The ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) on Monday started training about 40 Ghanaians in the dynamics of gender mainstreaming into national policy for the attainment of gender equity and equality to ensure women’s empowerment.
The trainer of trainee workshop, from November 17 to 19, also seeks to equip the participants to understand the ECOWAS EGDC gender tools which focuses on creating a fair and safe community in which men and women have equal opportunities to participate, decide, control and take advantage of all development initiatives.
The workshop is being organised by ECOWAS EGDC in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Participants are from National Commission for Civic Education, Ghana News Agency, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, National Development Planning Commission, Domestic Violence Secretariat and Human Trafficking Unit.
Others are from the Ministries of Education, Health, and Finance and the Institute of Local Government Studies, Women in Agriculture and Development, and the Gender and Human Rights Documentation Centre.
Ms Aminatta Dibba, ECOWAS EGDC Director, opening the workshop, said ECOWAS considered gender equality as an engine of regional integration and a full-fledged development objective.
She said ECOWAS Treaty called on; “Member states to formulate, harmonise, co-ordinate and implement the appropriate policies and mechanisms to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of women.”
Ms Dibba said through the ECOWAS EGDC an institutional framework for the promotion of gender equality set up the Gender Development Centre, adopted the Gender Policy, Management System and the creation of the Office of the Commissioner Human Development and Gender.
Other issues include the transformation of the Drug Control Division into a Directorate.
EGDC is a multi-purpose regional agency charged with the responsibility to contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the ECOWAS region with a mandate to work with member states for the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Gender Policy.
EGDC initiates and facilitates capacity building through knowledge-based training and transfer of skills as well as programme development and management for women and men in the public and private sectors to promote gender mainstreaming in all regional integration policies, strategies and programmes.
Ms Dibba said: “EGDC sees to it that the specific needs, priorities and constraints of women are effectively taken into consideration in all social programmes, particularly in the areas of education and health.”
Interventions in this area are directed towards ensuring women’s equal access to economic resources and opportunities through strengthening their economic capacities and improving the visibility of their contribution to the regional economy.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in a statement read on behalf of the Chief Director, Mr Kwesi Armo-Himbson, commended EGDC for providing support to Ghanaian girls and women through various initiatives which is being implemented in the country through the ministry.
It said the center had provided 10 scholarships of excellence to girls in the country, supported women suffering from obstetrics fistula under which 68 women had so far undergone repair surgeries and social reintegration.
The centre had also provided technical and financial support to women engaged in agro processing, handicrafts and fisheries for over 32 women from Ghana and Nigeria.
The statement said the challenges facing the fight for gender equality and women empowerment were indeed enormous and undoubtedly, significant progress had been made over the past years to remove the obstacles and create conditions for equal opportunities in the social, political and economic spheres of life. GNA