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“We’re Serious About Leaving No One Behind” – Ghana Tells UN

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Gender Ministry picks up 34 Street Children

In response to a story on GBC 24, the Ministry of Gender, Children and social protection deployed the police to relocate over thirty children to a foster home at Madina near Accra.

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13 hours ago

Today, the Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba will be making an appearance on GHOne TV's morning show 'GH Today' to discuss matters related to her ministry.

Kindly make time to watch.
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2 days ago

As Government's Efforts to put the interest of children first, the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection with the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development in collaboration with #UNICEF & other Stakeholders, today, launched the Child Protection Social Drive dubbed "Ghana Against Child Abuse" (GACA) Campaign.

This is the beginning of a mass movement by Ghanaians to demonstrate their commitment of putting children first by stopping all abuses against children in Ghana.

The campaign is also to promote standards favourable to the development of children and adolescent lives and reduce social practices that have negative consequences and are damaging to them.

The Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba made a passionate appeal to all parents, teachers and carers of children to be more vigilant over their children especially, girls who are believed to be more prone to sexual abuse and exploitation.

Launching the campaign, H.E. Samira Bawumia, Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, called on every Ghanaian to join the fight against child abuse in the country.

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3 days ago

PRESS RELEASE

'CELEBRATION OF UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY 2017'

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection wishes to congratulate all our children to mark the anniversary of the celebration of the Universal Children’s Day globally.

The United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote and strengthen international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date because it was this day in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In addition today has special significance because in 1989 the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Ghana signed into the Children’s Act 560 in 1998.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is, thus, pleased to commemorate this Universal Children’s Day in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government, UNICEF and our 2nd Lady Hajia Samira Bawumia this year with an event on November 21st at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at 9am. The general public is invited. This program is the launch of the Child Protection Social Drive in Ghana, with the theme: “Ghanaians Rallying Against Abuse of Children”.

It is the beginning of a mass movement of Ghanaians to demonstrate our commitment of putting children first by stopping all abuses against children in Ghana. It is not good enough to pay lip service to the protection and wellbeing of our children. Indeed children are our loved ones and we must treasure and invest in them by developing a holistic approach to understanding them and change our attitudes in how we perceive, nurture and involve them. Ghana 60 years on must have a total paradigm shift to appreciate children as human beings and not as charlatans, as co-owners, shareholders and key stakeholders of their own development and as partners in community, regional and nation building. The adage that children must be “seen and not heard” should be reviewed because, children have a voice, and that voice must be heard. Children should be respected and not seen as property to be sold off into child trafficking, servitude, child labour and child prostitution.

Ghana 60 Years on cannot afford to leave any child out or behind. No child can wait, all children of Ghana, able and disabled must have gender equality and equity for full productive inclusion. The Ministry will not relent in its pursuit of the best interest of the Ghanaian child and we are working hard to strengthen and introduce initiatives that would ensure that the various laws and policies to protect children and prevent abuse and violence against them are implemented and enforced. We are determined to collaborate with law enforcement agencies, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, faith based organizations, the media, traditional rulers and development partners to intensify grassroots based sensitization and advocacy to ensure that theory meets practice in terms of implementation of our laws to protect our children from abuse. Community fora, town hall meetings, durbars, reporting channels, rapid response systems, better case management and follow up mechanisms, counselling, naming and shaming perpetrators and enforcement of legal punitive sanctions of offenders who abuse children must become a collective responsibility of all Ghanaians and implementing agencies and departments, with leadership and coordination from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

According to UNICEF, every year, millions of children around the world become victims of untold violence. Children in every country, of every culture and at every social level face various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in the form of trafficking, physical assault, humiliating punishment, defilement, harmful traditional practices (including early marriage and genital mutilation/cutting), child labour, child prostitution, begging and recruitment into armed groups. The abuse takes place at home, in school, in institutions, at work, in the community, during armed conflicts, across borders and natural disasters.

Growing up is not easy but growing up with violence and abuse makes childhood miserable because they seriously affect a child’s development, dignity physical and psychological integrity negatively. The prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) recorded in 2015 was 3%, reported defilement cases of girls in 2015 was 1,187 and 16 for boys. Child marriage is 21% as per Demographic and Health Survey 2014 (DHS). However, children of Ghana, have been resilient, tenacious and courageous in spite of the various challenges and abuse they face. As we celebrate this 2017 Universal Children’s Day, the Ministry is making a passionate call to action for all parents, teachers and carers of children to be more vigilant over their children especially, girls who are believed to be more prone to sexual abuse and exploitation.

In these modern times, where invariably most parents are working, divorce and single parenting is on the increase, the extended family system is weakening because of migration, television, internet, social media and peer influence are increasingly replacing parenting. This is affecting our children negatively and opening them to more risks, so good parenting is needed by children now more than ever.

Currently, the Ministry through the Department of Children has begun a process of reviewing laws which include Development of shelters, Human Trafficking Secretariat, Human Trafficking Fund, Prosecution of offenders, the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) the Juvenile Justice Act, 2003 (Act 653), the child and family welfare policy, the FCUBE, National Strategic Framework for Ending Child Marriage, and other related laws which will deter people from perpetuating violence against children. The Ministry of Communication and the Attorney General’s Office are working on cyber protection. So Government’s commitment to improving the legislative environment to reduce violence and abuse against children and other young people online is demonstrated through the Cyber Security Policy and the ratification of the Convention on Cyber Crime by the end of 2017.

As future leaders, young people must be educated to be more responsible, to be disciplined and to practice positive lifestyles that would minimize their exposure to sexual abuse and violence. In recent times, more young people use the internet for entertainment, education, and communication purposes which has positive implications. However, because of the risks and dangers it is important that appropriate steps are taken to promote safe and innovative use of new technology including utilizing mobile devices and other online social networks.

There is the need to create a safe environment that protects children from all forms of violence not only when they are online, but wherever they find themselves; at home, school, institutions, workplace, and community. Children need to be schooled about their rights and responsibilities, safe touching and unsafe touching and early socialization about their sexuality and reproductive health care to provide further protection against abuse.

The Ministry would like to express our gratitude to all contributors for their valuable efforts, commitment, resources and dedication in helping to raise awareness to child abuse and violence over the years. We hope that the partnership, cooperation, alliances and collaboration between the Ministry and its partners, children and parents will be further strengthened to achieve the best interest of our children.

We also wish to assure all children that Government will take all the appropriate steps to protect their interest by putting children first, so that together, in celebration of this year’s Universal Children’s Day we can “Prevent Child Abuse, Promote Child Wellbeing and
Protect Our Children”.

Happy Universal Children’s Day!
Long Live Children!
Long Live Ghana!

SIGNED
HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA
MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN & SOCIAL PROTECTION

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4 days ago

MESSAGE BY HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA FOLLOWING 'THE DEATH OF KABA'


Still finding it difficult to believe the sad news of your untimely demise. It is shocking and unbelievable. My heartfelt condolences go to your lovely wife Valentina Ofori Afriyie, your family and the Multimedia staff. This definitely is not the news Ghana, your wife and your little child, your family, friends in the fraternity and the multimedia group were hankering to be told about you, but this is the fatal blow of death.

If we could only hear once more your commanding voice that grabbed the attention of thousands of listeners to your “Badwam” morning show or the late afternoon political show, ‘Eko Sii Sen’, we would treasure that moment.

Your life was a good story to live and to tell, you had a vision to accomplish, You had many generations to inspire and mentor, but death has cheated us and stolen you so abruptly from us. Fond memories of you will forever remain with us, like “KABA, mba KABA .....”followed by your rich laughter. In the annals of Ghana, the country you served so well, a national treasure has been lost.

Kwadwo Asare Barfour Acheampong (KABA), on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the entire women, men and children of Ghana, I say ‘nante yie’. Damirifa due.

May the good Lord grant you eternal rest. KABA rest in PEACE.

Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba
Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.

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4 days ago

On Thursday 16th November, 2017, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba delivered a statement before the Honourable Members of Parliament for the Commemoration of the 'International Men's Day' due today Sunday 19th November 2017.

Below is the full statement;

STATEMENT BY HON. OTIKO AFISAH DJABA, THE MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL PROTECTION ON THE FLOOR OF PARLIAMENT TO COMMEMORATE THE '2017 INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY'.

THEME: "CELEBRATE MEN AND BOYS"

Mr. Speaker, Members of this Honourable House, I am very grateful to you for the opportunity given me to make this statement today 16thNovember, on the Floor of Parliament as we prepare to commemorate the 2017 International Men’s Day on Sunday, 19th November, 2017. International Men’s Day (IMD) is a worldwide annual event celebrated on 19th of November. It was inaugurated in 1992 on 7th February by Thomas Oaster. The event was re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The International Men’s Day accords us the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the sacrifice and contributions of our men.

The theme for 2017 International Men’s Day celebration, Mr Speaker, is “Celebrate Men and Boys”.

For us to achieve gender equality and equity in the society, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the UN Women wishes to inform this august House of the Launch of the ‘HeforShe’ campaign in December 2017.

The ‘HeforShe’ is a global initiative and for us in Ghana, we want to use it to create an enabling environment for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill. The ‘HeforShe’ invites all males, young and old from all spheres of life to come together and support the initiative.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to indicate to this august House that the objectives for this year’s International Men’s Day celebration are;

• To reflect on the contributions, sacrifices and progress made by men in society

• To improve gender relations and promote gender equality

• To create a safer and better world where men and women can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

· Establish the Men’s Day as a popular annual event on the national calendar of Ghana.

Even though men have enormous power in our society, there are still some who are vulnerable, marginalized and unable to achieve their full potential.

Men have a relatively shorter life expectancy than women. They are dying in combat and suffer more fatalities at the work place than women. Recent WHO data shows that globally male life expectancy at birth was 69 years and for females it was 74 years.

We still find males selling dog chains or taking care of cattle and goats and undertaking galamsey, streetism, child labour on the street and involved in armed robbery, human trafficking and other abuses of the vulnerable.

Another challenge for our men, increasingly there are reported cases of violence against men and because of our culture, these men are suffering in silence.

Sometimes, the unavailability of money to provide for the home (in terms of chop money) exert some psychological and emotional stress on men. Today, economic and peer pressure on men to acquire wealth and to perform social obligations are imposing great burdens on their lives, which is also affecting their health. Again, Mr. Speaker, health challenges like prostate cancer and stroke are some of the other emerging worries for men.

Mr. Speaker, because of the leadership and dominant role of men in Ghana it is vital that we become advocates for gender equality, equity and the development of women and girls. Men should also advocate to end harmful and negative cultural and traditional practices like the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other issues like child prostitution, early child marriage, child labour and child trafficking in our society.

Mr. Speaker, Ghana is a male dominated society due to our patriarchal culture which gives males enormous power. For example, in our rural communities, a woman gives birth to a male, guides and nurtures him to adulthood, but as soon as he is even 16 years, he is called to community decision making fora, whilst the mother is ignored and not even considered for invitation. This is a problem of how we bring up our sons to feel superior to their female siblings.

The launch of the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA) by our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is now the AU Gender Champion on the 14th of November 2017 demonstrates his greatest commitment towards the promotion of gender equality and active participation of women in the development of Africa to address these imbalances.

There is therefore the need to improve gender relations through active participation of boys and men as partners in the quest for gender equality. Male support in advocating for more women in decision making processes and the abolishing of negative socio-cultural practices affecting women’s right is important in achieving a just society.

The Free Senior High School policy, a great initiative of our President is a unique opportunity for all boys who would otherwise have been out of school the opportunity to attain secondary education.

Mr. Speaker, we need to acknowledge that Men are the strong pillars of the Home and largely the breadwinners.

The Ministry therefore has the following expectations;

• Develop sustainable, transformative programs for the full participation of men and boys in support of gender equality.

· The need for early socialization from the household of bringing up boys and girls as equal shareholders. For example, boys should fetch firewood, water and cook meals whiles girls could also play football and undertake male dominant activities.

• Collaborate with government officials, men’s organizations and other Civil Society Organizations, Universities and Schools to create and promote HeForShe events and campaigns within their local communities.

• Inspire people to take action against gender‐based discrimination and violence against women and girls

• Create a platform to highlight as role models, men and boys who are taking a stand against gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls nationally.

· Create an Excellence Award for communities and men who demonstrate leadership and commitment to gender equality and equity.

Mr. Speaker, the President, your good self, the honourable males of this august House, traditional leaders, all men, our veterans in the independence struggle have provided strong leadership for this great country to date. So, we celebrate you on this international day which falls on the 19th November.

This celebration of men is also a call to action for those who have not been responsible to their families and society to be more responsible.

Mr. Speaker, my coming to Parliament today, has accorded me the opportunity to salute and celebrate all the sons of Ghana on behalf of the all daughters of Ghana for their huge and enormous contributions and support. But like the Oliver Twist, we ask for more.



We are eternally grateful.

Long live Men

Long live Women

Long live Ghana

Thank You for your kind attention.

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