Ghana commemorated this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) yesterday, with a call from the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, for more women to be involved in the decision-making process and policy formulation in national development.
Addressing a durbar of women to celebrate the international event in Accra, the First Lady said: “We need more female voices in academia, industry, business, finance, agriculture, the arts and in many areas.”
The event brought together women from all walks of life, including politicians, policy makers, the academia and experts in arts and culture, among other professionals.
Mrs Akufo-Addo said in 2016, organisations and individuals around the world made commitments to “help women and girls to achieve their ambitions, challenge conscious and unconscious biases, call for gender-balanced leadership, value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.”
Bold for change
According to her, women could no longer wait for change to happen automatically, as such women leaders needed to initiate change for themselves and for the many others whose voices could not be heard.
“The idea of being bold for change is so important, with the World Economic Forum predicting that gender gap will not close entirely until 2186, she said.
“What if we all worked together to take actions and make contributions that would get us closer to gender parity? We would sooner than later have a generation of women who are equal partners with men in all spheres of life,” she added.
She acknowledged women who led the fight for gender equality in the country and across the globe, such as former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, for the role they played in getting the issues of women addressed.
The wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Samira Bawumia, urged women to be bold by doing the right things, saying “by doing the right thing people will emulate you.”
For her part, Mrs Agyeman Rawlings called on women in politics, especially Members of Parliament (MPs), to unite and champion issues on women empowerment in the country.
“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to female parliamentarians to, at all times, approach all women’s issues in a non-partisan stance. We may not yet have the majority we require in Parliament but that should by no means hinder our democratic rights and political power,” she added.
Nana Konadu, who spoke on “Gender Parity and Politics,” said attaining parity in decision making was not only a right women deserved, but more importantly, “it will provide a balance that accurately reflects the composition of society, and it is needed in order to strengthen democracy and promote its proper functioning”.
Speaking on the topic: “Gender Parity and the Law,” Ms Justice Barbara Ackah-Ayensu, who represented the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Wood, said the Judiciary was striving to achieve gender parity in all of its work.
Speaking on “Gender Parity and the Church’, Ms Joyce Aryee called on women to have confidence and be bold and not conform to perceptions that pinned them down.
Other speakers at the ceremony were the Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Mrs Lucy Quist, who spoke on “Gender Parity and the World of Work; Mrs Lawrencia Simpson, a managing consultant , delivered a speech on “Gender Parity and Sustainable Development,” and Ms Leticia Brown, an entrepreneur, addressed “Gender Parity and Access to Finance’.
source: Daily Graphic