Accra, Sep 30, GNA - Gender activists have raised concerns that despite considerable gains made under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), persistent gender inequality and denial of women’s rights remain significant challenge.
The activists have therefore urged government to back calls for stand-alone goal on gender equality to facilitate smooth formulation and implementation of policies to bridge the gap when the MDGs expires in 2015.
“Your support is paramount in shaping the post-2015 development framework to better the lots of women,” Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, Programmes Manager for Governance, Women in Law and Development in Africa told the press on Monday.
For the last 14 years of implementing the MDGs, he said, Ghana has made significant improvements in reducing poverty by half, achieving gender parity in school enrolment at the basic level and dropping maternal mortality drastically.
He said there were still gender wage gaps, deficiencies in women’s reproductive health and rights as well as women’s equal participation at all levels of decision making.
Mr Bodza said violence against women and girls continued while women’s disproportionate share of unpaid care work prevalent and women’s equal access to assets and productive resources remained problematic.
He said the post-2015 Development Framework under consideration needed to contain a strong and explicit focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Ms Esther Tawiah, Executive Director of Gender Centre for Empowerment Development, said the framework must be based on targets that transform social relations and tackle the root causes of equality.
She called for active women participation in the development of the post-2015 Development Framework and ensured its structure was coherent with existing conventions.
Ms Tawiah said that “women account for about two-thirds of the 1.4 billion people globally who live in extreme poverty,” adding, without specifically addressing gender inequality, poverty among women and global poverty would persist.
The emerging post-2015 Development Framework is based on targets and indicators of the MDG and how effectively they have been achieved.
Women’s rights groups and feminists are demanding a strong and explicit focus on a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment.