The Executive Director of the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), Ms Vicky Okine, has appealed to the government and other stakeholders to come up with a policy that will promote a balance between work and family lives.
She said trade unions, the private sector and other interested stakeholders must advocate the enactment of such a policy to deal with Access to Family Health Services such as family planning services, the adoption of paternity leave, flexible working arrangements to benefit children and equal access to employment for women.
A statement issued last Tuesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency by the Alliance to mark International Day of Families which fell on May 15, said a Work-Family Balance Policy would demonstrate the government’s commitment to the well-being of families and the private sector’s commitment to social responsibility.
This year’s International Day of Families is being observed on the theme: “Ensuring Work Family Balance”.
The International Day of Families was instituted by the United Nations and is celebrated globally on May 15 each year.
It provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
The Executive Director said rapid urbanisation and the search for better job opportunities outside of one’s hometown, had resulted in the weakening of traditional extended family networks that provided care and support for younger and vulnerable family members.
She, therefore, called for the adoption of the social capital concept which would help instill the values and norms of society, ensure better healthcare delivery, promote higher educational achievement.
Miss Okine welcomed recent family related initiatives instituted by the government such as the Free Family Planning Services Policy announced by the Ministry of Health.
She said Family Planning Services could reduce the number of women who died during childbirth by a third.
Currently the maternal mortality rate stands at 350,000 per 100,000 live births.
The Executive Director asked the government to put in measures to address the inequalities in access to health care and empower women to utilise family planning services.
She said her organisation would continue to advocate the reproductive health rights of the poor and other disadvantaged groups in under-served communities.
“ARHR will also continue to promote social justice particularly in health-related issues by highlighting the social, economic and geographical inequalities in the provision of and impact of health services.”