General News of Friday, 13 March 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Ghana has been successful in meeting the MDGs and the targets set in the Beijing Platform for Action, Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has reported to the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women at its 59th session underway at the UN headquarters.
Presenting Ghana’s statement at the 59th session of the UN body tasked with the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, she said the country made the gains by strategically incorporating the targets of the MDGs and the Beijing Platform of Action into its national development framework.
“Ghana is noted as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to have achieved the MDG 1 target of halving the population living in extreme poverty ahead of 2015. The country is also on course to achieve two out of the three targets on child malnutrition,” she added.
The minister said this had been made possible as a result of a number of policy and social protection interventions by the government, the major one being the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
Regarding education, the minister reported that the government was working to improve the quality of education, especially at the basic level, and the gender gap in school enrolment had been narrowing in recent years.
“To bridge the gender gap in access to education, a total of 15,700 girls from junior high schools have benefited from scholarships through the Participatory Approach to Student Success,” she added.
Elimination of violence against women is also a matter of priority for the Government of Ghana, she said, explaining that this had been demonstrated with the strengthening of the legal and policy framework in the areas of domestic violence and human trafficking.
“The Human Trafficking Legislative Instrument and the Domestic Violence Legislative Instrument have been forwarded to the Parliamentary Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration,” she expanded.
In relation to women’s health, she said trends in the maternal mortality ratio had shown a consistent decline since 1990 and also a drop in institutional neonatal mortality from 5.8 per 1000 live births in 2012 to 2.3 per 1000 in 2015.
Touching on gender equality and empowerment of women, particularly in decision-making, the minister said the women’s machinery was sponsoring the Affirmative Action Bill and the Judiciary had also made significant contributions to the protection of women’s property rights, as guaranteed in Article 22 of the 1992 Constitution.
“For the first time in Ghana’s history there have been an unprecedented number of appointments of women to key top public offices and the inclusion of queenmothers in the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs marks a significant step in strengthening their role in national and traditional governance,’’ Nana Oye stated.