HON. OTIKO DJABA ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN`S DAY13-03-2017
The Gender Minister said it was for this reason that the government was prioritizing programmes to empower and uplift women and families through alleviating the burden of taxation on vulnerable and marginalized women, like the kayayei. The government, she said, believed in reducing the burden of financing education on families by extending the school feeding programme by adding 1.3 million children. Noting that the global slogan for 2017 campaign is Be Bold For Change, the UN global theme for this year’s celebration focuses on “ Women in the Changing World of Work ; Planet 50:50 by 2030” : Step it up for Gender Equality”. She said, in Ghana, the theme had been varied taking into consideration the peculiar challenges and to address the special national aspirations. It was thus themed, “Economic Empowerment of Rural Women: A Tool for Sustainable Development in a Changing World of Work”. She congratulated Ghanaian women, especially, for the giant strides that they had made over the last few years to improve the socio-economic and cultural standing of the women of Ghana. Mentioning several women as an example she said women such as Mrs. Bamfo-Addo who was first woman Speaker; Chief Justice, Mrs. Theodora Wood; Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei; Hon. Frema Osei Opare, Chief of Staff; Deputy Majority Leader;Hon. Adwoa Safo , and first female Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, have trailed the path of honour in raising the image of the Ghanaian woman. She said in spite of the huge strides made by women it was undisputed that Ghanaian women, like the majority of women in the developing world, still suffered from discrimination, destitution, under-representation and marginalization. Women were still 20% of Parliament while they constituted over 52% of the Electorate. The National House of Chiefs had no space for women Chiefs or Queen mothers. Girls also had been given in early marriage like exchange of goods. Undignified acts of brutality had been meted out to women upon accusation or in the course of duty at workplaces. Hon. Otiko said these acts of brutality should be prevented and called for the respect of women`s right through collective and individual national responsibility. The Hon. Minister, she said, would like all women to imbibe the global campaign theme; Be Bold for Change. She urged all women to be firm, courageous, brave and tenacious to challenge the biases, obstacles and all other forms of intimidation that confront them, especially, rural women in the changing world of work. Contributors on the floor of the House, both men and women, were unanimous in their call for raising the image of women, as agents of development, who need more representation in all aspects of national life and strive for the removal of all forms of discrimination against women, recognize their contribution to the economy, cultural life and other roles which make society move but often ignored or inadequately acknowledged.