By Lawrencia Akoto Frempong
Tema, March 7, GNA – The Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) has joined the International Community to commemorate the 2023 International Women’s Day slated for March 8th on the global theme: “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
Mr. Joseph Whittal, CHRAJ Commissioner in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema explained that the goal of this year’s celebration was to expedite the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, particularly Goal five, which sought to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Mr. Whittal called for sustained efforts and committed leadership in establishing an all-inclusive environment for the development of women and girls all over the world.
“It is regrettable that women continue to face challenges of gender inequality which prevents them from achieving their full potential,” he said.
The gendered dimensions of inequality in the society cut across all spheres; economic development; education; access to healthcare; income; vulnerability to violence and even political representation.
He stated that a publication by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) revealed that women in public sector employment earned GHS165.00 on average, which is less than their male counterparts, representing a gender pay gap of 6 percent.
He said, “these inequalities are fuelled by some cultural and social practices, high levels of illiteracy and general lack of awareness”.
The GSS publication recorded that, 17 percent of the Ghanaian population aged 12 years and older do not own any functional Information Communication and Technology (ICT) device making the proportion among females 19.3 percent higher than males of 14.1 percent.
He noted that the internet today is not working equally for men and women, from gaps in quality of connectivity and digital skills to threats that disproportionately impact the safety and rights of women and girls preventing them from benefiting from digital opportunities technology present.
“Women and girls often experience online abuse centred around harassment, hate speech, cyber stalking, and non-consensual distribution of photos”, he noted.
Mr. Whittal stated that although there was cybersecurity legislation that protected children online, the measures appeared inadequate to protect women’s rights online.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, Cyber Security Authority, National Communications Authority, and the Data Protection Agency to intensify public education and awareness on responsible use of the internet and technology and implement innovative policies meant to utilize the internet to reduce gender inequality.
He said, “the relevant agencies should mount surveillance to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of online bullying of women to serve as a deterrent to others”.
The Commission, again called on the government and its relevant agencies as a matter of priority, to design and implement innovative policies to improve access to technology by Ghanaian women and girls in the short through the medium to the long term as we observe the celebration.