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Rachel Appoh Delivers Speech at Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union In Geneva
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Hon. Rachel Appoh
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NDC Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central and former Deputy Minister for Children, Gender and Social Protecting, Hon. Rachel Appoh has attended the 132nd Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union in Geneva, Switzerland.

Below is her full speech she delivered at the gathering

Speech by Hon. Rachel Nana Adwoa Appoh at the 132ND Assembly of the Inter Parlaimentary Union In Geneva, Switzerland

Gender related issues have often been associated with women but it goes beyond just men and women.

Women access to their economic, social, cultural rights and opportunities associated with being female is sometimes marginalized.

In most societies, being a man or a woman is not simply a matter of different biological and physical characteristics but also the power dynamics which support to affirm patriarchal roles in the domestic fields. Gender attributes are socially constructed and therefore can be reconstructed to change in ways that can make a society more just and equitable.

For equity and equality to prevail in society, it is important to understand the progress made after the fourth world women conference in Beijing. The adoption and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) on issues concerning mainstreaming gender by countries has further refine and strengthen practical measures for advancing women’s status and empowerment.

A more advanced society where the rights of women are taking into consideration in the formulation and implementation of development strategies 18 years now.

The Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has supported with effective procedures for its implementation.

Most people confuse gender equality with the notion that, men and women want to be same in all things. However, equality is about having equal opportunity and access to resources. It is being fair and not marginalising men and women. Hence gender equality is about equity.

Ladies and gentlemen, there have been many report in the media concerning Gender based violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim. Violence is directed specifically against a woman because she is a woman and the children often get their fair share of this abuse.

Gender based violence includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological harm including intimidation, suffering, coercion, and deprivation of liberty within the family. Thus gender-based violence is now often expanded to include violence that results from unequal power relations between men and between women which is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm.

Inferring from the above, the process of achieving gender equality is simply through gender equity where men and women are treated fairly and same. It also implies changes for both men and women in society taking much into consideration our gender roles. Where there is fairness and equity, violence is minimal. Poverty reduction is very key in reducing violence in the domestic spheres.

The establishment of institutions like the Ministry of gender, children and social protection is in order to advocate and end gender based violence. The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is one of the judicial and administrative authorities with competences in effecting human rights matters. It has a broad mandate to protect and promote universal rights and freedoms especially recognized by the 1992 Constitution and other international human rights instruments which Ghana has ratified.

In terms of economic equity, women should have equal access to resources such as land, capital and entrepreneurial skills to enable them empower themselves. Poverty reduction and the promotion of the MDGs is crucial in ascertaining equity and equality which is key mainstreaming. Women should have access to health care services to enable them reduce maternal mortality and child mortality. Women should have control of their reproductive rights to decide the spacing and number of children together with the spouses. These decisions should not result in conflict and abuse of women.

We could further promote women's economic rights and independence, including access to employment and appropriate working conditions and control over economic resosurces.

• Facilitate women's equal access to resources, employment, markets and trade.

• Provide business services, training and access to markets; information and technology, for low-income women.

• Strengthen women's economic capacity and commercial networks.

• Eliminate occupational segregation and all forms of employment discrimination.

In a nutshell, equity and fairness is important in ending violence against men and women. We should understand that, gender is not a fight between men and women, but rather a continuous and harmonious existence of men and women.

Thank you.

The Inter Parlaimentary Union (IPU) is the international organization of Parliaments. It was established in 1889.

The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy.

The IPU supports the efforts of and works in close co-operation with the United Nations, whose objectives it shares.

The Union also co-operates with regional inter-parliamentary organizations, as well as with international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations which are motivated by the same ideals.


Hon. Rachel Appoh
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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