The Deputy Minister and Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu has called on traditional authorities and faith-based leaders to support the ministry to address gender inequalities and harmful cultural practices.
She said the support would contribute to effective advocacy and engagement on issues of harmful cultural practices, sexual and gender-based violence and gender inequalities in the communities.
She made the call at the validation meeting for the national framework for engaging traditional authorities and faith-based leaders to address gender inequalities and harmful cultural practices on Thursday in Accra.
“Traditional authorities, faith-based leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other state and non-state actors are indulged to be development agents and advocates of behavioural change, acceptable values and positive socio-cultural heritage to ensure the continued well-being of the people,” she said.
She noted that the laws of Ghana prohibit all customary practices which dehumanize and are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person.
“Negative cultural practices such as widowhood rite, trokosi, Female Genital Mutilation, child marriage, witchcraft accusations and trial by ordeal among others, remain major hindrances to the attainment of gender equality in Ghana,” she stated.
According to her, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment remain powerful strategies for reducing poverty levels, and social injustices among women and men.
Achieving gender equality, Hajia Abudu said, was a prerequisite for sustainable development in Ghana.
On her part, the Chief Director of (MoGCSP), Dr Afisah Zakariah, urged stakeholders to own and use documents to contribute to a successful implementation of the framework.
She added that the ministry was mandated to work towards ending gender inequalities, all negative cultural practices and stigmatization, whilst enhancing the quality of citizens and protecting the vulnerable in society against human rights abuses.
Priscilla Nimako, ISD