Ghana is hosting the regional meeting for Gender Experts and Ministers responsible for Gender and Women Affairs of ECOWAS member states from Monday, 27th to Thursday, 30th March 2023.
The goal of the meeting is to build on the progress and achievements made over the years, contribute to sustainable development and economic and social justice, and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the ECOWAS regions.
It is also to discuss, review and finalise the draft EGDC Strategic Plan 2023-2027 before its validation by the Ministers responsible for Gender and Women Affairs and subsequent adoption by other statutory bodies of ECOWAS.
The European Green Digital Coalition (EGDC) strategic plan sets the tone for the contributions that ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (GDC) seeks to make to the regional integration process in the medium and long term.
The Chief Director for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr Afisah Zakariah, indicated that Gender inequality is a persistent issue that undermines the progress of societies and nations worldwide.
She said to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls in West Africa, there is the need to address issues, which include the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, harmful cultural practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.
“There is also the need to promote gender-sensitive legislation and ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are held accountable for their actions,” she added.
She, therefore, called on stakeholders and gender experts to bring out more pragmatic strategies that would promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
On her part, the Director of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, Mrs Sandra Oulate, commended the Government of Ghana for its efforts towards achieving gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women and girls.
She stressed ECOWAS’ commitment to building capacity for women, men and young people, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women in the context of regional integration.
The meeting was organised by the ECOWAS-CEDEAO Gender Development Centre under the theme: “Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls: An imperative for the Achievement of Sustainable Development and Effective Regional Integration in West Africa.”
Priscilla Nimako, ISD
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