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03.02.2009 General News

President Atta Mills condemns discrimination against women

By gna
President Atta Mills condemns discrimination against women

President John Atta Mills on Tuesday reaffirmed Government's commitment to gender equality and condemned all forms of discrimination against women.

He repeated the determination of his administration as contained in its manifesto to be fair to women and said attention to women's issues was not partiality but a response to the realities on the ground to empower women to give of their best towards nation building.

The President made the observation when a delegation of the Ghana Chapter of African Women in Law and Development paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu, in Accra, at which the group congratulated him on his assumption of the high office of President

President Atta Mills said his administration was committed to tackle women's issues holistically and seriously, and nobody deserved to be maltreated.

He said everybody could contribute positively to the development of women, and expressed regret that some women had initiated or contributed to the perpetration of violence against women.

The President said the policies on the empowerment of women contained in the manifesto of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) was not for want of trial, but would be worked on with the needed seriousness as other policies contained in the manifesto.

The Government promised in its manifesto to give 40 percent of top political positions to women and since its assumption of power, has for the first time in nation's history appointed a woman Speaker of Parliament, nominated a woman for the position of Attorney General, and appointed a woman to act as Inspector General of Police.

Additionally, it has maintained the Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs.

President Atta Mills said as Ghanaians agreed on a common national agenda, it was necessary to throw their weight behind Government, create a nation that all would be would be proud of and where people would be proud to be compatriots.

Bernice Sam, National Co-ordinator of the Chapter in a statement, said the Association noted with appreciation the interaction the Government, when as a political group, had with women groups prior to the last general elections.

The Chapter recognized the President's appointment of women to top national positions.

It however appealed to the President to make the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, passed in 2007, to address the violation of women's rights in the home, a top priority.

The Chapter also recommended passage of the Property Rights of Spouses and the Intestate Succession Bills listed before Parliament before the end of 2009, and called on Government to criminalize the labelling of old women as witches, and further banished into witches camps in parts of the country.

The women also advocated a comprehensive programme to be instituted by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the District Assemblies within the areas of Northern Ghana where witches camps were located to bring the women back to their homes and restore their dignity.

Government, the women said should also make specific budget allocation to women's issues.