She said the biggest challenges confronting the nation included poverty and inequality, and there was the need to put an end to violence and discrimination against women in all spheres.
Moreover, there was the need to intensify advocacy of women’s rights and their empowerment and that of girls and other vulnerable groups such as persons with disability to achieve equality.
She made the call at a National Validation Meeting on “Ghana’s Combined 8th and 9th Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Men and Women (CEDAW)”, to collect views of stakeholders to address the canker of inequality in society.
The convention was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly, as an international legal instrument that required of countries to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in all areas and promote women and girls’ equal rights.
It also provided critical normative standards that were intrinsically linked to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development such as those related to non-discrimination, political participation, education, health, food, housing, and freedoms of expression and assembly.
Madam Acheampong said it was important for societies to acknowledge that the potential growth and prosperity could be achieved through women empowerment and finding of innovative ways to include men and boys in gender equality conversations for sustainable progress in combating discrimination.
Mr Edward Ampratwum, the Head of Governance and Inclusive Development, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the CEDAW Convention was considered as the principal legal framework for assessing discrimination against women and girls as it provided robust standards on equality and non-discrimination for all women, in all fields.
“We at UNDP, therefore, believe that reviewing progress made in implementing the CEDAW will demonstrate Ghana’s commitment and accountability, not only to the implementation of CEDAW and other gender equality related normative frameworks including the SDGs; but most importantly to ensuring Gender Equality and the empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development”, he said
Dr Ampratwum said the UNDP remained deeply concerned about the increasing spate of gender-based-violence and discrimination of women and girls globally, adding that, the pandemic seemed to have exacerbated the growth of gender-based violence.
He said it continued to undermine the realisation of women’s human rights and on the international human rights system.
To combat violence against women, he recommended that States tackled poverty and empowered women by addressing power imbalances across societies and the underlying structural barriers to gender equality, such as unequal access and control over resources and gendered division of labour.