- On December 31, 2014
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A report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1997 reveals that mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels.
It is a strategy for making women’s as well men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all political, economic, and societal spheres so that women can benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality, it states. However, global progress toward attaining gender equality has been much slower than expected.
Child Fund International reports on its website on 15 July, 2014, that, although great strides are being made in the field of health care and maternal health in developing countries, discrimination against girls and women still occurs in many cultures, with its attendant negative effect on families living in poverty.
According to a 2011 report from the World Health Organization, denying primary education to young girls has been shown to negatively impact fertility rates, birth spacing, health literacy and healthy behaviors. Similar reports have found that educating women in Africa and Latin America lowers their risk of becoming infected with HIV. Giving girls access to educational opportunities to encourage literacy is thus one of the most effective ways of bridging gender gap and improving health care. Even small victories on the march toward equality can make a major difference in the lives of girls and women living in poverty.
SEND-GHANA has been committed to a gender mainstreaming approach which admits that gender inequality issues in development are most positively addressed through integrated strategies, which incorporate management policies, organizational systems, and program activities.
SEND-GHANA recognizes that inequality exists not only among project beneficiaries but it is also embedded in organizational culture and practices; therefore it would be highly ineffective to restrict the promotion of gender equality solely at program levels.
Consequently, there is an omnipresent and genuine commitment amongst management and staff alike, in the offices of all affiliates SEND-WEST AFRICA in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to pursue and attain equality between men and women.
Over the years, SEND-GHANA has implemented various interventions to halt the inequalities and injustices identified, and for which strategies have been set out in its Gender Mainstreaming Policy. Although the organisation has enormous and rich experience in gender mainstreaming, that task ahead requires programmatic reengineering in order to respond to the changing reality and complexities.
It is against this background that, SEND-GHANA is encouraging all organizations to push the boundaries of gender mainstreaming in order to generate new and innovative ways to examine resources, relationships, programmes and practices to promote equality of women and men and make society a place where people’s rights and well-being are guaranteed.
By Pascal K. Kudiabor, Communication Officer, SEND-GHANA