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07.07.2005 Regional News

Involve men in promoting gender equality - Hajia Alima

GNA

Accra, July 7 GNA - Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, on Thursday observed that meeting the needs of women and children and promoting gender equality could be achieved if men were actively involved.

She said there was no way men could be left out when women issues were being addressed and "empowering women does not mean dis-empowering men but we should all work together in pushing women and children issues ahead".

Hajia Mahama was briefing the press in Accra on this year's World Population Day, which falls on July 11 under the theme: "Equality: Meeting the Needs of Women."

The day, which would be held in Dzodze in the Volta Region, has the global theme: "Equality".

The Minister noted that gender equality; equity and women's empowerment were critical to population management, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

She explained that women were the most at risk when it came to reproductive health associated with maternal morbidity and mortality. She said abortion was another major cause of maternal mortality, accounting for about 22 per cent of all maternal deaths.

"This may be an underestimation as most women who undergo unsafe abortions never reach a health facility", she said.

Hajia Mahama said it was unfortunate that only a few women participated in politics although they formed the majority of the population.

She encouraged women to avail themselves in future to take advantage of the 40 per cent allocation of district assembly seats meant for them. Mrs Virgina Ofosu Amarh, Chairman of the National Population Council, reiterated the need to focus on equality and women empowerment to enable them to participate fully in the decision-making process of politics and development.

Ms Shirely Ayorkor Botwe, Deputy Minister of Information who chaired the function reiterated the need for women to be empowered to participate fully in the decision-making process.

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