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26.03.2004 Regional News

MDAs urged to be gender sensitive

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Accra, March 25 GNA - Mrs. Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, on Thursday called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be gender conscious and sensitive.

She said policy makers should be well acquainted with gender issues to enable them work towards the reduction of disparities between men and women.

Mrs. Asmah made at the opening of a three-day Gender Training Workshop (GTW) for 23 Chief Directors of MDAs at Akosombo. The workshop is to sharpen the skills of participants in gender analysis and diagnosis related to gender based division of labour. Mrs. Asmah said the Government had appointed Gender Desk Officers (GDO) in all MDAs to add gender dimensions to policy formulation. She was optimistic that the Chief Directors would consider the presence of Gender Officers as useful complement in the task of "mainstreaming gender issues into government policies".

The Minister urged MDAs to streamline their gender relations to ensure a just and fair partnership between men and women to enable them enjoy the benefits of democratic governance and wealth creation. Mrs. Joana Opare, National Programme Manager of the United Nations System Gender Programme, said for the past decade, gender issues on equality and women's empowerment using the strategy of gender mainstreaming had been topical within the development arena. She said the workshop was being organised to develop the culture of integrating gender concerns in all activities to promote social justice.

Mrs. Opare said for the strategy to be successful, senior management should be committed towards the establishment of effective accountable mechanisms.