Men and Boys cannot be left behind when it comes to gender equality as they play an integral part in attaining gender equitable and sustainable development.
The Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu said this on Tuesday at a stakeholder review meeting on the draft framework and toolkit for engaging men and boys on gender equality in Accra.
According to her, achieving gender equality calls for transforming unequal power relations between men and women as well as transforming the social and gender norms that reinforce inequality and harm both women and men.
“It involves challenging notions of masculinity and traditional perceptions of manhood. Men are needed to analyse power dynamics in their actions or their words at the personal, interpersonal and societal levels and to take responsibility for the change we desire as far as gender equality and equity is concerned,” she added.
The Minister-designate noted that over the years, the quest for gender equality has seen women and girls leading the charge but the time has come for men and boys to be exposed to the crucial role they have to play in achieving gender equality and women empowerment agenda.
“Gender equality benefits everyone and, therefore, to accelerate progress on gender equality as a country, a collective effort from stakeholders, champions, supporters, and collaborators is required” she added.
Hajia Lariba entreated all to continue to work towards closing the gender gap by strengthening institutions that promote gender equity and the empowerment of women and girls.
“All forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls must be eliminated, through the engagement of all stakeholders with men and boys as advocates,” she stressed.
The framework and toolkit are to galvanise the support needed for Ghanaian men to be agents of change in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Priscilla Nimako & Grace Acheampong, ISD