By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
The Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, Lena Alai has charged heads of departments who constitute District Planning Coordinating Units (DPCUs) at the various assemblies in the region to mainstream gender into every activity they would plan in their districts.
Madam Alai said it was important for these core management members of the assemblies to be mindful that there was another part of society “that seemed not to be equitably involved in terms of “access to opportunities and national policies.”
She wanted that in planning activities for the districts, DPCUs should take for example, government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and consider “how many women are participating” because women were already disadvantaged in the area of land acquisition to see “how well will women be brought onto the scene.”
The Regional Director was speaking to Voltaonlinegh on the sidelines of a 2-day workshop in Ho on gender mainstreaming organised by the Department of Gender and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The workshop from 12th -13TH June, the first of its kind to be organised for DPCUs from Afadzato South and Akatsi North Districts was to introduce participants to gender mainstreaming to help them identify gender issues and how to deal with them to ensure equal access to opportunities by both men and women in their assemblies.
A similar workshop was earlier sponsored by GIZ for DPCUs in five of its (GIZ) project districts in the region.
According to the Gender Activist, “district assemblies are the smallest unit of the development structure where every action takes place” and said those in management at the district assemblies owed it a duty to the people they serve to “apply gender lens in actions they plan.”
She said people needed to understand the concept of gender and know that it involved both men and women’s issues for effective gender mainstreaming, a strategy being used to ensure gender equality in society.
Focal Person, UNFPA at VRCC, Victoria Odurowa Fato called on development organisations to make gender mainstreaming “an integral part of their mandate so that women and men benefit equally from development.”
Ms. Fato charged participants to practise what they had acquired at the training to meaningfully impact the campaign for gender mainstreaming in their various assemblies.
She mentioned that everyone needed to join government and international bodies in taking steps to stop all forms of gender inequality.
Some participants in an interview were grateful for the training saying, it opened their eyes to issues they never knew could border on gender inequality.
Lovelace Kudoto from Department of Agriculture, Afadzato South said the workshop would help inform his planning decisions to address gender inequality including focusing on provision of extension services to women in his district.