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Group welcomes gender affairs at OPM

Tuesday, November 17 2015

A CIVIL society lobby group has welcomed the decision to shift ministerial responsibility for children’s matters and gender affairs to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in the wake of the removal of a stand-alone ministry.

In a media release, the group known as the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) said it welcomed the move of matters relating to the Children’s Authority; child development; children’s homes; special needs children; community residences; orphanages and gender affairs to the OPM.

“This realignment of portfolios can potentially direct public policy to meeting the real needs of people to reduce insecurity, facilitate innovation, promote citizenship, and grow the economy,” the group said. “The Prime Minister’s leadership on these matters will become even more critical as the country adjusts to the new economic realities which will require Government decisions to be predicated on an active commitment to serve all citizens with equity.” It said it had recommended three options in the wake of the removal of the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development.

One of the options was shifting the responsibilities involved to the Office of the Prime Minister with a Minister attached and the Prime Minister as the voice of the Ministry in the Cabinet.

“We commend the Government for its courage to embrace citizens’ recommendations to prioritise children and gender,” the group said. “This approach would be welcomed on other matters particularly the series of citizens’ consultations referred to repeatedly in 2016 budget statement.”

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