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Ark Foundation holds conference for alumni   
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The continuous low level of women's participation in governance and public decision-making positions in the country is one of the big challenges hindering government's effort in improving the lot of women in the country.

Other challenges included the non-existence of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) representation at the district level, non- implementation of ratified conventions and protocols and inadequate capacity for gender policy analysis, said Mrs. Dorothy Onney, Deputy Director of MOWAC, on Wednesday.

Addressing alumni at the 5th annual women leadership conference of the Ark Foundation, a women's development oriented organization, she said challenges encountered by the government had made women empowerment very difficult and bridging the inequality gap a tough task.

Mrs. Onney announced that from next year, Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be required to produce gender certificates before they could access their sector funds while five per cent of money allocated to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies would be geared towards gender works.

She said despite all measures being taken by government to improve the lot of women, they still subjected to male dominance and social norms that denied their statutory entitlements to inheritance and property.

Ms. Onney called on all stakeholders in development to come up with implementable policies that would fill gaps in the national legal framework where gender issues were concerned and also eliminate all cultural practices that inhibit the development of women.

"The outcome of the consultative meeting would serve as a foundation for discussions towards the preparation of a gender equality law, in which various challenges hindering the attainment of gender equality will be addressed," she said.

Ms. Hilary Gbedemah, Rector of the Women's Law Institute, Ark Foundation, said the conference, under the theme: "Monitoring our Equality Work: What Work?" was sponsored by the African Women's Development Fund and would bring together about 300 participants.

She said the aim of the conference was to evaluate how alumni were using the skills and knowledge acquired from training in their professional and personal lives and the challenges that they faced.

"Again, the conference will create the forum for these young women leaders to interact with each other and deliberate on national issues concerning women and come out with solutions," she added.
Source: GNA

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