The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Afisa Otiko Djaba has expressed worry over the increasing cases of female genital mutilation in some parts of the Upper East Region.
She described the recent reports as disheartening, dispiriting and despicable in the wake progress made in advancing course of women in the country underscoring the need for various stakeholders to rise up against the obnoxious practice.
“I am happy to announce that all Chiefs, Queenmothers, Religious and Political leaders, social and cultural leaders, not forgetting parents and children have pledged to wage a special fight against the Female Genital Mutilation scourge”, she disclosed at the launch of the UN International Women’s Day under the theme “Women too:press on to the progress as game changers”
The Minister among other measures resolved to exert what she termed as total and unrelenting pressure on FGM and other socio-cultural practices to reduce their incidences within the shortest possible time.
Madam Otiko used the opportunity to outline various activities scheduled for this year’s celebration of UN International Women’s Day which commenced on March 1, 2018.
This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.
International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 percent of women in the global agricultural labour force.
They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep-seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 percent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office.