GENDER DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCE CENTRE HOLDS ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION ON THE CHILD FAMILY WELFARE POLICY
By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu
The Gender Development and Resource Centre of GIMPA on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 organized a round-table discussion on the ‘Child Family Welfare Policy.’ It was in collaboration with DANIDA, International Development Cooperation, the European Union, USAID and BUSAC Fund. The well attended event brought together stakeholders from the education, health, social welfare and the security sectors
It was on the theme: ‘Enhancing family welfare policy, framework to facilitate youth education and stewardship for a sustainable economy.’
The aim of the programme was to create a sustainable gender equality environment for all Ghanaian youth and children through discussions to sensitize and seek ways to open Dialogue with policy makers to review and amend the Policy on Child and Family Welfare.
In his welcome address, the rector of GIMPA, Prof. Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson lauded the centre and its partners for the initiative adding, it was a step in the right direction. He emphasized the aptness of the theme saying it focused on three most important components such as ‘Enhancing family welfare’ ‘Youth education’ and ‘Sustainable economy.’ Interestingly, Prof. Bondzi-Simpson called on two SHS students from the participants to continue with his address which they did to perfection.
Giving the background of the programme, Dr. Beatrice Akua-Sakyiwah, the Gender Coordinator said the purpose of the discussion was to provide a framework on which deliberations could be made on the policies effective role in supporting families and children.
‘It is also to consider how its implementation could be strengthened and communicated at the local and community levels,’ she stressed.
According to Dr. Sakyiwah, violence and abuse is a social menace that affects the well-being of the young.
‘Children who have been abused or neglected often experience learning difficulties and perform poorly at school,’ she said.
Dr. Sakyiwah cited recent media reports of parents and guardians who have abused their children with some even leading to deaths maintaining that, the protection of children from all forms of violence is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the child. ‘The Child and Family Welfare Policy has a core mandate to promote the well-being of children by ensuring safety and protection from harm,’ she said.
Dr. Sakyiwah was optimistic that the discussion will be a useful starting point to open up dialogue with policy makers to take a second look at the child policy to ensure they are serving and prioritising the best interests of children.
In her keynote address, Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Ghana indicated that society had no excuse for not addressing the various challenges facing us. She stressed the importance of home training in promoting youth education in the country, adding that ‘Our behaviours are shaped by the training we receive from the home.’ ‘Unfortunately most parents are shirking this part of their responsibility, while they chase after money and material wealth, leaving the little ones to be trained by house helps,’ she bemoaned.
Prof. Kwapong indicated that it was necessary for parents to make conscious efforts to train children in the acceptable way lest, their irresponsible behaviours in later years does not deplete the natural resources. She therefore, urged parents to do everything possible to train their children into becoming the good citizens that we so much desire. The chairperson for the programme was Prof. Bertha Z. Osei-Hwedie. In attendance also was the Dean of Students, Prof. Anthony Sallar. Dr. Gifty Oforiwa Gyamera, a lecturer at the School of Public Service and Governance made a presentation on ‘The menace of child sex abuse’ while Mr. Edmund Foley, a lecturer at the Law Faculty also presented on the topic ‘The child and family welfare policy.’ There were other presentations made by different organisations.