Regional News Thu, 1 Dec 2016

Gender Ministry launches five-year strategic plan

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has launched a five- year strategic plan that would re-define the Ministry’s strategic direction from 2017 to 2021.

The occasion was also used to outdoor the Ministry’s Friday Wear.

Nana Oye Lithur, sector Minister who launched the plan estimated it to cost GH? 220, 268, 049 for executing the plan during the five- year, adding the plan was consistent with Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

She explained that the plan also aligned with the thematic areas of Ghana’s Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework, Agenda 2030 of the African Union and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.

Nana Oye recalled that the Ministry of Gender was created by President John Dramani Mahama through an Executive Instrument in January, 2013 as a successor to the Ministry of Woman and Children’s Affairs.

This, she said, implied the expansion of the mandate of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs to include Gender and Social protection Issues.

“With the strategic change in focus, it became necessary to restructure the Ministry to enable us deliver on our expanded mandate,” Nana Oye Lithur added.

The sector Minister said the plan had eight focus areas with strategic goals of progressively reducing discrimination on grounds of sex, promote rights and empower all persons especially women and girls for sustainable development.

The Gender Minister said some of the focus areas include child rights promotion and development, social protection and development, domestic violence and human trafficking, research, information and data management.

Other areas she said were performance measurement, monitoring and evaluation, public education and financial mobilisation and Organisational Support Services.

Nana Oye Lithur said the Ministry aimed at progressively reducing the incidence of domestic violence and human trafficking as well as promoting evidence-based research, information and data management systems to ensure comprehensive, timely and reliable information and data for evidence based decision making.

According to her the Ministry among others would also promote communication and advocacy systems at all levels as well as promote gender, children and social protection issues.

To achieve the goals of the plan, Nana Oye Lithur said the Ministry would adequately provide resources to ensure sustainable implementation interventions in order to attain its mandate.

The Sector Minister who described the plan as participatory adding: “ We made frantic effort to engage all our stakeholders including beneficiaries of our interventions, civil society, development partners and other ministries, government agencies to ensure full coverage of all critical issues.”

According to her “successful implementation of the plan will depend on the availability of both human and financial resources, as a ministry we will ensure that our focus areas prioritised in the budget ceilings to be given to government”.

She therefore appealed development partners, the private sector and civil society to partners the Ministry for effective implementation of the plan.

Mr Anthony Mends, a Consultant to the Ministry indicated that the plan would mainstream issues of aging in the development process, end hunger as well as expanding the school feeding programmes to cover all regions.

Mr Mends cited slow progress in eliminating gender-based irregularities, inadequate representation and participation of women in governance as well as low awareness and disregard of Children rights as some challenges facing the Ministry.

Other challenges he said were weak enforcement of Child Protection Legal framework and inadequate and insecure facilities for Correctional and Remand centres.

The Consultant said the plan when rolled out, correctional ad facilities would be refurbished and track all cases of child abuses for proper resolution.

Source: GNA