Ms Atawa Akyea, Director at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) has appealed to the public to send stories on women's contribution towards Ghana's independence struggle to the Ministry for documentation and preservation.
The stories, she said, would be compiled into a historical booklet to be named as “Ghana's Independence Story as told by Women.”
Ms Akyea, who made the appeal at a seminar on gender mainstreaming and the empowerment of women at Abokobi in the Ga East District on Monday, said it was unfortunate that though women played key roles in the nation's struggle for independence, their sacrifices had never received the necessary appreciation and recognition.
She said her Department was committed to preserving some of these authentic stories and therefore urged the public to consult the older women in their families and communities for more information on women's role during the struggle.
The seminar, attended by about 100 participants from the six districts of the Greater Accra Region was aimed at discussing some of the problems facing women and the level of empowerment of women in the country to help formulate appropriate policies to address some of the problems.
The views and petitions of participants would form the basis of a communiqué to be presented through the MOWAC to the President for redress.
Ms Akyea said the promotion of gender sensitivity and gender mainstreaming was intended to result in a society in which there was equal rights and access to opportunities for all to promote national development.
“The main goal of gender mainstreaming is therefore to achieve gender equity, in all aspects including fairness and justice and this would serve as a point of reference for judicious and justifiable use of resources, provide a basis for analysis to improve upon the nation's effort in dealing with gender, poverty and development issues,” she said.
She mentioned the importance of women empowerment in the socio-economic and political development of every nation, and said, “an empowered woman provides double dividend as indicated in the 2007 State of the World's Children Report. Healthy, educated and economically empowered women had a positive impact on both their families and their societies. ”
Ms Akyea stressed that empowerment of women was not only morally right, but pivotal to the very progress of humanity and called on men to accept women as co-partners and not lesser beings or their slaves.
She lamented that various traditional and cultural barriers continued to forge and fuel discrimination against women in the world over and encouraged women who avail themselves for leadership positions in their communities to be firm and not feel intimidated by pronouncement by the public, especially by men.
“You must face your opponents with the same courage that we women exhibit during child birth and be focused on success,” she said.
Mr Adolf Awuku-Bekoe of the Coalition on the Domestic Violence Bill, who spoke on the Domestic Violence Law (DVL) and its implications, stressed that the law was not only for women, but also a source of protection for men and children as well.
He said it was not just enough to enact a law, unless it become fully implemented and made useful to its beneficiaries and urged the judiciary, security agencies, the MOWAC and all key players in the implementation of the DVL to work fast to ease the pain of victims of domestic violence.
He also called on the National Commission on Civic Education, (NCCE) to embark on an extensive national sensitization on the DVL to make it more meaningful to the public.
Ms Comfort Ablometi of the Department of Women (MOWAC), who spoke on Parenthood and HIV/AIDS, blamed the current increase in the number of street children and insubordination of the youth to irresponsible parenting.
She said the gross neglect of parental responsibility had led to the current increase in various crimes such as prostitution, armed robbery, drug abuse, human trafficking and cyber crimes.
“Most parents now own a house and not a home as they just pop in an out of such homes without taking time to check on what their children really do in their free times. They are only interested in making money,” she said.
She called on parents to have time for their children, know their problems and try to provide some solutions to them to help build their confidence in life.