The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has charged Ghanaians to join the fight against Girl Child marriage and also empower girls through education.
This year’s International Women’s Day celebration forum focused on girl child marriage and education.
Speaking at the forum on the Theme, “Press for Progress” Madam Akufo-Addo also acknowledged some individuals who had positively impacted the lives of children in their communities.
“The 2018 International Women’s Day theme is ‘Press for progress’. All over the world, we are experiencing strong and concerted activism towards gender parity. Today is an opportunity for us to add our voices to the discussions to get us closer to our goal.
“I certainly want to have my grandchildren to live in a Ghana where we have gender parity so this year’s theme speaks to something deep within me. For me, it means we move despite the obstacles. That we push forward in spite of the resistance. It means that we do not allow anything to stop us. Today, discussions will focus on two important and related issues. Girls’ education and the elimination of child marriages. Why the focus on these two issues? Because education is the catalyst for the development of the individual and the nation.”
Meanwhile the Centre for Democratic Congress (CDD), in a statement marking International Women’s Day, has commended various stakeholders for their immeasurable contribution towards the fight for women’s rights, justice, and equality.
It, however, maintained that progress towards gender parity remains slow.
According to CDD, inequality is very prevalent in women’s participation in politics, in spite of the policies introduced to increase women representation in key government offices.
Quoting a recent Afrobarometer survey, CDD indicated that statistics had shown that a large majority (72%) of Ghanaians “agree” or “agree very strongly” that women should have the same chance of being elected to political office as men. However, women are rarely encouraged to compete for such positions.
“This was evident in the 2016 elections where there was only one female presidential candidate and only one female running mate, representing 14.3% as opposed to 85.7% male. Though there was an uptick in women representation in Parliament in the elections (37, compared to 29 in 2012) – the highest in the country’s history – this is still very low, compared to 238 elected male parliamentarians,”CDD added in its statement.
CDD-Ghana also noted that Ghanaian women, both in the rural and urban settings are confronted with peculiar challenges which threaten their socio-economic and political development.
The Centre, therefore, recommended that government applies the appropriate policies and measures to accelerate the realization of gender equality in Ghana.
Paramount among these is the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill, which will ensure 50:50 representations of women in key public appointments.