International and local organisations yesterday congratulated women in Ghana and across the world on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration with the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
In a brief message on behalf of the United Nations (UN) System in Ghana, the Resident Coordinator, Mr Charles Abani, renewed the UN’s commitment to work with the government, civil society organisations and other national partners and the people of Ghana to enhance the safety, inclusivity and equitability of the digital world.
“We congratulate the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and everyone involved in addressing the gender digital divide and increase the access of women and girls to technology, including their recognition as a pivotal force to our digital future.”
The theme for this year, he said was especially significant as the world now grappled to employ new approaches to re-build all aspects of development after the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“During COVID with its attendant restrictions, the gender digital divide and inequality became apparent, especially in sub-Saharan Africa including Ghana.”
The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) said on its part the day presented an opportunity to celebrate the progress made towards gender equality and in furtherance, a time for reflections on the challenges that still remain.
“The PPAG has over the years leveraged the digital ecosystem in Ghana as a potent approach to reach millions of women and adolescent girls with Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) information and services to augment the provision of health at physical health facilities across Ghana,” Ms Abena Adubea Amoah, Executive Director, said in a statement to mark the day.
Women, she said were increasingly being recognised as more vulnerable to reproductive health challenges than men, adding this results from the fact that most SRH issues such as pregnancy, maternal mortality/mobility, family planning among others affect mostly women and adolescent girls.
The Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), a national community-based organisation, emphasised the need for the empowerment of women and girls, including those with disabilities in Ghana, to promote inclusion and gender equality, and to ensure that they are not left out in the digital space.
The HFFG’s Executive Director, Dr Mrs Cecilia Lodonu-Senoo, said HFFG would accelerate efforts toward achieving SDGs and help address the growing digital gender divide in the context of digital skills and access to technologies by women and girls.
“Every Ghanaian woman or girl has the right to live a healthy, productive, independent, and dignified life stressing that as a nation, we must look at how we can empower and assist them to take advantage of digital platforms and assistive technology to participate in conversations, build their careers and advance the progress of their constituents.”
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) said one of the major obstacles that have plagued the achievement of gender parity in decision-making was corruption, adding that there was considerable evidence that corruption disproportionately affects women more than men.
BY NORMAN COOPER
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