Mr Tegegnework Gettu, UNDP Assistant Secretary General and Director for the Regional Bureau for Africa has described the nation as a symbol of democratic stability in Africa congratulating Ghana on her 56th Independence Day anniversary.
He also commended Ghana’s progressive mainstreaming of gender issues and political participation of women in front line national politics but noted that as African pacesetters the nation should intensify efforts at broadening the scope for political empowerment of women.
Mr Gettu therefore suggested Ghana collaborated with Kenya that had established strong pillars for women participation in mainstream party politics, “It will be dynamic development for Ghana and Kenya to share experiences and in order to broaden the scope of women participation in politics”.
Speaking during an interaction with Ghana’s Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur on the sidelines of the on-going 57th Session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters in New York, Mr Gettu introduced Ghana to the Gender Thematic Trust Fund (GTTF).
He said the GTTF was established to meet the challenges of attaining gender equality and achieving the MDGs. The Fund provides donors with an efficient way to channel funds towards achieving gender quality results.
Nana Oye Lithur used the occasion to brief the UNDP representative on the political developments in Ghana, gender sensitive actions adopted by governments and the gender mainstreaming sensitivity of President John Dramani Mahama.
She explained that the government under President Mahama sought to strengthen and broaden the scope of gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting as well as providing social protection.
Nana Oye Lithur said the country had also developed a draft gender bill after broad based consultation with civil society which would be tabled before the Ghanaian Parliament.
She also noted the progressive achievement in mainstreaming women in front line politics, especially in getting more women elected into parliament; “the path has not been easy but we are making inroads…but I must admit we need to double up our efforts.
“We will explore the possibility of working with Kenyans to share ideas on women involvement in front line party politics”.
Information available to the GNA indicates that the GTTF has enabled programme countries to achieve impressive development results, breaking new ground in areas where gender issues are often unaddressed – such as climate change.
The GTTF has received nearly US$10 million and funded projects in over 65 countries. Over 70 percent of these projects have been in least developed countries and Africa.
The Fund focuses on thematic areas such as strengthening national capacities to integrate gender equality in national development policies and budget frameworks; promoting women’s economic empowerment including women’s economic opportunities, legal status, rights, voice and their participation in the economy and integrating gender-responsive approaches into AIDS strategies and budgets.
It also strengthens national capacities to address the particular needs of women and girls in efforts to reach universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; promoting women’s political participation in all governance institutions; strengthening women’s legal rights, including in the informal sector and assisting national partners to design public services that benefit poor women and men equitably.