizens of the country must execute their responsibility to the letter,” she said.
The MP said while economic disparity and legal inequality were known to contribute to incidents of violence against women, it was obvious that violence arose from ignorance, failure to understand certain fundamental realities and the mistaken notion that, force was the only honourable way to resolve conflicts.
She called on the government and other stakeholders to help educate the people on the issue of violence by supporting education and training programmes to raise awareness about violence against women .
The MP for Evalue-Gwira, Mr Kojo Armah, praised Ghanaian women for their great sacrifices towards the country's struggle to secure independence from British colonial rule.
He called for concerted efforts by the authorities to create opportunities at all levels to enable women to develop their talents for the well-being of the country.
Supporting the statement, the MP for Jomoro, Mr Lee Ocran, called on women leaders in the country to propagate the day for the active patronage of men.
This was because, he said, the vast majority of the people were not aware of the day, much more its significance to progress and development.
The MP for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, said the activities of women constituted the barometer of the economic activities of the country.
She, therefore, called for more attention to be paid to the advancement of women in the country by creating avenues through which they could excel and improve themselves.
The MP for North Dayi, Ms Akua Dansua, bemoaned the lack of interest of activities involving women by her male counterparts in the House.
She called for attitudinal change amongst them, since that could go a long way to promote the cause of women, especially the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.
Story by Kweku Tsen
& Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah