International Women’s Day 2015 Celebrations End

The month-long activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations have ended with a Health Walk and a durbar in Accra.

The Health Walk aimed to raise awareness about women’s empowerment issues, including economic empowerment and sexual and reproductive health issues such as Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) prevention, treatment and care.

It was organized by the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Strategic Communications (STRATCOMM) Africa.

Addressing the durbar after the Health Walk on Saturday, the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Christine Evans-Klock, noted that since the Beijing conference 20 years ago, much progress had been made globally and in Ghana, particularly in the areas of women’s rights promotion, reduction in maternal deaths and increase in the enrolment of girls in primary schools.

Ms Evans-Klock highly commended Ghana for making great strides in providing social protection interventions for women and the enactment of legislation to promote and protect women’s rights as well as the reduction of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS.

In a statement, the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Communications (STRATCOMM) Africa, Ms Esther Cobbah, said for a country’s economic and development agenda to succeed, women ought to be empowered.

Ms Cobbah, therefore, stressed the need for platforms such as the one provided by IWD to discuss issues that militated against women’s empowerment.

In a statement, a student leader, Bertha Somuah, described discrimination and stigmatization as major barriers to the achievement of an HIV-free society, which could only be surmounted by the promotion of the rights of HIV-positive persons.

In an address delivered on his behalf, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, said the importance of preventive medicine could not be underestimated.

Dr Vanderpuije, therefore, called on all stakeholders to partner the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) in creating awareness on healthy lifestyles.

He said HIV/AIDS was real and urged all Ghanaians to know their HIV status and report for early treatment if the tests proved positive.

IWD is celebrated on the 8th of March every year to reflect on the progress made on the advancement of women’s rights and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played extraordinary roles in the history of their countries and communities.

IWD 2015, celebrated on the theme: ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity— Picture it’, was an opportunity to review the progress made and challenges  encountered since the Beijing Platform for Action was endorsed some 20 years ago.

Under the local theme: ‘Beijing +20—Advavcing Women’s Empowerment’, IWD 2015 acknowledged Ghana as having attained many successes in women’s empowerment, even though there remained an unfinished business.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)