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Hon. Charles Opoku Former President for All Nations University TESCON Branch & Former Eastern Regional Tescon Co-ordinator

Over the past years, social protection has gained an ever-greater recognition on the global and national development policy agendas as not only a fundamental human right but also an effective way to tackle poverty and vulnerability.

There is overwhelming evidence that social protection schemes can deliver real results in terms of poverty reduction, social mobility and progress towards improving job quality.

It’s on this premise that in January 2013, the then Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs was reformed into Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) through an Executive Instrument 1 (E.I. 1).

Ghana since independence had been pursuing economic growth which in itself is not sufficient to increase living standards, reduce inequalities and foster development. Therefore social protection was introduced with an overarching objective to shift focus from economic growth to inclusive growth, which emphasises distribution and the ability of vulnerable groups (women and children) to participate in the growth process.

That notwithstanding, Ghana unlike countries like China, US, UK etc. has failed to use social protection to prevent and reduce poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion throughout the lifecycle. Ghana’s Social protection systems have achieved little in providing benefits to individuals or households to guarantee income security and access to health care. Measures such as cash benefits, old- age pensions, in-kind transfers and disability benefits that could be instrumental in cushioning the impact of the global twin crisis among the most vulnerable, while serving as a macroeconomic stabiliser and enabling people to overcome social exclusion and poverty have been lacking to a greater extend.

Before President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will appoint a new Minister, these preliminary changes must be effected;

  1. Remove “Gender and Children” from the name of the Ministry and keep it as “Ministry for Social Protection”. Let me emphasize that at the core of social protection is the promotion of the welfare of vulnerable groups, most especially women and children; therefore, it makes no difference to add “Gender and Children” to the name. Additionally, the presence of “Gender and Children” has created a misconception and erroneous impression that the only task of the ministry is to pursue women empowerment and protect children, leaving other vulnerable groups unattended to. A cursory observation and recollection would unveil that we only heard the voices of Gender Ministers only when there were reports of child abuse, rape, domestic violence against women.
  2. Eliminate gender considerations in the appointment of Social Protection Minister. Over the years, a worrying tradition of making the Ministry the preserved of Women has been consolidated. If my memory serves me correct, no male has ever been appointed to man that Ministry even after social protection was added to it. The only consideration that should suffice in the appointment of a Minister to that Ministry is a deep comprehension of evolving social protection issues, opportunities inherent in poverty and vulnerabilities and how to unlock enormous resources and funding from development partners. There are dozens of international organizations with billions of dollars in grants to fund social protection programs and initiatives, especially in Africa. It will take a competent person well versed in these matters to design social protection programs that will easily attract funding from development partners without relying on GoG funding and this has nothing to do the the Sex of the person.

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DAVID KOSI AMAVIE popularly known as Lamar is known for his diverse content creativity and also a professional poet writer,philanthropist,digital journalist & also has keen interest in trending and comprehensive news around the globe.

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