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08.03.2006 General News

NETRIGHT says women need more


Accra, March 8, GNA - The Network of Women's Right in Ghana (NETRIGHT) on Wednesday said the extent of the responsiveness of public policy to the promotion of gender equality remained far from the priorities on the global, national economic and political agendas despite the important gains women have made since Women's Day celebration was declared in 1975.

It said although Ghanaian women had made effort in the promotion of girls' education policies and programmes, increase knowledge and awareness of family planning and reproductive health among others developmental policies created gender imbalance.

A press statement signed by Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Convener for the Association, said this year's celebration on the theme: "Women in Leadership and Decision making" was critical and that although women's participation in informal sector continued to grow, circumstances of women in those situations remained precarious since most women remained producers of food crops.

"The policies that underlie our development agenda themselves engender social and economic inequality, marginalize and exclude women and the poor and compromise the State's responsibility in promoting a minimum standard of social security for citizens", it said. "As such though there is a strong language in public policy pronouncements about 'good governance', 'participation', and 'community ownership', the actual interpretations of these concepts into practical actions often exclude those matters that are of particular interest and concern to women", it said.

The Association also mentioned some areas of concern such as access to land, increasing acts of violence against women in the home, the dangerous and misleading advertisement of medicines and other products specifically targeting women.

Other areas of concern include the failure of health and social security systems to provide a minimum standard of livelihood for women and the poor, situations which leads to unacceptably high levels of maternal and infant mortality rates and the insufficient attention paid to the gendered nature of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The statement said it was important to create the needed social development framework that enabled both women and men to exercise their rights, have access to available resource and share in responsibilities that would transform society to improve the well-being of members of households, families and communities. It re-affirmed the commitment of the Association to promoting the equal rights of women and men. 8 March 06