Ghana is to appear before the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee to provide insight into measures taken to strengthen legislative framework aimed at enabling women to realize their potentials.
In June 2012, Ghana submitted its Sixth and Seventh Consolidated Periodic Report to CEDAW; after reviewing the report, the Committee made some observations and raised them as list of issues to be answered by the Government of Ghana.
Apart from Ghana, the CEDAW Committee will also examine reports from the following States parties during its 59th session: Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, China, Ghana, Guinea, Poland, Solomon Islands and Venezuela.
A Ghanaian delegation led by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection is to participate in the CEDAW meeting in Geneva, Switzerland from October 20 to November 7 to provide concise responses to the matters raised by the Committee.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra last Friday, Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said the country would also use the platform to highlights significant efforts made in addressing important needs and concerns of women in Ghana within the reporting period.
“In carrying out these important initiatives, we have had many challenges, we are however committed to creating a conducive environment in Ghana that addresses inequalities, discrimination, mainstreams gender and empowers women.
“Ministry of Gender is poised to work with other stakeholders, including civil society to address the issues raised which will serve as useful in guiding national policies, government and non-governmental development programmes, academic and other research work that relates to women’s development,” she noted.
CEDAW is a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world and also serves as a practical blueprint for each country to achieve progress for women and girls.
In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women have partnered with their governments to improve the status of women and girls, and as a result have changed laws and policies to create greater safety and opportunity for women and their families.
The CEDAW agreement was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and entered into force in 1981. Almost all countries have ratified CEDAW - 187 out of 194 countries. Only seven have not ratified including the United States, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and two small Pacific Island nations (Palau and Tonga).
Nana Oye Lithur explained that CEDAW provided a practical blueprint for each country to achieve equality for women and girls.
It also provides opportunities for women and girls to learn, earn and participate in public decision-making helps reduce violence, alleviate poverty, build democracies and strengthen economies, she said.