Mrs Hamida Harrison, the Mobilisation Manager for Abantu for Development and Convenor for Women’s Manifesto Coalition, has urged the government to accelerate efforts aimed at ensuring gender parity, particularly in the labour sector.
She suggested that more women be empowered with employable skills, while government ensured full implementation of Ghana’s Labour Law in order to increase the incomes of all especially, women.
She admitted that although women had been able to call their own into action to fight against gender disparities and had succeeded to an extent, there was the need to deepen the fight against socio-economic, political and cultural indulgence, and make more progress as there was still a long way to go in terms of achieving equality at all levels of society.
Mrs Harrison made the call in an address at a symposium in Accra on Wednesday, which was organised by the he National Coordinating Council, Ghana, in collaboration with the Public Services International (PSI), as a prelude to the commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day.
She encouraged Labour Unions to insist on decent work for their members, ensure the fulfilment of National Social Policies, while pursuing government to fulfil all constitutional promises that were sensitive to women issues.
The International Women’s Day, which is marked annually on March 8, was instituted by the United Nations, to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations with no regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political, and further, to uphold their Rights as well as International Peace.
It is an occasion to mark the call for action in accelerating gender parity, hence the 2018 theme for the celebrations focusing on “Gender Parity: #Press for Progress”, to create wider, the awareness among governments, Civil Society and Organisations on the importance of promoting women’s rights and gender inclusiveness both in labour and in all spheres of the society.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, expressed worry over reports of employment situations, where women earned 20 per cent less than their male counterparts.
He also spoke about Ghana’s position to combat gender inequality, adding that, even though most governments saw Trade Unions as State adversaries, who always vehemently opposed their programmes, it was important for the two to collaborate in order to address the injustices in labour and other areas of the economy, to ensure gender parity, sustainable peace and development.
He stressed the need to fight cultural mindsets that were inimical to the progress of women, especially with regards to marriage and Family Planning issues, which impeded upon the rights and progress of women and girls.
The Ministry, he said was working hard on passing a Domestic Work Regulation that would legally convert all the services of casual workers into permanent staff of organisations to ensure better remunerations.
Dr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery Association, who chaired the symposium, said with the recent scandals in Hollywood, and the World Economic Forums’ Global Gap Report showing that it would take 217 years to close the gender parity gap, there was the need to aim faster than ever for women’s progress globally.
He said with these statistics, “we can’t be complacent”, but to make a strong call-to-action, to press forward and progress gender parity, by motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. Ms Wendy Verheyden, the Public Services International Ebola and Health Response Coordinator, underscored the key role that women play in all facets of life, and promised to carry their views on to higher platforms to bring about the needed change.