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09.10.2003 General News

Ghana urged to implement UN conventions

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Ho, Oct 9, GNA - Ghana has been urged to implement all United Nations (UN) Conventions with the same dispatch they were ratified, Mrs Joana A. Opare, National Programme Officer of UN Systems for Gender Equality in Ghana, said on Wednesday.

Mrs Opare said the zeal Conventions were ratified should be translated into practical terms to give meaning to the aspirations of the UN. She was speaking at a three-day workshop on governance roles, gender and development for Unit Committee members at Ho.

The workshop, which is being organised by the Community Action, a Ho-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) and sponsored by the Netherlands Development Organisation's (SNV) Support for Local Governance (SLG) and the UN Systems for Gender Equality under the auspices of the Ho District Assembly.

Mrs Opare said governance, development, gender issues and the HIV/AIDS scourge had become a "crosscutting" issue for the UN, adding that, women should be involved "if a meaningful headway in decision-making and governance was to be achieved at the grassroots level".

"Women are key in governance and decision-making and must take centre-stage to save humanity," she said.

Mrs Opare said women have the capacity and capability by virtue of their ability to make the "impossible possible" and should be encouraged to translate their potential to deepen democracy, governance and development.

"As much as we would be respectful to the men, we hate to be subservient to them," she said.

She called for the education of men while women were empowered to complement their efforts.

Mr Orisha Afa, Executive Director of Community Action, said the intervention was to strengthen the capacity of the Unit Committee members especially women to deepen governance, decentralisation, decision-making and development at the grassroots.

He said this would create a congenial atmosphere for democracy and tolerance since Unit Committee members were the bedrock of decentralisation.

Mr Afa said the workshop would highlight gender barriers to development and explore avenues of overcoming institutional biases to the participation of women in governance and awareness creation on Local Government Laws, policy making and implementation.

Mama Atrato II, Queen Mother of Ho-Dome, urged women to be assertive in their quest for political, social and economic empowerment.

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