Training on gender equality held for men in Accra
By Samuel Dodoo, GNA
Accra, Sept. 13, GNA-Madam Matilda Banfro, the Acting Greater Accra Regional Director for Gender has said issues of gender equality were for both men and women and all must work to end violations of human rights and inequalities.
She said: “Gender equality is a human right and developmental issue that include the guarantee of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and human rights for all.”
Madam Banfro made the remarks when she addressed partisans at a training workshop on Thursday at the Freeman Methodist Church at Ga-Mashie in Accra to help address the challenges males face concerning gender and reproductive health among others.
It was organised by the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Department of Gender with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Canadian Government.
Madam Banfro said there was the need for such training workshops to engage leaders, members of the identifiable categories of men and boys to understand their role in achieving gender equality and national development.
“Men have critical roles to play in bridging the gender inequality gap which include; issues on sexual reproductive health and rights. Yet too often, men are an untapped resource in such gender initiatives.
“To bridge this gap, there is the need to engage and sensitise men and boys to be change agents in ending gender inequalities and from sexual reproductive health and rights,” she said.
Madam Banfro said: “It is critical to understand men’s role and responsibilities in working towards the gender-equitable world. Men must be reached and included; so that interventions for women and girls are not derailed by male resistance.”
Madam Juliana Abbeyquaye, a resource person explained that gender was a social construct and differed from society to society and changed over time.
She said: “Gender equality is a form of social division relating to varying amount of power, resources and opportunities between men and women, where one group becomes more socially privileged than the other.
“These inequalities affect their status in all areas of life in society, whether public or private, in the family or the labour market, in economic or private life, in power and decision-making and in social gender relations.”
Madam Abbeyquaye said: « We are telling them that gender is about roles and when it is gender, it can be changed so if there is some part of the roles that we are playing that will not help us, then we have to change it and that is why we are here to educate them. »
Mr David Abalo, the Assemblyman for Bubui Electoral Area on behalf of the participants expressed gratitude to the organisers and the sponsors for the enlightenment on gender and reproductive health issues.
He urged men to change their mindset towards providing support to their wives.
“We have been enlightened. Formerly there were certain things we thought only females are supposed to do. Like washing utensils and cooking, today we have come to know that we are supposed to be helping them, » he said.
Representatives from Christian and Muslim faiths, youth groups, students, traditional leaders and Assemblymen from communities such as Mamprobi, Chorkor, Jamestown, Korle Gonno and Kaneshie were among members who attended the workshop.