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Legislation not the solution to gender equality – Prof Akua Kuenyehia

First Vice President of the International Criminal Court and former judge at ICC, Professor Akua Kuenyehia has underscored the need for continuous sensitization towards bridging the equality gap between men and women in Ghana.

Speaking in a yet to be aired interview with 3FM’s Winston Amoah, the former ICC judge said legislation is not the best approach to tackling issues bordering on equality.

“We have a customary mindset which is difficult to deal with, this sees women and men occupying certain positions in our society, and you cannot sweep this kind of mindset away with legislation,” Professor Kuenyehia said.

Professor Kuenyehia further said, law is as effective as its implementation, hence the need to sensitize traditional leaders and those at the core of custom and tradition in society to get more people to change their attitude towards equality.

“70% of our populations live in the rural areas and they don’t consider themselves being governed by the laws we abide by in the urban areas. We must double our efforts to sensitization; sensitize our chiefs, queen mothers and others,” she said.

She argued there is no point in passing a law if people have no knowledge about the law and what it is supposed to do, “so I don’t advocate for laws in these events. We need to engage on a continual basis”.

Professor Kuenyehia said there is a lot more that ought to be done in terms of education and sensitization in order to change mindsets around equality issues.

“There is a lot more we need to do, we have come a long way from the time of independence, but we never reach our destination. We need to do a lot more education and sensitization for both men and women,” she stated.

While she commended advocates and the entire nation for efforts aimed at bridging the equality gap, she also called for more action and awareness creation towards the attainment of equality.

“We need to continue to build on the structures that we already have. We still haven’t eliminated the problem. We have probably reduced it. We need to do a lot more education and sensitization,” she added.

She has meanwhile bemoaned the ill treatment of women, which she observed, sometimes result to violence acts against them.

“I remember many years ago when we started talking about fighting violence against women, a top government official approached me and asked me how many women are beaten in their homes, and I told him to give me some time to respond to him,” she said.

Professor Kuenyehia said a national research they did in collaboration with the police and other social service providers found out that, 3 out of 10 women on the average are beaten at home.

She said the research became the genesis of legislation on violence against women.The full interview was televised on March 8, 2018 on TV3 New Day and on 3FM’s Sunrise on 92.7

By Irene Amesimeku|3news.com| Ghana

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