First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has challenged Ghanaian women to boldly take initiatives to ensure gender parity in the country.
“For me, it means that we move in spite of the obstacles. That we push forward in spite of the resistance. It means we do not allow anything to stop us,” she said.
The First Lady threw the challenge when she hosted Ghanaian women from various sectors of the economy at her residence in commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day Celebration, themed “Press for Progress.”
Mrs Akufo-Addo said through the Rebecca Foundation, she has started a Women’s Empowerment programme called Telema to improve the economic status of women to bridge the gender gap.
“So far we have equipped 200 women in the Eastern and Northern Regions with skills to improve their businesses and the incomes of their families,” she said.
She noted that the Foundation has also built a new and modern Mother and Baby Unit and a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and refurbished a facility for Abam Krom in the Central Region.
She said free education would only be meaningful to those who take advantage of it.
“Unfortunately, girls more than boys are unable to advance beyond SHS as a result of poverty, early marriages, teenage pregnancy and other socio-cultural factors,” she added.
The First Lady said it was in the interest of Ghana to ensure both girls and boys develop effectively.
“We have the policies, we have the laws. We have the knowledge and we have the tools. It’s time to act,” she said.
“If we don’t act, our free education policy may not mean anything to these girls and their future.”
She reiterated her commitment to work with United Nations Population Fund in a programme called ‘Because I Want To Be.’
“The programme is to get girls along the coastal regions of Accra to go to school and stay in school.
“Beyond this, we want to send a message of hope to our girls and to local communities that every girl can be whoever she wants to be. That every girl deserves to develop to their full potential and it starts with education,” she said.
The First Lady urged policy-makers and individuals to positively impact the lives of girls.
“We have done enough talking. It’s time to walk the talk.