Madam Mathilda Banfro, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Department of Gender, has noted that the efforts to achieve gender equality have not yielded much results because men have been left out of the efforts.
“The reason for the slow progress in achieving equality between women and men is the failure to adequately raise awareness of and involve men at all levels,” she said.
Madam Bamfro stated at Ahwiam, Ningo Prampram during a sensitization workshop for men and the adolescent boy, organized by the Department of Gender, Greater Accra, in collaboration with the Ningo Prampram District Assembly (NiPDA).
Madam Banfro said there was the need to increase awareness that gender equality was a societal issue, which concerned both men and women and projected the important roles men and boys could play in promoting equality.
She said even though men were becoming more aware of the need to support gender equality and the fight against violence against women, there still existed areas, which needed change in order to push the agenda of equality forward.
Madam Maribel Akuorkor Okine, the Acting Regional Director, Department of Gender, Western Region, in a presentation on the topic: “Engaging men and boys on gender terms and concepts,” said society had allocated roles to the genders, which made them vulnerable.
Madam Okine said there was therefore the need to overcome certain barriers society had created in terms of responsibilities, and allow men and women to play roles that could complement each other and help build a better society.
She said men had a lot of roles to play in ensuring gender equality since men exercised a lot of power in every sphere of life and appealed to men not to use such powers to abuse women, but end cultural practices that perpetrated injustice against women.
Madam Sheila Nartey, Senior Staff Nurse, Adolescent Health Educator, Mamprobi Hospital, in a presentation on the theme, “Adolescent Reproductive Health, the causes, effects and prevention of adolescent pregnancy,” asked adolescent boys and their male counterparts not to indulge in practices that was detrimental to their health and placed them in unpleasant situations.
She also asked boys to challenge all forms of abuse against them and not to allow anybody to use their bodies for the wrong reasons, since it was their right.
Madam Zubaida Damago, the Development Planning and Gender Desk Officer, NiPDA, charged the boys to become ambassadors where ever they found themselves, and teach other boys to appreciate the special role women played in society, and the need to help them play such roles effectively.
The Department of Gender is organizing a series of workshops aimed at exposing the genders to healthy practices, which would make them live better lives.
These workshops are organized with support from UNFPA and the Canadian Government.