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07 July 2017

Gender Minister Cogratulates Prez Akufo-Addo | Politics

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba has congratulated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for winning African Gender Champion award.

Delivering a speech before Parliament, the Minister expressed the Ministry’s commendation over the President’s award saying “we at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), who are mandated by law to develop policy and supervise the implementation of gender-equalising programmes, are especially proud of the continental acknowledgment of our President as an African Gender Champion. This Award reassures us that Ghana is executing the right policies in respect of programmes that are aimed at addressing gender issues in our society.”

The award was conferred on the President by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Read full statement below:

STATEMENT BEFORE PARLIAMENT TO CONGRATULATE H.E. NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ON HIS SELECTION AS THE AFRICAN UNION GENDER CHAMPION FOR 2017 AND THE CO-CHAIR FOR THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Mr. Speaker,
Honourable Members,

It is a special honour and a distinct privilege for me to make this statement before the august house of Parliament on the conferment of one of the highest awards in Africa on HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Our President was recognized by his peers at the opening ceremony of the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As announced by HE President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea, who is also the Chairman of the AU, the award was in recognition of President Akufo-Addo’s efforts at deepening and strengthening gender equality in Ghana in particular and Africa in general. We at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), who are mandated by law to develop policy and supervise the implementation of gender-equalising programmes, are especially proud of the continental acknowledgment of our President as an African Gender Champion. This Award reassures us that Ghana is executing the right policies in respect of programmes that are aimed at addressing gender issues in our society.

As we all know, prior to this award the President had been appointed Chairperson of the AU’s Committee on Gender and Development: an equally deserving honour and one I believe he will execute with diligence and excellence. It is worthy to note that our President has been a gender advocate long before he ascended to the presidency.

His credentials as a gender champion were only more publicly manifested when he appointed the first female Chief of Staff, nine (9) women to ministerial portfolios and the nomination of several women to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive positions, with 36 receiving the nod from their respective Assemblies.

Only a few weeks ago, he appointed H.E. Sophia Akuffo to the position of Chief Justice, making her the second woman to hold the position in the history of the country.

These appointments and many more in the diplomatic and corporate spheres have solidified the credentials of our President as the quintessential gender champion of our time. Indeed, we wish to take this opportunity to thank our President for personally demonstrating his commitment to gender emancipation by making a statement on International Women’s Day when he joined us for the celebrations at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

As advocates for gender equality, we wish to celebrate our President on behalf of all Ghanaians. We also want to seize the opportunity to remind all that even though much has been achieved, much more work remains to be done. Gender mainstreaming remains a work in progress. Gender discrimination, sexual violence, female trafficking, among others still unfortunately occur too frequently in our country for us to start jubilating or becoming complacent.

Mr. Speaker, this award is a strategic call which encourages our President and this august House to ensure that the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law becomes a reality now. The Bill when passed, will give more meaning to Ghana’s commitment to the overall promotion of gender equality, equity and the empowerment of women, men, girls and boys.

It will also underscore the strong political will for reducing poverty levels, social injustice among women and men, improving health standards and enhancing efficiency of public and private sector budgetary support for the attainment of gender equity and equality as a pre-requisite for sustainable development.

This also translates into the President’s role as the Co-Chair for the SDGs Advocate to ensure the mainstreaming of gender equality concerns into the national development processes as part of the global transformative agenda. It will help improve the social, legal, civic, political, economic and socio-cultural conditions of the people of Ghana particularly women, girls, children, the vulnerable and people with special needs; persons with disability and the marginalized in conformity with the overall achievement of the SDGs at all levels by 2030.

It is my hope that this award will create an urgent need for partnerships with new stakeholders including foreign governments, civil societies, and the private sector to share knowledge and resources for awareness creation in line with the integrated approach in the implementation of the SDGs, so that we leave nobody behind.

Mr. Speaker, President Akufo-Addo has set the tone and pointed the direction for the rest of us. This is the clarion call for the rest of us, Members of Parliament, institutions, families and individuals, to heed this call, and pledge to fight gender discrimination and all its attendant and associated ills.

Once again, we salute President Akufo-Addo for raising high the flag of Ghana. We call on all to emulate our President and join the fight to eradicate all forms of gender-induced discrimination, sex-based social deprivation, misogyny and all the societal taboos that have created barriers against the rapid progress and advancement of women, in order to achieve the accelerated development and total transformation of our country, Ghana.

I thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make this statement before this august House.

Delivered by:
Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba
Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection

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