CEDAW

(By Francis Ameyibor, GNA Special Correspondent; Geneva, Switzerland)
Ghana is dialoguing with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to deal with hiccups in the efforts to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination.

CEDAWThe areas earmarked for support include, technical, operational, logistical, and financial.

Ghana has instituted a pragmatic framework in dealing with gender based discrimination in accordance with CEDAW conventions and protocols but there are few outstanding issues, Nana Oye Lithur Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection told Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the on-going 59th Session of CEDAW in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Gender Minister explained that in June 2012, Ghana submitted its Sixth and Seventh Consolidated Periodic Report to CEDAW, which has been reviewed.

?We are therefore seeking the committee?s support to deal with any outstanding issues it observed to ensure that as a country, we continue to provide enabling conditions for all sections of the society irrespective of gender, religion, social status, political affiliations to enjoy fundamental rights.

?We are proud as a country of the efforts in fighting against all forms of gender based discriminations but we are not complacent, we will continue to explore all other opportunities to make our people live in dignity and respect,? Nana Oye Lithur stated.

Ghana also assured CEDAW of continuous support in terms of human resources, technical and other forms as currently Ms Hilary Amesika Gbedema, a Ghamaian Lawyer and Gender Consultant is serving on the 15- member Committee.

Meanwhile Alhassan Azong, Peoples National Convention Member of Parliament for Builsa South has denied perception that Parliament is insensitive to gender-based bills before the house.

Some local gender based non-governmental organisations participating in the CEDAW review meeting had accused parliament of unduly delaying the Spousal Property Bill due to their insensitivity to gender based-issues.

Mr Azong who is also a Minister of State told the GNA in Geneva that there is no truth in the speculation by the NGOs.

?The NGOs must understand operations of parliament especially when it comes to the passage of bills that have social implications, we need among other things to engage and consult Ghanaians,? he said.

In an interview with GNA after the review meeting, Ms Nicole Ameline, CEDAW Chairperson commended Ghana for the progress made towards complying with CEDAW conventions and protocols.

The Committee expressed appreciation that Ghana had ratified the Convention without reservation, as well as its frank and comprehensive report giving a clear picture of the real situation of women in the country as well as obstacles to the improvement of their status.

Ms Ameline said efforts made by Ghana to overcome discrimination and the priority given to health; education and changing attitudes were praised, especially in the light of the difficult economic conditions the country is facing.

She considered reinforcement, visibility of the convention as a big concern of the Committee as well as implementation of the Convention, but said generally Ghana is doing well.

The CEDAW Chairperson said the committee would in the next few days submit its general concluding observations to Ghana.

In June 2012, Ghana submitted its Sixth and Seventh Consolidated Periodic Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

After reviewing the report, the Committee made some observations and raised them as a list of issues to be answered by the Government.

The report provided concise responses to the matters raised by the Committee.

The report does not only seek to respond to issues raised by the Committee, but also highlights significant efforts made in addressing important needs and concerns of women in Ghana within the reporting period.

The report provides comprehensive insights into steps taken to strengthen the legislative framework develop policies, implement plans and programmes aimed at enabling women to realize their potentials.

Other countries appearing before CEDAW are Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, China, Guinea, Poland, Solomon Islands, and Venezuela, to defend their gender records before the world body.

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