The Department of Gender, of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, says Ghana has achieved gender parity in education in deprived communities at the basic level.
It noted that there had been more girls with equal ratio for boys and girls at the basic level nationally in those areas though pockets of disparity had been recorded in a few districts.
This was revealed at a national consultative meeting for the preparation of Ghana’s combined 8th and 9th periodic report on UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Ghana, having signed onto the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women gives a report on the progress and challenges in all sectors of the economy to the UN every four years.
In this year’s consultative meeting, experts were drawn from across Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations.
Others are: gender stakeholders, development partners and officers from security services.
Mr. Edmund Amarkwei Foley, Consultant for the preparation of the 8th and 9th CEDAW report, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said, policy directions in the area of education had helped bridged the gap between boys and girls in deprived areas other than urban areas.
He said policy directions, such as “Education for All National Plan” that was rolled out by then Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in 2003 and ended in 2015 had bridged the gap significantly.
Mr Foley also added that women’s access to justice had been progressive, saying more offices of Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) had been established, including Domestic Violence Victim Support Centres.
The 6th and 7th reports were submitted in 2015, and it contained the progress made and challenges encountered.
Key areas it focused on were gender roles and stereotypes, education, women and employment, equality in access to health care, economic and social rights of women.
For instance, in 2015, the report noted that deaths from complications of unsafe abortion were still high, and one study revealed unsafe abortion as the leading cause of maternal mortality amongst adolescent.
It said 34.7 per cent of the total number of cases was made up of young women between 10 and 24 years and to address it, support for implementation of comprehensive abortion care was obtained to enhance access of qualified clients to quality care in health facilities at all levels.
Meanwhile, Mrs Vera Karikari, Deputy Director, Department of Gender, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Afisah Zakariah, Chief Director of the Gender Ministry, said it was important to empower women, give them opportunities to attain exponential growth and prosperity.
“We fight the biggest challenges confronting the nation such as poverty, inequality, intersectionality and put an end to violence and discrimination against women and girls, making sure no one is left behind,” she added.
Mrs Karikari said women and young girls still faced structural discrimination due to the patriarchal nature of most societies and that the meeting would set the tone to put in measures to support the rights and empowerment of women and girls.