The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is to lead Ghanaian delegates to the United Nations Session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) which will take place from March 10 to 21 in New York.
The 2014 CSW58 is on the general theme: “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”.
The Ghanaian delegation would include women’s rights activists, gender experts, government representatives, as well as representatives from gender based civil society organizations.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in an interview noted that the delegation would use the platform to showcase Ghana’s gender mainstreaming agenda.
She said Ghana would also, as part of the event, organize side events to share “our progressive success story,” whilst participating in others, hold high-level discussions with governmental and non-governmental organizations alongside the conference.
The Gender Minister who is the President of the newly composed Bureau of Ministers of Social Development for ECOWAS said: “We will not achieve gender justice unless we challenge gender stereotyping”.
She explained that real and sustained change was unlikely without a concerted effort on the part of all progressive social justice movements to leverage gender transformation in practice and in advocacy positions.
The Gender Minister said gender equality was not only a basic human right, but that its achievement also had enormous socio-economic ramifications since empowering women fueled thriving economies, spurred productivity and growth.
“Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care.
“Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes,” Nana Oye Lithur noted.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
The main roles of UN Women include supporting inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
It is also meant to help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
Furthermore, it is responsible for holding the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.